Thursday, December 20, 2012

microwave peanut brittle party!

Click HERE to print recipe only

I have so much fun volunteering at the Festival of Trees every year. The festival is a HUGE fundraising event benefiting Primary Children’s Medical Center.  The attractions include over 700 elaborately decorated Christmas Trees, Aisle of Wreaths, Sweet Shoppe, Gingerbread Village, Quilt Block, Playhouse Plaza, Gift Boutique, Santa Land & TONS of non-stop entertainment by local musicians, dance groups, choirs, etc. It’s a four-day Christmas party & I look forward to it every year!
I love being on the SWEET SHOPPE committee and this was my 3rd year. At the SWEET SHOPPE we sell handmade fudge, pecan rolls, chocolates, divinity, caramel apples, baked goods, toffee, truffles, brittles, popcorn balls, cotton candy, ice cream cones and every other holiday confection you can think of. Whether I’m elbow deep in the cotton candy machine or handing an ice cream cone to a child, serving at the Festival of Trees is MAGICAL!
This year besides working at the festival I helped my committee make 50 pounds of peanut brittle to sell! We were up all night mixing, stirring, breaking, weighing, packaging & labeling. The peanut brittle was DIVINE!  You probably know that I’m a failure with a candy thermometer. This recipe calls for one but you can make it without and IT’S MADE IN THE MICROWAVE. Here is a picture of the new (instant read) candy thermometer I bought & it's NOT instant read & it never got above 275 degrees with this recipe. I took it back & made many more batches of this peanut brittle without a candy thermometer at all.

The recipe is written for a 900 watt microwave. If you look inside your microwave there is probably a label that says what your microwaves wattage is. Mine is 1,000 watts so I decreased the cooking time just a bit but I don’t think it was necessary. 

I used raw Spanish peanuts because I love the flavor. I wouldn't use salted roasted peanuts. You could use raw pecans or walnuts instead.
I suggest that you have all of your ingredients measured out before you start because you need to do this quickly so it doesn’t lose it’s heat between steps. Also have several spoons ready so you can use a clean spoon every time you need to stir. 
It’s SO easy and delicious, sweet, buttery and crunchy. I have no idea where this recipe came from but it’s THE BEST! Ready, set, go!

 Peanut Brittle

2 cups sugar
1 cup white Karo syrup
2 dashes of salt
2 cups shelled raw peanuts (Pecans, Walnuts, etc.)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla

1. Line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil & butter it really well. Aluminum foil is optional but makes clean up very easy & also helps you lift the hardened brittle from the pan. 

 2. In a heavy glass bowl stir together the sugar, corn syrup and salt. It is much easier to work with if you use a bowl with a handle. I use my Pampered Chef 2 quart measuring bowl with handle. Microwave for 4 minutes. Since my microwave is 1000 watts I cooked it for 3 minutes 45 seconds but I don't think it matters.

 3. Stir in the peanuts and microwave for 2 more minutes. 

4. Stir in the butter and vanilla and microwave 7 more minutes (or until tan in color and an instant-read thermometer registers 300 degress.)  Since my microwave is 1,000 watts I cooked it for 6 minutes 45 seconds but I don't think it matters. My "instant read" thermometer never got above 275 degrees (see note about being a candy thermometer failure above) & it still worked perfectly using the cooking times instead of the thermometer readings.
5. QUICKLY stir in baking soda. Mixture will puff up. QUICKLY pour onto the prepared pan & QUICKLY spread it out thinly with a buttered spoon. Let cool.

 6. Break into pieces & enjoy! Stays very fresh for a least a couple of weeks in a sealed container. 


  1. Sounds very yummy...I think someone brought this to work once for a potluck Xmas party and it was delicious.

  2. We made two batches tonight, one with peanuts and the other with peanuts and pecans (we got tired of shelling the pecans from our trees). DELICIOUS!! Also very easy to make. Side note: have 2 people available. When you add the baking powder you need someone to stir and then hold the dish while the other one spreads it out.

    1. YAY! I'm SO happy to hear that you made it & loved it! I would love it with pecans & would absolutely LOVE to have a pecan tree!! I agree, an assistant would definitively be nice on the spreading part. I was doing it alone AND taking pics along the way, lol!

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  4. Made this last night using salted skinless party peanuts so I left the extra salt out. I didn't think it was turning out toward the end but I poured it into a pan and smoothed it out anyway. It turned out great! We love it! Thank you for the recipe,

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by to let me know you enjoyed your peanut brittle! It's great to know you used salted party peanuts. I wasn't sure how that would work. :) I agree, there is that split second at the end where it looks kind of weird & you wonder if it's going to work. Then all of a sudden it magically turns into peanut brittle perfection, lol! YUM! I love this old fashioned treat!

  5. I love peanut brittle, brittle of all kinds, actually, and have been thinking about trying making it in the microwave. It looks amazing!


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