Peanut Brittle

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Peanut Brittle

1 cup corn syrup
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cups peanuts
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tbsp butter

In a heavy, 3 quart stainless steel saucepan, place corn syrup and water over medium-high heat. After it warms up, but before it begins to boil, stir in the sugar. Bring to full boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Insert candy thermometer after a few minutes. When the temperature reaches 250 degrees F, add the peanuts and salt and stir. Bring the mixture back to a full boil. Stir occasionally, but not constantly.

When the temperature reaches 300 degrees remove the pan from the heat immediately. You may do this at 290 degrees, if the desired level of brownness has been reached. Do not let it go above 300 degrees, or the finished product may develop a weak, spongy structure. Immediately after removing the pan from the heat, add the butter and vanilla extract, and stir (carefully-it's HOT) until the butter is melted. Sprinkle the baking soda over the surface of the mixture and stir. The mixture will begin to foam up and double in volume. Now you need a clean, smooth, flat surface to pour the mixture onto. A marble pastry board is ideal. Prepare the surface ahead of time by coating it with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Immediately after stirring in the baking soda, pour the hot mixture onto the surface. Leave the candy alone to cool, which will take a couple of hours. After cooling, the peanut brittle can be broken up by hand. Store the peanut brittle in airtight containers.



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