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Peanut Brittle

Peanuts are often used in confection making and are very much liked by the majority of persons. They come in two general varieties, which may be roasted before use or used unroasted, and it is well for the housewife to understand the difference between them. One variety is the large, oblong peanut generally sold at peanut stands and used for the salted peanuts sold in confectionery stores. The other is the variety known as Spanish peanuts, which are small and round. For some candies, it is necessary that the peanuts be roasted and the skins removed, while for others unroasted peanuts with the skins on are desirable. To remove the skins from unroasted peanuts, they must be blanched by immersing them in boiling water until the skins will slip off easily, but in the case of roasted peanuts, the skins may be removed without blanching.

Peanut brittle is one of the candies in which peanuts are used. As its name implies, it is very thin and brittle and it usually contains a great many peanuts. Two recipes for candy of this kind are here given, one requiring peanuts that are roasted and blanched and the other, peanuts that are unroasted and not blanched.

Peanut Brittle No. 1

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 pound shelled, roasted peanuts


Put the sugar in a saucepan without any water. Place it over a slow fire and allow it to melt gradually until a clear, reddish-brown liquid is formed, taking care not to allow it to burn. Have a pan greased and covered with a thick layer of a large variety of roasted peanuts. Pour the melted sugar over them and allow it to become hard. Then break into pieces and serve.

Peanut Brittle No. 2

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup corn sirup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 pound raw Spanish peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon soda


Mix the sugar, sirup, and water and place it over the fire. Boil until a hard ball will form or a temperature of 250 degrees is reached on the thermometer. Add the butter and the peanuts without removing their brown skins. Allow to cook, stirring all the time, until the mixture begins to turn a light brown and the skins of the peanuts pop open, showing that the peanuts are roasted. Remove from the fire, add the vanilla and the soda and stir rapidly. Then pour the mixture, which will become thick upon the addition of the soda, on a flat, greased surface. A slab is better for this purpose than anything else, but if this cannot be obtained a metal or other hard table top may be used. When the candy begins to get stiff, loosen it from the surface on which it was poured, cut it into two pieces, and turn each over; or, if it can be handled without cutting, turn the entire piece over. Then stretch the candy until it is just as thin as possible, beginning around the edge. As it becomes colder, stretch even thinner. When entirely cool, break into pieces and serve.


Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Volume 5.


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