Soft peanut brittle is such a fun and unusual candy to make for the holidays. If you’ve never heard of it (and so many people are surprised and delighted to find it exists), it’s a softer, flaky version of classic peanut brittle candy, The best I can describe the texture is akin to a Butterfinger bar, but with about 1000 times more peanut butter flavor and loads of crunchy, bumpy peanuts. Imagine one of the old Munch Bars, but soft.
Soft Peanut Brittle and Goodart's Peanut Patties
Now I do have a history with Soft Peanut Brittle, which is partly due to my heritage as a Texan. Texas is known for pecans, but it’s also a peanut producing state and we eat lots of peanut candy (not all of which is made in Texas, but which Texans are fond of). One that comes to mind is the Goodart’s pink peanut patties made in Lubbock. Unlike the Soft Peanut Brittle recipe here, the Goodart’s candy is a peanut candy without peanut butter. It’s almost like a big, pink, praline.
Soft Peanut Brittle Ingredients
But back to this recipe. There used to be a link to one from The Nut Factory which I lost. But this recipe is a good one and very reliable. It calls for basic ingredients. Along with the peanuts, you’ll need sugar, Karo, just a little bit of butter, some water, vanilla and magical baking soda. The baking soda is there to keep the texture airy.
Spanish Peanuts or Dry Roasted
One glitch in my plans to make this more often is that raw Spanish peanuts are getting harder to find. You can order them, but they're not usually on most grocery store shelves. The good news is, even though the recipe calls for Spanish peanuts, regular dry roasted peanuts work. Dry roasted peanuts are already roasted and will burn quicker so you have to be a little more careful, but they work.
The Easy Recipe
Like crisp Peanut Brittle, this is one of the easier candies out there.The key to making Soft Peanut Brittle and I’d say most candies is controlling the cooking temperature and duration. Wouldn’t it help if I gave a duration? With this recipe you just need to make sure the temperature is rising slowly and steadily. I will add some more notes on duration when I make the next batch. There are some very helpful notes in the comment section, specifically from Bob.
Soft Peanut Brittle
- ½ teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
- 1 cup peanut butter, mainstream type like regular JIF or Skippy (250 grams)
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- ¾ cup light corn syrup (220 grams)
- 1 tablespoon butter (14 grams)
- 1 cup Spanish peanuts or raw peanuts lightly salted or unsalted
- Extra peanuts finely chopped, for sprinkling on top (optional)
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick foil or parchment paper.
- Dissolve baking soda in water and set next to the stove.
- 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.
- Combine the 2 tablespoons water, sugar and corn syrup in a large, heavy, nonstick saucepan. Stir until fully blended, then cook over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer or a deep fry thermometer reads 275F. Lower heat slightly, add butter and peanuts and stir constantly over medium until candy thermometer reads 300 degrees.
- 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 ½ inch thick, but preferably thinner.
- Sprinkle the finely chopped nuts over the top if desired. Let cool and set.