How blessed I felt earlier this summer sitting in the kitchen of my husband’s Nannie, making her microwave peanut brittle with her. One of the great things about marrying The Hubs is that I inherited all sorts of family members I would not otherwise have. Aside from a mother-in-law and father-in-law, I inherited two grandmothers, two sisters-in-law, a brother-in-law, a nephew, and a niece.
Being an only child, I obviously wouldn’t have had the latter four other than through marriage. And by the time I was out of elementary school, I had lost all of my grandparents. In fact, my dad’s father died before I was even born. Dad’s mom (of whom I was the closest to of them all since she lived in my hometown) died when I was about seven. My mom’s dad died when I was about eight and her mom died when I was about 10.
Since my mom’s family lives in Central America, I obviously did not see them as often as I would have liked. All these years since elementary school, I would hear about friends doing things with a grandparent – fishing, making banana pudding, learning to knit – and have felt a little let down, thinking of all the grandparent memories I missed.
At Nannie’s house in July, she surprised us by having a new yummy treat in place of her usual peanut butter cookies. Since Jason was a little boy, Nannie has always had a plate (and a doggie bag) of her delicious peanut butter cookies waiting for him (and now me, too!) when we arrive. That brat. This time, she had decided to make her homemade peanut brittle. Oh, my gosh. Addicted, people. Addicted. I’ve always liked peanut brittle okay. I might eat a piece or two if it’s around but it isn’t anything I get overly excited about or have ever thought about making.
Until that wonderful day at Nannie’s.
I felt so special as my Nannie sat me down in her kitchen and demonstrated every step of this delicious microwave peanut brittle recipe for me as she made a second batch, stressing certain points, over and over.
“You might have trouble finding the raw Spanish peanuts needed for the recipe. Many grocery stores don’t stock them.“
And she was right. I did have a bit of trouble locating them. I finally found them at our local Harp’s store. I rarely think to shop at Harp’s but that store does seem to carry some of the things the bigger chains don’t. I overbought because I couldn’t gauge how many cups were in each container. I bought four 10.5 ounce containers. It turns out that one container was more than enough for one batch of brittle.
“You have to be quick as lightning when you spread the mix at the end or it will get too hard. Yep. You must be careful at the end because you can easily burn yourself as you pour the mix onto the cookie sheet.“
Nannie’s microwave peanut brittle recipe is quite simple but you must follow it step by step.
First, in a microwaveable bowl (yes, this is a microwave recipe!) mix one cup of peanuts, one cup of white granulated sugar, a pinch of salt, and 1/2 cup of light corn syrup. Fight the temptation to add extra peanuts. Your mixture will get off-balance and won’t turn out like you hope. Trust me.
Mix well. The mixture will seem thick. Then, place in microwave (uncovered) for 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
Next, take the bowl out and stir. Place back in the microwave for three more minutes.While the mixture is in the microwave, take out a cookie sheet and grease it with butter. This pan needs to be ready before the mixture finishes cooking.
Next, (no picture for this step), add one teaspoon of butter and one teaspoon of vanilla. Dump them both in without mixing. Put bowl back in microwave for one minute and 15 seconds.
Take bowl out of microwave and quickly mix in 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. The color of your mix will change a bit with the addition of the soda.
Stir, stir, stir and, as fast as you can (FAST!!) without burning yourself with the hot bowl, dump the mixture onto the greased cookie sheet and spread the mixture. You have to hurry with all of these steps so as not to allow the mix to harden before you have it in place. But your bowl will be very hot so take precaution.
Allow the spread mixture to cool on the cookie sheet.
After about 15 minutes, see if it is cool and stiff. If so, wash your hands well and try to lift it from one of the edges with your fingers or with a spatula.
Once you can lift it, you should be able to start breaking the piece
into small clusters. The clusters will be jagged just as peanut brittle
should be. Break them all up, eat one or 20 pieces, and store the rest
in an air-tight container. That is if you have any left to store. I’m
Perfect, jagged pieces of sugary, nutty pieces.
After wolfing down about 10 pieces and sharing some with a certain spoiled husband, I have packed the brittle into a storage container to share with the other teachers tomorrow at our first day of district-wide inservice. Yes, folks. All good things must come to an end. It’s back-to-school time. Technically, I have been back to work for over a week now with various departmental inservices. But tomorrow is the first official day for school staff on the school calendar. I’ve already warned my teacher friends to sit near me tomorrow in our day-long meetings if they love peanut brittle or to sit very far away if they love their new fall skinnies. Later in the week, if he is nice, The Hubs might just get to take a batch to his coworkers.
Until next time!
- 1 cup raw Spanish peanuts
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp butter (plus more for greasing pan)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- First, in a microwaveable bowl, mix one cup of peanuts, one cup of white granulated sugar, a pinch of salt, and 1/2 cup of light corn syrup. Mix well.
- Place mixture in microwave (uncovered) for 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
- Next, take the bowl out and stir.
- Place bowl back in the microwave for three more minutes.
- While the mixture is in the microwave, take out a cookie sheet and grease it with butter.
- Next, add one teaspoon of butter and one teaspoon of vanilla to the mixture. Dump them both in without mixing.
- Put bowl back in microwave for one minute and 15 seconds.
- Take bowl out of microwave and quickly mix in 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. The color of your mix will change a bit with the addition of the soda.
- Stir the mixture as fast as you can while handling the very hot bowl.
- Pour the mixture onto the greased cookie sheet and spread the mixture as fast as you can.
- Allow the candy to harden about 10-15 minutes before breaking it into jagged pieces.