Sweet and Spicy Peanut Brittle

Peanut brittle recipeI wonder who invented peanut brittle. It's kind of a weird idea, right? I imagine they said to themselves, "Man, I sure do love peanuts but I hate how smooth and creamy peanut butter is. I want the opposite of peanut butter. I want peanuts showcased in a super hard crunchy candy. Hmmmmmm."

And then peanut brittle was born. And somehow over the years peanut brittle has become a kind of holiday candy staple. You don't eat peanut brittle in July. That's just crazy talk. It's a December thing. Sweet and spicy peanut brittleSweet and Spicy Peanut Brittle

3 cups peanuts (dry roasted)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup water
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking soda

In a bowl combine the peanuts, cinnamon and cayenne. Set aside. In a pot combine the water, corn syrup, sugar and salt. Stir to dissolve over high heat. Use a candy thermometer and wait until the mixture reaches 290°F to 300°F degrees. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and peanuts. Then stir in the baking soda (this will cause the mixture to foam). Quickly pour the mixture out onto a silpat mat or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a spatula to spread the mixture as thin as you like. Allow to cool and then crack into pieces.
Homemade peanut brittleYou have to work quickly once the mixture has almost reach the "hard crack" stage. But be careful! I dropped a spoon at one point and got a tiny drop of the hot mixture on my pinky finger. And now I have a gross blister. It hurt! (You probably didn't want to know that, huh?) Happy candy making! xo. Emma

  • Just made this for my Dad for Christmas, and I love it! Though next time I’ll have to spread it thinner or use less peanuts because mine didn’t come out as good as your pictures. But it tastes AMAZING!!!!

  • I made this peanut brittle last night. I doubled the spices because I like a kick. It turned out great! I can’t wait to give to family friends! Thanks for posting!

  • I made this recipe and the first two times I made it it was a complete failure!!!!!! I guess the third time’s a charm! It’s much harder than it looks. The first time it didn’t harden b/c I used an old candy thermometer… the second time I used a new candy thermometer and it turned out too thick and stuck to the paper like CRAZY. The third time I used a greased cookie sheet instead of paper and let the mixture go up to 325 before adding the peanuts and it was perfection! Very yummy stuff!

  • I like the look of this recipe and I kind of thing that it is the look that first gains our interest, and then drives us to try for ourselves. Got to admit this looks so good, i’m certainly going to give it a go. Only hope mine will look the same.
    Thanks for sharing

  • Does anyone know a good substitute for the corn syrup? It’s a decidedly USA thing, and I’ve never seen it where I live! Thanks!

  • This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it!


  • I Love Peanut Brittle!!! I have braces and I can’t resist I eat a lot of it:)
    Oh add some coconut shavings!!! It’s the BOMB, My mom bought some peanut brittle with coconut, omg so yummy at a James Dean gift shop lol.

  • this looks so good ! i want to make this! 🙂


  • YUM!!! Emma, I’m wondering if you can figure out an amazing recipe for pumpkin seed brittle. I had some from Williams Sonoma that blew my mind: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/spiced-pumpkin-seed-brittle/ I’m not kidding, I would buy and send you some if it were still available!

  • omg such a cool idea!
    love the creamy and spicy!
    wonder if you can add white chocolate in it or not?


  • holy moly peanut brittle is my fave candy!
    think i would only use the vanilla and cinnamon though
    love how it is creamy aswell!

  • I LOVE peanuts. I’ve never had peanut brittle though! I will have to don my apron this weekend! We are putting our Christmas decorations up on Sunday so this would be the perfect snack 🙂


  • i absolutely love peanut brittle and I always use a pretty basic recipe to make it as it’s so straightforward buuuut this year I think i’ll try adding a little spice – thank you!
    p.s actually in my family peanut brittle usually does happen in July for my dad’s birthday – he loves it even more than me (if that’s possible)!

  • Wow, it looks yummy and I will do it. Have a nice day.


  • Oooh this sounds like a delicious recipe. It makes me think of satay sauce 🙂

  • I LOVE peanut brittle! It seems so easy, I don’t know why I never thought of making it before. Thanks for this!

  • Hai Emma, i really love you food’s inspirations. Have you tried making any Asian food? In Indonesia, we have traditional “local” salad, named Gado-gado (this one is very simple). You just put any vegetables (steam them first), and pour cashews/peanuts sauce over it..

    check this: http://www.indochef.com/indo_26.shtml

  • i bet it’s so delicious.. in indonesia, we have a similar food like that and so delicious 🙂

  • Looks delicious! Convincing the BF we totally need this in our life starting…. now!

  • This looks amazing! The last really good piece of brittle I had contained bits of bacon in it!


  • Yumm. I’ll try this with pecans for a little bit of sweet and salty and spicy, too.

  • My dad LOVES Peanut brittle; he makes his own and it’s fantastic. He also loves anything spicy. I’ll tell him to add cayenne after reading this…he might also add chili flakes and anything else in sight with a bite. Thanks!

  • Yummy! I love peanut brittle!



  • Oh heavens, I’m drooling over these pictures! I hope your blister heals quickly, sounds painful; the things you do for us.

  • i was looking for peanut brittle TODAY!
    are you reading my thoughts???
    {use vinegar on your burn – i don’t know why but it helps}

  • This looks so super yummy! I’ve always loved peanut brittle.


  • Im not a huge fan of peanut brittle but perhaps the mixture of these two favors will convince me! Thanks for sharing emma


  • Thats just crazy talk…haha! This is a great recipe, I might have to give it a try 🙂

    xx Ashleigh


  • You make candymaking sound so simple! This looks way better than the stuff you get in a tin at the store. 🙂

  • all those yummy recipies!!! there goes the body :/



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