This Microwave Peanut Brittle recipe is quick, easy and more than just a little addicting. Perfect for family get-togethers, gifting, and snacking.
Every bite gives a wonderful contrast of chewy and crunchy, sweet and salty. The combination of tastes and textures is so delightful, it’s like having a party in your mouth.
And while peanut brittle is great to have any time of the year, for some reason, it’s just so much better to munch on during the holiday season. I know we’re still a little ways away from the Yuletide season, but I thought now would be a great time to share this classic holiday candy.
If you’re looking for a meaningful Christmas gift for your friends and family, why not give them something more personal? Ditch the generic presents and give them some homemade peanut brittle goodness!
Did you know that you can make your very own peanut brittle in less than 15 minutes? You don’t need to be an expert at candy-making, either. And, you can make it without using any fancy-schmancy equipment. With my recipe, you don’t need a candy thermometer – all you need is a microwave oven.
That’s right! You may think peanut brittle requires expert candy-making abilities, but it’s actually very simple and quick to make. Plus, it can last for up to 2 months, making it an ideal holiday present.
So, what are you waiting for? Impress your loved ones with your mad skills by making them this seemingly hard-to-make dessert! It’s an excellent way to show them how much you care, without having to spend a lot of time and money.
What You’ll Need to Make Microwave Peanut Brittle
You won’t need much to make this recipe. In fact, most of these ingredients and equipment is probably already in your pantry!
- Glass bowl. It has to be microwave-safe. Also, if you have one with a handle – that’s gonna make your life easier. If not, no worries, some good-old-fashioned oven mitts will do the trick.
- Cookie sheet. Make sure you have this ready before you start cooking. I’ll explain why in a bit.
- Measuring cup/spoon. The better to measure your ingredients with, my dear.
- Wooden or rubber spatula. You’ll need this for mixing and for spreading the candy onto the cookie sheet. And of course…
- Microwave oven. No further explanation needed.
- White sugar and light corn syrup. For that sweet ooey-gooey peanut coating.
- Salted peanuts. Raw peanuts will work as well. You could also use roasted peanuts for that extra nutty flavor. You may use whole or chopped, depending on your preference.
- Butter or cooking spray. As I said, things are gonna be sticky, so it’s important to butter or spray anything that’s going to touch the candy. This includes the bowl, the cookie sheet, and even the spatula.
- Vanilla extract. Ever wonder why we always add vanilla extract to all sorts of dessert recipes? Well, because it enhances the flavors of other ingredients, that’s why!
- Baking soda. Adding baking soda at the very last minute will create bubbles within the candy. This is what gives peanut brittle that crisp texture.
By the way, fun fact: One peanut brittle origin story says that the dessert was created only by accident when a Southern woman in the 1890’s accidentally added baking soda to taffy instead of cream of tartar. And while it turned out different from what she had intended, she ended up inventing a whole new dessert.
How to Make Peanut Brittle
The first step is to butter or spray the cookie sheet, bowl, and spatula. Make sure you cover everything. Otherwise, it’s going to be difficult to remove the hardened sugar from your kitchen wares.
Next, in a bowl, combine the sugar and corn syrup. Microwave for 4 minutes on high.
Take the bowl out very carefully (use oven mitts!) and add the peanuts. Use your spatula to stir the peanuts in.
Place the bowl back to the microwave. This time, cook it for 3 ½ minutes, still on high.
Take the bowl out once again and add the vanilla extract and butter. Microwave it one last time for a minute and a half.
Remove bowl from the microwave and add the baking soda. Keep mixing until the candy mixture becomes foamy.
Using the spatula, spread the candy thinly and evenly onto the cookie sheet. No pressure, but you need to do this part quickly because the brittle is gonna set almost immediately.
Let the peanut brittle set and cool for 2 hours at room temperature.
Finally, break it into your desired pieces. And voila, you’re done!
Tips & Tricks for Making Peanut Brittle
Making homemade peanut brittle is one of my favorites because it’s so simple. I love a fool-proof recipe. But here are some quick tips and tricks to keep in mind.
- Prepare everything you need before you start, particularly, the cookie sheet. As I said, it only takes a very short time for the candy mixture to start setting, and if you’re not ready, you might end up with one huge clump of candy!
- If your kids like to join you in the kitchen, be careful! This might not be the best kid-friendly recipe. The candy mixture is going to be exceedingly hot, so it may not be safe for this particular recipe.
- The cooking spray might make your peanut brittle a bit too greasy. If it happens, simply dab the pieces with a paper towel to get rid of the excess oil.
- Place your peanut brittle in a sealable container. If you’re going to stack them in a pile, place a piece of parchment paper between layers to avoid sticking. Do not refrigerate.
- Because you’re working with sugar, you’re almost guaranteed to have bits of hard candy stuck in your bowl. Cleaning may take more time and effort, but it’s nothing a little hot water and white vinegar can’t fix. Just fill the bowl with hot water, add some dish soap and white vinegar, and leave it for an hour. It will either soften the candy or dissolve it completely, making it easy to scrub off.
Peanut brittle is the perfect holiday candy to give to your loved ones. It’s cheap, easy, and so delicious they’ll think it took you hours to make! But most importantly, making something yourself is a wonderful way to show people how much you value their presence in your life. Give this easy recipe a try and let me know how it turns out.
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