Saturday, June 9, 2012

Nut Brittle

Nut brittle always makes me think of the game Candyland (best game ever!). One of the characters in it was named Grandma Brittle or something like that. But something tells me that our next new food item makes Harry think of his favorite mother-figure, not a boardgame:

"Mrs. Weasley had sent him a scarlet sweater with the Gryffindor lion knitted on the front, also a dozen home-baked mince pies, some Christmas cake, and a box of nut brittle" (Prisoner of Azkaban 222).

Brittle has never been my favorite sweet, but most people like it, so it's the perfect thing to make and then give away! There's a pretty simple recipe for "Any-Nut Brittle" in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, so that's the recipe we'll use!

You Will Need:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup golden treacle or light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 stick (2 Tbs) unsalted butter
1.5 cups chopped raw nuts (almonds, pecans, peanuts, whatever!)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda

1. Grease a rimmed baking sheet and line it with parchment paper.
2. Clip a candy thermometer to a (at least) 4 qt saucepan. Place the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the temperature reaches 280 degrees. 

3. Add the butter and nuts and continue cooking, stirring constantly (it gets thick quickly, so really stir!!), until the mixture reaches 300 degrees. For once, this actually happened really quickly for me!

4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. Be careful, because the micture will bubble and expand a lot!

5. QUICKLY pour the mixture into the prepared pan and QUICK AS YOU CAN spread it out as much as you can; you're shooting for about 1/4" thick. Ms. Bucholz says to use a wooden spoon. I think using the hot metal spoon you've been using is a better plan. 

6. Cool completely before breaking into pieces and eating. 

Like I said before, peanut brittle is not my favorite... but my dad took this peanut brittle to work and everyone asked for the recipe. So apparently it's a good one! Enjoy!

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