A Christmas Favorite – Brittle

December 13, 2013 at 10:21 AM | Posted in dessert | 1 Comment
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Golden peanut brittle cracked on a serving dish

Golden peanut brittle cracked on a serving dish

Brittle, is a type of confection, consisting of flat broken pieces of hard sugar candy embedded with nuts such as pecans, almonds, or peanuts. It has many variations around the world, such as pasteli in Greece, croquant in France and Chikki in India. In parts of the Middle East, brittle is made with pistachios, while many Asian countries use sesame seeds and peanuts. Peanut brittle is the most popular brittle recipe in the US. The term brittle first appears in print in 1892, though the candy itself has been around for much longer.

 
Traditionally, a mixture of sugar and water is heated to the hard crack stage corresponding to a temperature of approximately 300 °F (149 °C), although some recipes also call for ingredients such as corn syrup and salt in the first step. Nuts are mixed with the caramelized sugar. At this point spices, leavening agents, and often peanut butter or butter are added. The hot candy is poured out onto a flat surface for cooling, traditionally a granite or marble slab. The hot candy may be troweled to uniform thickness. When the brittle cools, it is broken into pieces.

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