Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Brittle

The childhood thrill of picking sticky, crunchy brittle out of your molars is paired with the grownup pleasure of vanilla-toned bourbon. Use a candy thermometer for guaranteed success with this recipe.

Casey Barber

Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Brittle

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    1 tablespoon bourbon 1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 cups roasted salted peanuts
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    1/2 cup light corn syrup


    Prep: 5 min Total:
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    • 1

      Line a rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat or greased parchment paper.

    • 2

      Whisk the bourbon, baking soda, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl.

    • 3

      Heat the corn syrup with 1 tablespoon water in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan until steaming and just bubbling at the edges, then add the sugar and stir to dissolve.

    • 4

      When the sugar syrup comes to a boil, cover for 3 minutes to dissolve any sugar crystals that might be clinging to the sides of the pan. Uncover and stir in the peanuts.

    • 5

      Continue to boil until the temperature of the sugar syrup reaches 300 (the hard crack stage) on a candy thermometer. There will be a very slight change in color at this point, where the sugar turns from clear to just barely golden, but it's almost imperceptible. For best results, a candy thermometer is the way to go.

    • 6

      Add the butter and reserved baking soda, bourbon, and vanilla extract and stir vigorously. The brittle will foam up and turn golden.

    • 7

      With the help of a spatula, pour the brittle onto the prepared baking sheet. (Be extremely careful when working with molten sugar!) Work quickly to spread it as evenly as possible.

    • 8

      Allow the brittle to cool and harden completely, about a half hour, before breaking into pieces.

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