Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle

Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle
Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Diana Rattray
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Yield: 2 pounds
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
288 Calories
18g Fat
31g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 288
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 131mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 28g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 119mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This old-fashioned peanut brittle recipe is as easy to make as it is delicious. Peanut brittle makes a perfect holiday season gift for friends, family, co-workers, teachers, or anyone else deserving of some deliciousness. To make the sweet treat a cute gift, tie a festive ribbon with a gift tag on the glass jar. It can be helpful for the gift recipients if you include an ingredient list on the tag, especially for anyone with a peanut allergy or sensitivity.

Using a Candy Thermometer

A candy thermometer is the one kitchen gadget that you'll need for this recipe. It's important to use a candy thermometer and it nearly guarantees foolproof results. To check the accuracy of your candy thermometer, bring a saucepan of water to a full boil. The thermometer should register 212 F (or the boiling point for your altitude if above 1,000 feet). If it's off by a degree or two, adjust the cooking temperature accordingly.

Peanut brittle is cooked to the hard-crack stage. It's called that because it's the point when a drop of boiling sugar syrup immersed into cold water will separate into hard, brittle threads. While toffee is made with similar ingredients, it is cooked to a lower temperature: the hard-ball stage. The change in temperature results in a different candy consistency when the candy cools. Toffee is hard, but has a softer crunch, while brittle is very hard and crunchy.

Cooking Tips

Peanut brittle is so good that it seems as if it would be time-intensive and complicated, but it's a quick and easy candy to make. The hot brittle is extremely hot so take care when pouring it into the baking pans. Even though it's a tasty treat the whole family will likely enjoy, this isn't a recipe that is particularly well-suited for the kids to help with.


  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 cup light corn syrup

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, plus about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons for greasing the pans

  • 3 cups dry roasted peanuts

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Steps to Make It

  1. Generously butter two (13x9x2-inch) baking pans.

  2. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water.

  3. Cook the sugar mixture over medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and blend in butter. Begin to stir frequently when syrup reaches the thread stage, about 230 F.

  4. When the temperature is 280 F or soft-crack stage, add the peanuts. Stir constantly until hard-crack stage, or 300 F, is reached.

  5. Remove from heat and quickly stir in baking soda. Mix well.

  6. Pour into the prepared baking pans.

  7. As the peanut brittle cools, stretch it out thinner by lifting and pulling at edges with forks. Loosen from the pans as soon as possible and turn the candy over.

  8. Break hardened candy up and store in an airtight container.