Peanut Brittle

2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 cup peanuts, raw
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water over medium heat and cook to dissolve sugar.
  2. Continue to cook to soft-ball stage (238F).
  3. Add the peanuts and salt; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches the hard-crack stage (300F).
  4. Remove from heat and stir in butter, baking soda, and vanilla.
  5. Pour the mixture into a generously buttered shallow pan or cookie sheet. Let cool.
  6. when hardened, break into irregularly 2-inch pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Chef: crunchy, but not gummy, good peanut flavor, good thickness; prefers the more peanut-heavy pieces.

Personal/Team: Very good, not too sticky, good color. We used aluminum foil in a sheet pan and there was some inconsistency of thickness, knowing how much the recipe made and using an appropriate sized pan would have made for more consistency in thickness as well as peanut distribution.

Lesson Learned:
Candy stages:
1. Thread -- only forms a thread if put  in water, syrup is cooked to this stage
2. Soft ball stage (235-240) -- if you squeeze the candy, it will be soft and you can drop in cold water and it will make a small ball
3. Hard ball -- if dropped in water, it will make a hard ball you can't squish in your fingers.
**as the temperature rises, the sugar concentration increases because you're cooking the moisture out of the food.
For peanut brittle, you want soft ball stage; if cooked longer to a darker color, it will snap better, but you have to be careful it doesn't taste burnt. If underdone, it will stick in the teeth and you want to avoid that as well.