Soft Peanut Brittle

11/21/2011
UPDATE:
Sadly, the original recipe I linked to located at The Nut Factory’s page was taken down. In the meantime, I’m going to try a few other soft peanut brittle recipes and will update soon. Thanks.

UPDATE 2: Okay! Here’s another version. This makes 1 1/4 pounds, and in my opinion it’s more reliable than the other recipe. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Soft Peanut Brittle

Soft Peanut Brittle

3.0 from 2 reviews
Soft Peanut Brittle
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A peanut brittle with a texture a little softer than a Butterfinger candy bar.
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Soft Peanut Brittle
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in1 teaspoon water
  • 1 cup peanut butter, mainstream type like regular JIF or Skippy
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cups peanuts, lightly salted or unsalted (I use salted)
  • Extra peanuts, finely chopped, for sprinkling on top (optional)
Instructions
  1. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick foil or parchment paper.
  2. Dissolve baking soda in water and set next to the stove.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl or Pyrex measuring cup, heat the peanut butter for 30 seconds or until it is soft and warm. Add the vanilla to the peanut butter.
  4. Combine the sugar, corn syrup and 2 tablespoons of water in a large saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until a candy thermometer reads 275F. Lower heat to slightly, add butter and and peanuts and stir constantly over medium until candy thermometer reads 300 degrees.
  5. Remove from heat. Quickly stir in baking soda mixture and softened peanut butter mixture. Pour candy onto prepared cookie sheet and spread as thinly as you can. If you have trouble spreading it, grab a second sheet of parchment paper or non-stick foil and press it down slightly. It should be no more than 1/2 inch thick, but preferably thinner.
  6. Sprinkle the finely chopped nuts over the top if desired.
Notes
To get the right level of sweetness, it's best to use mainstream peanut butter. I've made this with natural style and while it's okay, it's not quite as sturdy and definitely not as sweet. The chopped peanuts are to make the candy look a little nicer. Some batches are prettier than others.

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Comments

  1. Maggi says

    Ah yes… There is a saying that goes, A child with many names is a child that is loved many times. As is the case with this candy. I have seen this candy called Sponge Candy, Seafoam Candy, Honeycomb Candy etc. etc… It is quite tasty and very easy to make. Thanks for posting it!

  2. says

    Ha Ha! Maggi, you should read what I posted last week about Mexican Wedding cookies. I guess we both like the same quotes ;).

  3. says

    Hi- I tried this recipe, and mine came out as extremely hard candy. I’m guessing it cooked too long, but I followed the temps you have listed. Have you encountered this? Any suggestions?
    Thanks!

  4. says

    Hi Monique,

    No, I haven’t encountered that, but I don’t make this recipe very often. I am going to make it again for a friend so I’ll see if I can troubleshoot for you. With all that peanut butter added at the end, it should not be hard. Did you accidentally cook the peanut butter?

  5. says

    Hi again, didn’t cook the peanut butter, but I did add the PB to the pan rather than the syrup to the PB- but I don’t think that is enough to cause the dramatic hardness… could it be old baking soda? Mine is a bit old.
    Let me know how your next batch works out! thanks,

  6. Kerry says

    I made microwave Peanut brittle and it is hard but sticky and chewy.. Any ideas what causes this. I am so upset since my husband thinks I can make anything.

  7. says

    Kerry, just do what I do and blame the microwave. I can’t cook anything in that thing! I I can reheat things, but that’s it. Why don’t you try a regular peanut brittle recipe in a saucpan?

  8. Katy Rey says

    It could definitely be that the baking soda is a little old. I about killed my poor husband with flat, hard pancakes the other morning … ooops! Sorry honey!

  9. Diane says

    I don’t know what I did wrong.. I’m very careful at following recipes, but mine came out very much like chewy taffy or caramel almost. Nothing like described, after looking forward to eating it and wasting all the ingredients. It’s just difficult and messy to eat, and not so great. Oh well.. I’ll try a different recipe maybe.

  10. Diane says

    I was thinking now that maybe I should cook the corn syrup mixture longer? I’m not very experienced with candy making and maybe it just didn’t get to the “hard crack stage” ?
    I bet it’s very yummy when it comes out right! ;)

  11. Kris says

    Just writing in response to those whose candy turned out too hard. I have made this many times and will never make the mistake again of using a top piece of wax paper to smoosh it down in the pan. Instead, I use two forks and, working frantically, spread it as evenly as possible. This candy is supposed to look imperfect but the taste more than compensates.

  12. D.G. says

    I was so excited to try this, but it didn’t turn out. I didn’t quite see how 1/4 cup water was going be enough to mix all the sugar and bring to a boil, so I added just a bit more. Then it didn’t set up right, either. It is sticky gooey mess.

  13. Heather says

    I loved this recipe! I brought some to work for Christmas and EVERYONE wants a copy. Thank you so much! A local candy store sells this for way too much money and mine turned out just as good as theirs! Thanks again and Merry Christmas! A note to those who had problems, just follow the recipe exactly. Dont add extra water. I added the soda 1st to make it fluffy then added the peanut butter. And I thought I screwed up my 1st batch because it went over the temp it was supposed to reach, I wasnt prepared, but it still turned out great. Dont stress. After that I put my vanilla and soda in 2 seperate cups so when the time came it was all measured out and I just threw it in. Thanks again for a great recipe!

  14. says

    Hi Heather,

    Thanks for the tips! Hopefully they’ll help people out. I loved this recipe and a few people I know request this peanut brittle every year.

  15. Cindy Hannah says

    Ver interested in soft peanut brittle recipe doing it in the microwace. Have an ill friend who loves peanut brittle but can’t eat the real hard type. I have tried this recipe in the micro with no avail. Adjusting times and using a candy thermometer but no luck. Would so appreciate this recipe. Thank you

  16. Stephanie says

    I have tried this recipe and many others in an attempt to make “soft” peanut brittle. This recipe is just as useless as all the others. No offense intended, I absolutely love your other recipes. Making candy like this is just too easy to mess up. It is probably best to leave this to the pros. :-)

  17. says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Interesting that it’s working for some and not for others. It may have something to do with the type of saucepan that people are using. For instance, when I make fudge I have to use a thick, nonstick Anolon type pan rather than metal All-Clad or the fudge comes out grainy and hard. It probably has something to do with the way the pan is conducting heat and the way the thermometer is measuring that heat. I’m going to make it again and see if I can pinpoint any issues. If you have time, would you mind telling me what kind of saucepan you used? That is, was it metal (like All-Clad) or was it a cheaper, thicker, dark coated pan.

  18. says

    Hi Anna, I’ve made this recipe literally a bajillion times and it has come out perfect every single time so thanks for sharing it! I’ve used non-stick pans, some pretty inexpensive, and it hasn’t ever caused a problem. The only reason I can imagine for failure is if the candy thermometer used wasn’t accurate.

  19. says

    Thanks for the comment! I’ve also made it a number of times without any incidents and can’t make any other changes to the recipe other than recommend people use thick, nonstick cookware. I never heard back from Stephanie as to what type of pan she was using, and it’s possible she was trying to eyeball the candy rather than use a thermometer. Personally, I ruin candy when I try to eyeball it. The thermometer is a must.

  20. Angie says

    I LOVE this recipe! I made probably 12 batches of it last Christmas and every one came out perfect! Love love love IT!!!

  21. Angie says

    Oh, and I also used a very inexpensive non-stick pan. I think the main thing it the candy thermometer and pre-measuring as much of the ingredients as possibly ‘before’ putting the sugar, syrup, and water mixture on to heat. Have the peanut butter pre-warmed, with the vanilla mixed into it…and have the baking soda and water mixed up in a separate little ramekin. Have the butter in another ramekin and the peanuts in another…make sure to have all of these separated ramekins sitting right next to the stove where you are heating the sugar/syrup mixture. This will ensure that you get all of the ingredients added as quickly as possible as SOON each required temperature is achieved. I think that is one of the ‘key’ secrets to this turning out perfect. :)

  22. says

    Angie, thanks for daring to try it! And I really appreciate your helpful tips. It is a good recipe, but it takes practice.

  23. Charlene says

    Just made this and the verdict is still out. It is not very sweet, surprisingly. Does it improve with age? I used regular peanut butter. Thanks.

  24. says

    Hi Charlene,
    Thanks for trying it! I have to say, I do not remember it being less sweet. That’s interesting that yours turned out less sweet. Could you have left out some sugar?

  25. Charlene says

    Hi Anna,
    Thanks for your quick reply. It may be the peanut butter. I just checked the jar and it says “Natural” and “no need to stir” so I’m wondering if it is different than what I usually buy. If you have some on hand, perhaps you would compare for me. It says 3 grams of sugar for 2 Tbsps. peanut butter. I tasted the peanut butter and it doesn’t seem as sweet as I remember.

  26. says

    Hi Charlene, it sounds like you have Natural Jif, which should be plenty sweet. I think they call it natural because instead of using hydrogenated vegetable oil, they use palm oil and it separates “naturally”. You don’t have to stir it much, but it does separate more than regular Jif. I have both peanut butters here in front of me and they both have 3 grams of sugar.

    So that’s interesting that it wasn’t sweet enough for you. Did you make any other substitutions with the corn syrup or sugar? Maybe you erred on the side of less corn syrup than more and it made a difference?

  27. Kathy says

    It is interesting the some can make it perfect and some not. In my opinion, the problem is depending on thermometers. It is better to use a small cup of ice water and get the syrup to the correct soft ball or hard ball stage. Then mix in the peanut butter. We made the recipe our first time. Temp never would get past 250. But on ice water the syrup was nearly hard ball stage. So we mixed everything and spread on the waxed paper in a cookie sheet. I just tested it and it is cool and it is soft peanut brittle but not quite as soft as I would like. I’m thinking the syrup should get to a medium soft, not soft soft ball stage in the ice water. Any thoughts from candy makers who use the ice water method?

  28. says

    Kathy, thanks for the insight! I always flub up the syrup trick so a thermometer works best for me, but my secret is to use a deep thermometer rather than one of the cheaper bulb thermometers. I have a deep thermometer that has a small base so you can kind of position it in the center and let it rest somewhat. A lot of people like instant read thermometers, too. But I think you are onto something in regards to thermometers, because people might be using bulb thermometers that attach to the side of the pot and don’t always give an accurate reading due to their position.

    To answer your question about making it a little softer, the key to that MIGHT be adding more peanut butter rather than taking it off at a different heat. But like I said, I am not very good at using the ice water method so your guess is probably better than mine.

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