Seriously? What is it these days? I can’t seem to get a dessert recipe to work this month! First it was the Rock Candy debacle, and now I can’t even handle a 3 step recipe for Peanut Brittle… I am so looking forward to Baseball season starting, not that Spring Training isn’t fantastic, but I want to embrace the wonder of an all American summer tradition. I think part of why I’m so hyped for this year’s baseball season is that it was my dad’s favorite time of year, and I miss him terribly, so enjoying something that brought him so much pleasure will make me feel closer to him. Eh, but enough of the sappy self reflection, and on to my most recent kitchen disaster… I was craving Cracker Jacks, the nuts are my favorite part, but I couldn’t find any around here. So, in my mind I went from sugary caramel coated popcorn with a few candied peanuts mixed in to sugary candied peanuts, and that brought me to peanut brittle. I found, what I thought was, an easy recipe on Pinterest.
It’s a Martha Stewart recipe, and I’ve had great success with those in the past, but that was not the case with this one… First I gathered my ingredients: 1 1/2 cup of peanuts, butter, vegetable oil, 2 cups of sugar, and 1/2 cup of water.
Then I generously greased a jelly roll pan (a cookie sheet with sides) with the butter and coated an offset spatula with vegetable oil.
Then I set them aside, while I made the sugar base for the candy. I measured out my 2 cups of sugar and put it in a medium saucepan. Then I added the half cup of water and a pinch of salt. I stirred it once to combine (I think that’s part of where I messed up.) Next I cooked it on high for 3 minutes. It was supposed to have turned brown, but that didn’t actually happen to mine. I think I should have left the sugar to brown and not mixed it at all before turning on the burner.
Once the 3 minutes had passed, I stirred the pot occasionally and let it “simmer” for an additional 10 minutes. Mine actually looked more like it was boiling, and it still didn’t turn anything like the amber color the recipe described.
After 10 minutes, I added the peanuts. I stirred the mixture to coat the nuts thoroughly, and dumped the concoction onto the greased cookie sheet. I turned around to put the pot down and pick up the spatula, and the entire thing had turned into an immovable lump of hardening sugar and peanuts. It looked like a sugary pile of … well, I won’t go there, but you can see for yourself.
Needless to say, it didn’t move. There was absolutely no spreading it out. I even tried heating the cookie sheet to get the lump to warm up and spread out. No such luck! Any suggestions from the peanut gallery?