Nut Brittle Block
This recipe for nut brittle block is from "Martha Stewart Holiday Handmade Gifts," December 2006. When giving as a gift, package this brittle block with cellophane, and include a small hammer and bow.
Yield Makes one 9-by-13-inch pan
- Unsalted butter, softened, for baking sheet
- Vegetable oil, for spatula
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- Pinch of salt
- 2 1/2 cups unsalted nuts, such as dry-roasted peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, almonds or pecans, or toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Brush a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet with butter, and oil an offset spatula; set aside. Put sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan with 1/4 cup cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Wash down sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer (soft-ball stage). Stir in nuts, and continue to cook, stirring often so that the nuts do not burn, until the mixture is medium amber in color, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Carefully stir in vanilla and baking soda (the mixture will foam up).
- Pour onto prepared baking sheet, and using oiled offset spatula, quickly spread into a 1/2-inch-thick layer. Let cool completely.
- Break brittle into pieces if desired; store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 month.
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