22 December 2008

Blistering Peanut Brittle


The snow continues…It filled up all of the crevices in my backyard last night and has continued to fall throughout the day. The new snow is wet and heavy and still. There is that snowy hush in the atmosphere since the wind has subsided. Now the snow is blanketing the rooftops and resting in the evergreens. It is beautiful!

Even so, my family is beginning to react to the isolation. They are beginning to feel housebound. What’s more, with Christmas only a few days away, they are concerned that we will not be ready.

I’m not really worried. I know everything will be just fine. Christmas happens. Like birth, once Advent begins Christmas is an inevitable blessing that will take hold of us with overwhelming wonder whether we are ready for it or not. No matter the state of human affairs, Christmas comes! In fact, this might be the best Christmas ever because it won't be quite like any that we have known before, because we are so obviously not in control this time.

While I am waiting in my warm kitchen, counting my blessings, I hear my husband echo the weatherman, “Four more inches possible? Ahhhhhhhh!” It isn’t a pleasant exclamation. I am wondering what I can do. How can I work a little kitchen magic?


An idea hits me as I look through a stack of old recipe clippings, matching the list of ingredients to what I have on hand. I smile as I think to myself, "It's time to turn up the heat!" And I have found just the recipe to do it - Blistering Brittle.

This recipe is found on a yellowed piece of newsprint. It is simple and appealing though I have never made it before. It is basically a Peanut Brittle recipe, one of my husband’s favorite candies, but it has a twist. It coats the peanuts with a blend of Tabasco sauce and allspice before stirring them into the candy. What’s more I really like the fact that it is made in the microwave.

This Peanut Brittle turned out great! Crisp (though it can get a bit soggy when dropped in the snow), it is a perfect brittle and it packs a little surprise. So if you want to get someone's attention or add a little spark of interest to a classic holiday treat, turn up the heat and give this recipe a try.


Blistering Peanut Brittle

1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/4 cups peanuts
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside so it is ready to use.

Combine Tabasco sauce and allspice in a small bowl. Add peanuts and toss to coat thoroughly. Set aside.

Combine sugar and corn syrup (I didn't have enough light corn syrup so I used some dark corn syrup too. It worked fine) in a 2-quart microwavable bowl. Microwave on high for 4 minutes.

Stir thoroughly. Add peanuts and stir again. Microwave on high for another 5 minutes.

Add butter and vanilla. Blend. Microwave for another 30 to 60 seconds.

Remove bowl from microwave. Gently stir in the baking soda until it foams and is well combined.

Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.

As the mixture cools on the baking sheet, stretch it by pulling the candy with two forks to make it cover a larger area of the pan. This will make the brittle thinner and crisper.

When cold, break into pieces.


Share the heat with family and friends! Enjoy!

4 comments:

Jaime said...

wow, tabasco? i'd love to taste some of that brittle!

Grace said...

sneaking some hot sauce into peanut brittle? tremendous. i think a little kitchen magic is the only way to combat this foul weather. :)
happy holidays!

Christie @ fig & cherry said...

What a great way to cut through the sweetness! I can't wait to try this out! Hope you have a lovely break.

Mary said...

You are my hero. My husband adores peanut brittle and the idea of a bit of hot sauce is brilliant. Happy Holidays.