Wednesday, January 25, 2012

National Peanut Brittle Day

(Google Image) 

By Diane Forrest,

The other day I told you about peanut butter, and how peanuts are from the America’s.  What I didn't tell you was that during the Civil war, the soldiers lived off of peanuts to survive.  Once George Washington Carver began to reveal how many ways peanuts could be used in 1903, their popularity exploded, especially in the American South.

The first recipe for peanut brittle was discovered in books in the 19th century.  Of course this is about the same time recipes for other candy was also placed in recipe books, so I’m pretty certain that this was the time the first recipe book was written.  Peanut Brittle is a flat hard candy made from sugar or molasses, and broken into pieces.
(Google Image) 
Perhaps due to the Southern connection, the history of peanut brittle is tied to Tony Beaver, a lumberjack folk hero. In the story, Tony Beaver creates peanut brittle when he stops a flood using peanuts and molasses. Not only does he save a town, but he also gives them a terrific snack.

Brittle can be made using any type of nut, however since it is National Peanut Brittle Day, I am going to share a Peanut Brittle Recipe with you.  Be sure to use a large pan to cook it in, because once you add the baking soda it will double in size.

Peanut Brittle

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  1. Grease a large cookie sheet. Set aside.
  2. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a boil sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in peanuts. Set candy thermometer in place, and continue cooking. Stir frequently until temperature reaches 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads.
  3. Remove from heat; immediately stir in butter and baking soda; pour at once onto cookie sheet. With 2 forks, lift and pull peanut mixture into rectangle about 14x12 inches; cool. Snap candy into pieces.
(Google Image) 

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