While I love peanut brittle, most recipes include baking soda, which really ruins it for me. In theory, it’s a good idea, the baking soda adds some air to the caramelized sugar, making the sheets of candy more brittle, but it also introduces a minerally, metallic taste that’s off putting to say the least.
My version of peanut brittle is ridiculously simple to make, and leaves out the baking soda. Because it doesn’t have the leavening, it tends to be a little harder when fresh, but leave it in a sealed container for a week and you’ll have a brittle that’s just as delicate as one made with baking soda, minus the unpleasant taste.
In case you’re wondering, you can do this without corn syrup, but I would recommend including some kind of invert sugar (such as honey) because granulated sugar (sucrose) has a tendency to crystallize unless you introduce some other sugars into the mix. If the mixture does end up crystallizing, just leave out the butter and add the vanilla and you’ll have candied peanuts instead of brittle.
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