My mother-in-law was a good Southern cook. At this time of year I think of her whenever I make peanut brittle. The only recipe that I will use came from her. My own mother liked it so much that she uses the recipe, too.
Vernel and my daughter, circa 1995
My mother-in-law grew up in rural Alabama, one of eight children. Her family lived on a farm and she married a farmer. She always had a lot of food available to the men who worked on the farm and for visitors who would stop by. She was always a gracious hostess.
To make her peanut brittle, you need two cups of raw or parched peanuts. (I used the entire contents of a 16 ounce bag of parched peanuts. The more nuts the merrier, in my opinion.)
In a large saucepan, you combine the nuts with corn syrup and sugar and cook over medium-high heat until it turns honey colored.
It takes me about 15 minutes.
I stir the mixture often, but not constantly.
Once the right color has been achieved, you add baking soda.
The mixture will become a little foamy and lightens in color.
Spread the mixture onto a tray lined with parchment paper or one that has been well-greased.
Spread the mixture out a bit.
Before it has completely cooled, take two forks and “pull” the brittle apart. This technique set my mother-in-law’s brittle apart from all others that I have tried. The pulled brittle is easier to eat than the thick brittle that is typically sold in stores.
You have to be careful because the brittle is really hot. Also, do not attempt to make peanut brittle when it is humid outside or while it is raining.
Vernel’s Peanut Brittle
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 cups raw peanuts
- 1 Tbsp. baking soda
Mix together corn syrup, sugar and raw peanuts in a large saucepan.
Cook over medium-high heat until mixture turns honey colored.
Remove from heat. Add baking soda and stir well.
Pour mixture onto prepared pan. As soon as brittle has set, use utensils to pull and stretch brittle into pieces. Caution: Brittle will be very hot.
***Do NOT make on rainy or high humidity days.