The secret to making these peanuts is to carefully follow the visual cues at each step of the recipe. You want to achieve just the right balance between crystallized sugar and melted caramelized sugar.
- 2 cups unsalted roasted peanuts (10 ounces)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- Coarse salt
Heat peanuts, sugar, and water in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is grainy and crystallized, 15 to 18 minutes. (Sugar should not caramelize.)
Raise heat to medium-high, and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until sugar just starts to melt again. (Sugar will start to caramelize. Adjust heat if sugar begins to burn or smoke.) Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Once peanuts are coated, with some crystallized sugar remaining, transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet; spread into a single layer using a rubber spatula.
Transfer sheet to a wire rack, and let stand until cool and hardened, about 30 minutes.