Some of the best gifts to give and receive over the holidays are homemade ones. The only thing that makes homemade gifts even better is when they’re tasty, easy to make, food gifts! This peanut brittle recipe checks all the boxes. It’s easy to make, easy to gift, and 100% delicious.
What is peanut brittle made of?
A simple Christmas recipe calls for a simple ingredient list, and this peanut brittle recipe is no different. To make homemade peanut brittle, you’ll need:
- Corn syrup
- Unsalted butter
- Salted and roasted peanuts
- Maple extract
- Baking soda
- A candy thermometer
That’s it! It’s important to make sure you have all your ingredients measured and ready to go before you start this recipe. Candy making moves pretty quickly and you don’t want to be caught without what you need when the next step comes up!
If you don’t have maple extract, you can substitute it with vanilla extract. The flavor won’t be as compelling, but it’ll work in a pinch.
How do you make peanut brittle?
This is a very simple candy recipe that’s perfect for holiday gifting. The key to making this delicious treat is to have everything ready in advance.
- Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by greasing it with oil or butter. You can also lightly spray some parchment paper if you have it on hand.
- Combine sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir the sugar mixture occasionally as it comes to a boil.
- When the mixture is clear and boiling, brush water around the edges of the pot and heat until it reaches 275°F. You’ll need a candy thermometer to measure the temperature.
- Add in the peanuts and the butter.
- Stir the mixture constantly until it turns a golden-brown and has reached 300°F. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda and maple extract.
- Pour the peanut brittle onto your greased cookie sheet, using a spoon to smooth it out.
- Allow to cool at room temperature for at least an hour before breaking the peanut brittle into pieces.
- Package it up for gifting or store in an airtight container!
Why is my peanut brittle not crunchy?
Two things can change the texture of peanut brittle so it’s soft and sticky instead of hard and crunchy. The first is that it wasn’t cooked long enough. You can prevent this by making sure you don’t remove it from the heat until it’s reached 300°F on a candy thermometer.
If your peanut brittle was originally hard but softened over time, humidity levels might be the culprit. Keep your peanut brittle in an airtight container and extend its life by storing it in a cool, dry place—not the fridge.
If you don’t want soft peanut brittle, you can try to crisp it up by repeating the last few steps. Place your broken pieces of peanut brittle in the saucepan over medium heat. Once everything has melted, turn up the heat and allow the mixture to come to 300°F. Then spread it out again, let it cool, and break it into new pieces
Can you make peanut brittle without peanuts?
Yes! This peanut brittle recipe is traditional because it calls for peanuts, but you can definitely try using different nuts instead! Walnuts, chopped pecans, or chopped almonds would all taste delicious substituted into this peanut brittle recipe.
How long does it take for peanut brittle to harden?
It should take your peanut brittle roughly an hour to harden at room temperature. This gives you some time to figure out packaging if you’re giving it out as a holiday gift!
How should I package this for gifting?
You can wrap up your peanut brittle in a variety of ways. If you’re giving a large batch to someone, try using a festive cookie tin or container. If you’re planning on sharing the wealth and giving everyone a few pieces, you can wrap them in some plastic wrap before placing it inside a paper bag with some decorations drawn on the side. You could even stick some pieces in a mason jar wrapped with a holiday ribbon!
The key is to keep individual pieces of peanut brittle separated by some wax paper and to make sure whichever container you choose is airtight.
How do I store peanut brittle?
Humidity is the enemy of peanut brittle, which means you can’t keep it in the fridge. Thankfully, peanut brittle stores well on the counter for up to a month as long as it’s in an airtight container. You can also store peanut brittle for up to three months in the freezer.
Want more easy food gift recipes?
Food is an amazing gift to give because it’s super shareable, fun to make, and everyone who receives it will be grateful for the tasty treat. Here are a few more easy food gift recipes to try: