Nut Brittle

1 9-by-13-inch piece

Although peanut brittle may be the most common variety, you can also use other whole nuts such as cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, or pecans, as well as toasted pumpkin seeds. When giving as a gift, package this nut brittle block with cellophane, and include a small hammer and bow.


  • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for baking sheet

  • 1 ½ cups sugar

  • ½ cup light corn syrup

  • Pinch of salt

  • 2 ½ 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

  • Vegetable oil, for spatula


  1. Brush a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet with butter. Combine sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Wash down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent any crystals from forming. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture reaches the soft-ball stage on a candy thermometer (238 degrees).

  2. Stir in the nuts; continue to cook, stirring often so the nuts do not burn, until the mixture is golden amber in color. Remove from heat.

  3. Carefully stir in vanilla and baking soda. The mixture will foam up in the pan. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, and quickly spread with an oiled metal spatula. Set aside until completely cool. Break into pieces to serve. Brittle can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 month.

    holiday handbook 2011 brittle
    Joseph De Leo


For a Caribbean twist, add 1 cup shredded coconut along with cashews.

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