I’m here! I know I haven’t been blogging as much and it makes me sad, but one can only do what they can do, right? Before Christmas is here (it’s almost here!), I wanted to share this perfectly crispy, but not tooth-breaking-hard mixed nut brittle. That’s right—mixed nuts. Why not use other nuts and not just peanuts in a brittle? I’ll never go back to just peanuts again. In fact, this brittle doesn’t even have peanuts. I used a mix that is peanut-free.
My friend, Paige (chef extraordinaire), who blogs at For Love of the Table first introduced me to this brittle (the link to her blog is the recipe!) and I’ve made it numerous times since. I used some Planters mixed nuts that have lots of pistachios as well as the usual cashews, almonds, pecans and some Brazil nuts. Hazelnuts would be so good, too!
This brittle is easy (the stove does all the work). Some sugar and water, a little corn syrup and butter are dissolved, then brought to a medium boil. The only difference for me compared to Paige’s instructions is that she says it should take about 10 minutes to come to hard crack temperature and mine took almost 20 minutes. Just make this when you have some time to hang around the kitchen and babysit it a bit, but you can plan to easily get a few other things done while it’s cooking away. Check out Paige’s blog post for not only the recipe, but I love that her posts are always so full of the best instructions. I have never had a “recipe fail” when I follow the directions in her recipes.
I love Paige’s tip to have the nuts on a baking sheet in a low temperature oven to warm them while the brittle is cooking. Once the mixture is at the right temperature, you need to quickly add the nuts, stir and spread it on a buttered sheet. It begins hardening quickly, so to have the nuts warm, it helps the process, rather than if you add colds/room temperature nuts, it brings the brittle to a cooler temperature faster and makes it start hardening before you can even spread it on the baking sheet! Here’s where I forgot (waaaahhh!) to salt the brittle while it was still soft enough to keep the salt on top, but definitely add it as soon as you spread it because the salt is a great addition, even if you’re already using roasted, salted nuts. And it looks great with those little white specks on top. Even though mine was a bit hardened when I remembered, there is still a little finer salt on the top. I hurried and ground my pink Himalayan sea salt over it, so it wasn’t as course as it should be. But this brittle sure tastes great!
You know how when you break it in to pieces and smaller bits and chunks break off? I might have tasted a few of those, but only if there was a healthy nut in them. ; )
Here’s the link to the recipe again on Paige’s blog. If you like or love brittle—make this! It’s fun and perfect to give as gifts, too.