Grandma's old fashioned peanut brittle recipes make the most scrumptiously chewy crunchy candy imaginable. If you love the taste of peanuts and toffee, then you'll love eating the authentic peanut brittle!
If you've never tasted it, then you're in for a HUGE treat. Of all the homemade candies, brittles are one of the easiest to make and among the most delicious to eat.
Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)
One cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup peanuts. Put shelled peanuts, chopped if desired, in a buttered pan to set in a warm place. Melt sugar, stirring constantly and with considerable pressure. I find an old-fashioned iron frying pan is best for this.
When the sugar is a golden-brown liquid stir in hot peanuts very quickly. Pour into greased pan and spread thin by tilting pan. When cold, break into desired-sized pieces.
One cup granulated sugar, one-quarter cup chopped peanuts. Heat sugar until it is melted, stirring constantly. Add chopped nuts and pour quickly on greased pan.
Mark into squares when slightly cooled. Three-quarters cup peanuts in shell equal one-quarter cup nutmeats.
Combine and bring to boil 2 cups sugar, 1 cup light corn syrup, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt; cover and boil 2 minutes; uncover and cook without stirring to 300°F hard crack stage; remove from heat; stir in quickly 6 ounces or 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup salted nuts, coarsely chopped; spread thinly on greased sheet.
2 cups molasses
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Boil molasses, sugar, salt, and orange zest until it reaches a hard-crack stage (when a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water threads and breaks easily between your fingers).
Add butter and soda while stirring rapidly, plus as many halved peanuts as desired. Drop by spoonful onto buttered pan.
Grandma McIlmoyle's Handwritten Recipes (1912)
1-1/2 cups molasses, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon vinegar. Boil until brittle when tried in water. Then add butter half size of an egg and 1 quart peanuts chopped quite fine. Spread in hot buttered pans. When cold, break up in small pieces.
Lee's Priceless Recipes (1895)
Prepare the same as Peanut Brittle, only add the almond nuts in time to allow them to roast a little in the boiling sugar.
You will love the taste of peanut brittle, but when you come to think of it, why not try making it with almonds, macadamias, pecans, cashews, or pistachios too?
Simply choose one of the old fashioned peanut brittle recipes and indulge yourself by substituting your favorite nut.
Our neighbor Mr. Watkins made awesome peanut brittle, and I eagerly looked forward to sampling it. Though I was young at the time, I can recall loving it because he didn't skimp on the peanuts.
Ever since, when people ask me how to make peanut brittle, I always suggest throwing in an extra handful of peanuts to make a perfect batch.
Brittle-type candies containing seeds and nutmeats are an ancient confection that has been made in many countries for centuries.
However, peanut brittle as we know it today likely evolved in the United States as peanuts (a legume) became a popular snack during the time of the Civil War.
By the late 1860s, recipes for peanut candy and boiled molasses candy with peanuts began to appear in cookbooks.
The candy's name "peanut brittle," however, didn't come into common use until around 1900.