An easy recipe for homemade, old-fashioned peanut brittle—this delicious made-from-scratch candy is perfect for holiday treat trays and gift baskets.
How to Make Homemade Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle
Peanut brittle is a constant on our holiday baking list. It’s a family Christmas tradition and one of my favorites to load on goodie trays on Christmas Eve – alongside peanut butter cups, marshmallow krispies, krumkake (and many more treats!).
We love this recipe because it’s so simple, takes only about 15 minutes, requires only 6 ingredients, and stores well for an extended period of time – so you can make it well ahead of time.
This classic peanut brittle also makes an excellent DIY Christmas gift for teachers, neighbors. Give in a festive holiday tin or use a clear bag tied with holiday ribbon to easily include in a gift basket.
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup white corn syrup
- 1 cup roasted peanuts
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
Recipe Instructions + Tips
A quick note on safety before we get started – please be careful when working with the hot candy mixture. Handle it with care! And be sure to use protective equipment (oven mitts when handling hot pans or bowls, etc.) and slow, thoughtful movements.
First, you’ll want to prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper and then set aside.
Next, in a saucepan, stir the sugar and corn syrup together until mixed well.
In the same saucepan, turn the heat to medium and cook the sugar and corn syrup until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbling.
Stir in the peanuts and cook until the mixture is light brown in color. Note: this recipe calls for roasted peanuts and not raw peanuts. If you use raw peanuts, you will have to adjust the cooking time for the peanuts accordingly.
Add the butter and vanilla extract. Mix well.
Cook the mixture until your candy thermometer reaches 295–309ºF. Or until the candy on your mixing spoon hardens, resembling the hard crack stage. (This is the trick to making this recipe without a candy thermometer!)
Let the peanut brittle harden and cool completely. Then you can break the brittle into pieces.
Voila, your peanut brittle is now ready to add to holiday dessert trays or gift baskets.
Making ahead of time? Store in a metal tin or airtight container. Freezing peanut brittle is unnecessary, but it can help move it out of the way off your countertop or out of the pantry.
We hope you enjoy this classic recipe & Happy Holidays to you and your family!
We want to know – what is your favorite recipe to make at Christmastime?
If you make this recipe, please add a review in the comments section below!Print
- Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper, set aside.
- In a saucepan, stir the sugar and corn syrup together until mixed well.
- Cook the sugar and corn syrup over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbling.
- Stir in the peanuts and cook until the mixture is light brown in color.
- Add the butter and vanilla extract.
- Cook until your candy thermometer reaches 295-309ºF. Or until the candy on your mixing spoon hardens. (This is the trick to making this recipe without a candy thermometer!)
- Add the baking soda and gently stir until foamy.
- On the sheet pan, lined with parchment paper, spread out the candy peanut mixture in a thin layer.
- Let the peanut brittle harden and cool completely.
- Break the brittle into pieces.
- Store in a metal tin or airtight container.
Do not use wax paper; the peanut brittle will stick.
If you use raw peanuts, you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Please be careful with the hot candy mixture.
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 10 min
- Serving Size: 1 piece
- Calories: 177
- Sugar: 28.1 g
- Sodium: 115.1 mg
- Fat: 6.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 29.6 g
- Protein: 3.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0.8 mg
Keywords: peanut brittle, peanuts, candy, holiday, christmas
What is the best way to store peanut brittle?
Store peanut brittle in an airtight container or a metal tin. You can also freeze peanut brittle, but it’s unnecessary.
Can I make peanut brittle without a candy thermometer?
Yes, you can make peanut brittle without a candy thermometer. Just make sure a small amount of the candy, when cooled, hardens to ensure the whole batch has cooked enough to harden as well.
Can peanut brittle be too hard?
Yes, it can get too hard and more importantly, burn if you cook it too long. Also, if you fail to use baking soda, it can turn out too hard instead of light, airy, and crispy.
Can I use wax paper for peanut brittle?
No, the hot peanut brittle candy mixture will be too hot for wax paper, and it will stick. Trust me on this one; you’ll have to make it again.
Can I use parchment paper for peanut brittle?
Yes, this is what I use for my peanut brittle, and it works perfectly.
Can you make this peanut brittle recipe in the microwave?
Yes, you sure can. Actually, the original family recipe is for microwave peanut brittle – but I prefer to make it on the stovetop. It is just as quick and easy as the microwave and much safer, in my opinion. (You won’t be taking a hot bowl of hot candy in and out of the microwave several times.)
Follow the same steps and consistency indicators at each stage of cooking. The process will work just the same.