Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Dad's Peanut Brittle

By Neil Waring
Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen and honored citizen.

I just read another recipe for “Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle” made with dry roasted peanuts in a microwave. THIS IS NOT OLD FASHIONED-THERE IS NOTHING REMOTELY OLD FASHIONED ABOUT MICROVAVES OR DRY ROASTED PEANUTS (dry roasted peanuts are tasty but not old fashioned).
So with thanks to my dad, who really made, “old fashioned peanut brittle” here it is the real stuff.

Here’s what you need – we will call it the Ingredients

1 ½ cups of white sugar - I try to find beet sugar instead of cane sugar. It might not matter but I live in Wyoming where farmers grow sugar beets, a tad too cold here for sugarcane.
½ cup of white corn syrup – this stuff pours out really slow, use your finger to wipe out the excess. Lick excess or let grandkids have it (I favor the grandkid approach but it tastes pretty good)
¼ cup water – Tap water only –do not use the bottled stuff – REMBER –OLD FASHIONED
1 ½ cups of raw peanuts- raw –never been cooked or freeze dried
½ teaspoon salt – Sorry but if you are on a low salt diet you must still put this in – my wife says, “don’t change it, and don’t leave anything out.”
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda – Soda not powder, they do look alike but soda is often in a bigger container. I remember one time when I switched (accidentally) soda and powder. It was before I had become the famous cooking expert that I am now. Anyway it was six or seven years ago –NO—wait a minute it was yesterday. At any rate, don’t mix them up. (Sorry for the bad joke)

How to do it - “ie” - Directions

(Ever wonder what “ie” means and why people use it? Well this is not only a great tasting candy recipe it’s a bit of an English lesson also. It can mean a lot of things but in this case “ie” is from Latin "id est" meaning "that is" or "in other words".
It is widely used to speed up writing because it takes such a long time to say, “in other words or that is.”
So here we go –“ie”- here we go


1. Rub some margarine on cooking sheets – coat them good (old fashioned no cooking spray – Okay use it if you must I do. Ever wonder why no one calls margarine oleo anymore?
2. In a 4 quart saucepan (the big ol’ pan no one ever uses) over medium-high heat, dump in the sugar, corn syrup and water and stir um up. Heat to boiling (lots and lots of bubbles) toss in the raw peanuts. Cook until peanuts turn kind of gold in color and syrup mixture beads off peanuts when raised out of pan. (Use a spoon to make this check, if you stick in your Jack Horner thumb it will blister).
3. Now real Quick mix in the salt and baking soda until well blended. (But don’t overdo the mixing) This is so cool it foams up volcano like and you need to be ready to pour or it will come right out of the pan—please do not think that this has happened to me, but be ready.
4. Pour it onto the prepared cookie sheets. (I love to say prepared cookie sheets like the TV fake chefs). Allow mixture to spread on its own. (Don’t use a fork – took me a while to get the hang of this). Cool completely, and break into pieces. Store in plastic bags. Freeze if you want to save it for awhile before use. Plus when I freeze it I will stay out of it and that can be good.

This is a great recipe – true old fashioned Peanut Brittle –Try It! –Can we say Yum here?


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