I have been craving candy lately. But, I can't just run out and get it on a whim anymore. So, I decided I would make my own. But, I knew dealing with sugar would not be a walk in the park. Sugar can be temperamental, and you have to be careful with how you handle it. I decided I needed a quick and easy peanut brittle to make! It's the the perfect at home candy. It's pretty basic, so even the most novice cooks can make it.
Plus, if your kids are at home, this would be a really great science experiment for studying the states of matter! Tamara Gwen has a really helpful breakdown on how to show the different states with things like water and ice cube you can do before hand. Then, you can have the kids identify similar reactions in the candy.
- As the sugar reaches its boiling point, it goes from a solid to liquid. Using a candy thermometer, you can compare the boiling point of sugar to the boiling point of water and discuss why different matter has different boiling points.
- At the end of the cooking process, you pour in baking soda. The baking soda reacts to the sugar mixture and air bubbles form. These air bubbles are trapped in the brittle as the sugar hardens. When you break the brittle after it cools, you can see the trapped air bubbles. This would be a great place to talk about gas1
If you do want to do this with children, please be aware that sugar gets extremely hot. And when you drop it on your skin, it doesn't always come off quickly, making the burn worse. If you do this with children, their role is very much a watch and see until the mixture has cooled and they can break it up. I would not recommend doing this with kids who are too young to understand the importance of staying away from hot pots.
Quick and Easy Peanut Brittle
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup butter cubed
- 2 ½ cups salted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- Grease a quarter sheet pan and lay an over sized piece of parchment paper onto it. Leave a little lip to help remove the brittle later on.
- In a large stainless steel pot, pour sugar. Pour water on top. Bring mixture to low heat, stir constantly. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase to medium heat.
- Place candy thermometer in the pan. When the sugar reaches 280F, dump in butter. Stir.
- When the temperature reaches 300F, stir in peanuts. Continuously stir until mixture reaches 310F. Immediately remove from heat, stir in baking soda and pour onto lined and greased pan, carefully. This mixture is extremely hot, and sugar likes to stick to what it lands on.
- Once sugar has cooled completely (this will take around 2 hours), use hands to break up the pieces and enjoy!