Recipe: Dixie Peanut Brittle

by | Dec 7, 2017

Gifts from the kitchen and homemade treats are usually a hit for holidays and can be dressed up with a fancy container, gift bag or festive platter to add to the gift. Peanut brittle is a delicious treat that is quick and easy to make.

North Carolina produced 342 million pounds of peanuts in 2016 and ranks 6th in the nation in peanut production. Leading peanut-producing counties are Martin, Pitt, Halifax, Bertie, Edgecombe and Hertford. Most N.C. peanut farmers grow the Virginia-type peanut that is most often sold as cocktail peanuts or as the in-shell peanuts popular at ballgames.

If you are looking for more homemade treats for the holidays. Check out our past blogs for chocolate-covered peanuts and pecan-cracker candy.

This recipe is courtesy of the North Carolina Peanut Growers Association. For more peanut recipes:

Dixie Peanut Brittle:

Stove top preparation:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt,optional
  • 3 cups raw shelled peanuts, skins on
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

In a heavy saucepan, heat sugar, syrup, water and salt to a rolling boil. Add peanuts. Reduce heat to medium and stir constantly. **Cook to hard-crack stage (293° to 300° F.) Add butter, then baking soda. Beat rapidly and pour on a buttered surface spreading to 1/4-inch thickness. When cool break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 2 pounds.

**Note: In the absence of a candy thermometer, test for hard crack stage by dropping a tiny bit of syrup into ice water (let it thread from a spoon into the water). When the threads are brittle (not pliable) it has reached the hard-crack stage.

Microwave oven preparation:

  • 1 1⁄2 cups raw shelled peanuts, skins on
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1⁄2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Combine peanuts, sugar, syrup, and salt in a 2 -1/2 quart microwave safe container. For a 700-watt oven microwave on high power: Microwave 4 minutes; stir, microwave 4 minutes longer. Stir in butter and vanilla. Microwave 2 minutes longer. For a 1200 watt oven microwave at 60 percent power: Microwave 4 minutes; stir, microwave 4 minutes longer. Stir in butter and vanilla. Microwave 1 minute longer.  Add baking soda and quickly stir until light and foamy. Immediately pour onto lightly greased baking sheet; spread to ¼ inch thickness. When cool, break into pieces. Store in airtight container.

**Any cooking time adjustments necessary for lower or higher watt ovens must be made BEFORE adding baking soda.