Delicious homemade peanut brittle
Step 1. Place a silicone baking mat onto a half-size sheet pan, or grease the pan well. Keep a Thermapen on the kitchen counter right by your stovetop where you’ll be working.
Step 2. In a medium saucepan combine water, sugar, and corn syrup. Clean the sides of the pan with a pastry brush and water. Turn the heat on to medium-high and allow to heat to 270ºF (132ºF), checking with your Thermapen to hit the temp on the nose. Do not stir.[gallery link="file" size="medium" ids="25880,25881,25882"]
Step 3. Once the sugar has reached 270ºF (132ºC) add the peanuts and stirring constantly over the heat (using a high heat silicone spatula or wooden spoon) until the temperature reaches 300ºF (149ºC), infusing the brittle with peanutty flavor. (By this temperature, the sugars should be stable enough to stir.)[gallery link="file" columns="2" size="medium" ids="25908,25884,25885,25886"]
Step 4. Once the mixture reaches 300ºF (149ºC), remove from the heat and add the butter, vanilla, and baking soda—stirring actively. The mixture will rapidly aerate (think volcano science project). Continue stirring until the butter melts completely.[gallery link="file" size="medium" ids="25887,25888,25889"]
Step 5. Pour the peanut brittle onto the prepared baking pan, spread with a silicone spatula, and allow to cool for 30-60 minutes. Once cooled and set, break into shards.[gallery link="file" columns="2" size="medium" ids="25890,25892,25893,25894"]
Note that the temperatures we call for and the ones in the images differ. We subtract 9°F from any candy temperatures at our elevation. The conversion is -1°F for every 500 ft above sea level. If you don’t make the conversion, you’ll overcook your candy.