Peanut Brittle
Prep time
Total time
Sweet, buttery, crunchy Peanut Brittle is one of the most delicious candies to make. Fill a candy tin with old-fashioned Peanut Brittle for the perfect gift during holidays or any time of year.

This Peanut Brittle recipe is fantastic, with a rich buttery taste and loads of peanuts. But beware; this Peanut Brittle is an irresistible sweet snack. This brittle snaps when you break it, is easy to chew, and does not stick to your teeth when thoroughly cooled. Adding a small amount of dark corn syrup, butter, and vanilla lends an ultra rich caramelized sugar flavor to this extra-delicious candy.

Many peanut brittle recipes use raw peanuts where the peanuts are added at the start of the cooking. I like to use roasted peanuts for peanut brittle; along with being easier to find in most grocery stores, roasted peanuts are added at a later cooking stage and there is less chance of scorching the peanuts. Baking soda is added at the very end of the cooking which creates zillions of tiny air bubbles to give the candy its light and foamy, porous and snappy texture.

It’s important to have all your ingredients for this recipe measured out and all equipment ready to use. When the brittle reaches the necessary temperatures you need to be able to immediately add the next ingredients, you don’t have time to measure ingredients or look for tools in-between steps.
Recipe type: Dessert | Candy
Peanut Brittle:
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup dark corn syrup
  • ¾ cup water
  • 4 cups (1¼ pounds) roasted, skinless, unsalted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
Lightly butter two large baking sheets or jelly roll pans. Or, line the pans with a non-stick baking mat or lightly buttered parchment paper. Tip: place the baking sheets in the oven at the lowest setting to warm the pans until ready to use. The cooked brittle will be easier to spread in warm pans.
Tip: Before beginning to make the candy, have all ingredients, equipment and tools prepared and ready to use
Peanut Brittle:
  1. In a large, at least 4 quart-size, heavy-bottomed pan, combine granulated sugar, light corn syrup, dark corn syrup, and water. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir gently to avoid splashing the mixture onto the sides of the pan. When the mixture begins to simmer, cover the pan tightly with a lid for 3 to 4 minutes to allow condensation to form and run down the inside of the pan to help wash away stray sugar crystals.
  2. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, without stirring, until the syrup reaches a temperature of 240 degrees F, a soft ball stage, using a candy or instant read thermometer to gauge the temperature. While the syrup is cooking, wash away any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan by wiping upwards with a damp pastry brush so the sugar crystals don’t fall back into the syrup.
  3. When the mixture has reached 240 degrees, immediately add the peanuts, stirring to mix. Continue boiling the mixture, stirring frequently and scraping the pot bottom to avoid scorching, until the mixture reaches a temperature of 300 degrees F, a hard crack stage. Be careful, the sugar is extremely hot and will burn your skin if you touch it. Immediately remove pan from the heat. Tip: Lower the heat when the temperature reaches about 295 degrees to slow the cooking because at this point it will quickly reach 300 degrees.
  4. Add the butter, vanilla, and salt; stir carefully and quickly to thoroughly mix. Be careful, the sugar is extremely hot and will burn your skin if you touch it. Add the baking soda and stir quickly to thoroughly mix, about 20 seconds; the mixture will immediately start foaming and turn lighter in color and increasing in volume.
  5. After you have stirred in the baking soda, and while the mixture is still foaming, immediately pour half of the brittle onto each of the prepared baking pans. Do not scrape out the pan as separated ingredients will mar the top of the brittle. Using a lightly buttered heavy spatula (a spatula that is not too flexible) quickly spread the brittle over the pan about ¼ inch thick. Tip: You must work quickly because it takes less than a minute for the brittle to start cooling, once cooled it will be difficult to spread. Tip: You can stretch the brittle a bit while it is still warm and pliable to make a thinner brittle. Wear rubber gloves so you don’t burn your hands, lightly butter your fingertips, gently lift the edges and pull gently from the middle out to the edges. Pull all around the brittle to stretch to an even thickness. It the brittle is too hot to handle wait about 5 seconds and try again.
  6. Let the brittle cool completely, at least one hour and then break into pieces. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature or refrigerate. Makes about 3 pounds.
Recipe Notes
Equipment: Large Heavy Bottom Pan, Candy Thermometer Method: Stove top Pan: Two Large Baking Sheets Pan Prep: Buttered or Non Stick Baking Mat Yield: 3 pounds Storage: Airtight Container, Cool Place or Refrigerate

Help: Sugar and Caramel Stages

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