My mother, Lucille, was very well known for her peanut brittle in this hill country area and she sold it to the tourist and retailer’s, including stores, gift shops, restaurants, and camps. She would fill quart jars with that crunchy goodness and put a cloth on the lid and tie on ribbon or raffia. I designed and made labels for her with a really cute logo I found on the internet. My mom first learned to make brittle as a child, cooking it on a wood burning stove, and in her later years she used the microwave. In her honor I will carry on the tradition and pass it on to future family members.
Measure all ingredients and have them in separate containers. You will need a microwavable 2 quart container preferably with a handle. I use a 2 quart glass measuring bowl with a handle. You will also need a wooden spoon.
Mix syrup and sugar in the 2-quart container.
Microwave the mixture for 3 minutes and 30 seconds. The syrup will be bubbly.
Remove bowl from microwave and add the peanuts and quickly stir.
Return the container to the microwave and set timer for 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
When timer sounds, check to see if the syrup has started to turn gold and if not continue to microwave at 15 second intervals until it begins to turn a deep gold. It usually does not take more than 5 minutes.
Remove from microwave and add the butter, vanilla and baking soda and stir incorporating everything well.
The mixture will begin to foam.
Quickly pour mixture onto a well buttered cookie sheet or buttered foil lined cookie sheet or onto a Silpat. I prefer using a Silpat as the brittle comes away from the Silpat very easily.
Spread the brittle with the back of a wooden spoon until it is about ¼ inch thick.
Move to a rack to further cool.
When brittle has cooled some and begins to harden remove brittle from pan or Silpat and place on rack to cool completely.
When the brittle has fully cooled I put it upside down on a cookie sheet and tap it in various places with the wooden handle of a heavy knife to break it a part. Place the brittle into plastic bags or containers to keep fresh.
Note: The following photos will help you to see what a perfect brittle color should be before it is poured.
Notice how the syrup is still clear. This color is not gold enough.
This color is almost there but not quite gold enough.
This color is perfect.
CAUTION: Anything darker than this and it will burn.