Tired of the same old holiday recipes?
This microwave peanut brittle recipe is a fun and easy alternative to traditional holiday treats. It’s perfect for those who want something a little more indulgent, and it only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. Plus, it’s a great way to use up any leftover peanuts you might have lying around.
With just a few simple ingredients, you can make this delicious snack in no time at all. And once it’s done, you’ll be able to enjoy the sweet and salty taste of peanut brittle all on your own – or share with friends and family!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup salted roasted peanuts
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
prep: 10 minutes
cook: 9 minutes
total: 19 minutes
Write step-by-step directions to make a microwave peanut brittle recipe
- Start by buttering a cookie sheet.
- In a 2-quart glass dish, combine the sugar and corn syrup. Microwave for 4 minutes on high.
- After 4 minutes, stir in the peanuts and cook for an additional 3 1/2 minutes in the microwave.
- Add the butter and vanilla, gently stir, and then microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.
- Add the baking soda and gently stir until thickened and foamy.
- Pour the mixture over the cookie sheet and thinly spread it.
- Let it cool completely before serving and break it into chunks for serving.
1. Start by buttering a cookie sheet
Buttering a cookie sheet prevents the peanut brittle from sticking to the pan. If it sticks to the pan, it will be difficult to remove and could break into pieces.
All you need to butter a cookie sheet is a paper towel and soften unsalted butter.
Here’re the steps:
- Wrap the paper towel around your hand, enclosing the tips of your fingers and pressing the folds against the palm of your hand with your thumb.
- Dip the paper towel into the softened butter.
- Scoop about 1 tablespoon of butter onto the tip of your paper towel.
- Rub the butter over the cookie sheet to cover the entire surface.
2. Combine the sugar and corn syrup and then microwave for 4 minutes on high
Sugar and corn syrup are what make the peanut brittle sweet, and flavorful. Combine them in a glass dish, then microwave for 4 minutes on high heat (also read: Is it safe to heat syrup using a microwave?)
3. Stir in the peanuts and cook for an additional 3 1/2 minutes
Stirring in the peanuts helps ensure that the peanuts are evenly coated with the sugar and corn syrup mixture.
4. Stir in butter and vanilla and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.
The butter and vanilla add flavor and richness to the peanut brittle. Without these two ingredients, the peanut brittle would be bland and unappetizing.
5. Stir in baking soda until light and foamy.
Adding baking soda to the hot peanut brittle causes the mixture to form a lot of tinny bubbles, and this is what gives the peanut brittle its famous porous honeycomb texture.
6. Pour the mixture over the cookie sheet and thinly spread it.
Once you’ve added the baking soda, the peanut brittle will begin to puff up and rise. Pour the peanut brittle onto a buttered cookie sheet so it and don’t forget to spread it thinly to ensure an even thickness.
7. Cool completely and break into chunks.
The last step is to wait for the peanut brittle to cool. Then, after it has hardened, break it into chunks and serve!
How to Fix How to Fix Chewy Peanut Brittle
When you’re making peanut brittle, one of the biggest problems that can occur is it doesn’t get to high enough temperature when cooking the sugar mixture.
This happened to me once when I made peanut brittle for my family bbq party a few years ago. I had followed all of the directions, but the peanut brittle came out too soft and chewy instead of being crunchy like it should have been.
Since it’s already finished, the only thing you can do is re-cook the peanut brittle again to fix it.
Here’s how to do it:
- Break the peanut brittle apart just as you would if it were to come out crunchy.
- Place the pieces of peanut brittle into a large pot and set the stove to medium-low.
- Cook and stir the peanut brittle continuously until all the pieces are melted.
- Once all the pieces have turned into liquid peanut brittle again, turn up the heat to medium and reheat it again. Use a candy thermometer to keep track of the temperature.
- Make sure that the peanut brittle reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit before you pour it onto your buttered cookie sheet again.
- Let it cool for 30 minutes and try to break it into pieces again. See if the texture is better this time around. If it does, then you’re all done. If not, it’s better to make it again from scratch but this time, try microwaving the sugar longer before adding the baking soda.
So you’ve just made a delicious batch of microwave peanut brittle, and you’re ready to enjoy it all on your own. But before you can indulge, you have to figure out how to store it, so it doesn’t go bad.
So what’s the best way to store your microwave peanut brittle? Here are a few tips that might help…
The best way to store microwave peanut brittle is by putting it in an airtight container or a zip-top bag. This will prevent the moisture and humidity from ruining the peanut brittle. Kept at room temperature, your microwave peanut brittle should stay fresh for about three weeks.
Peanut brittle can also be stored in the freezer for up to three months as long as it is in an airtight container or a zip-top bag. So you can make it quite ahead of time for any upcoming celebrations or get-togethers.
If you store a lot of peanut brittle, you may want to use parchment paper or wax paper to separate the pieces. This will ensure that the peanut brittle sticks to itself rather than sticking to other pieces of peanut brittle.
Although it is okay to freeze peanut brittle, it is not recommended to place it in the fridge because the moisture and humidity will ruin the texture and flavor.
Even if you use an airtight container, there’s still too much risk that the moisture will get in and ruin the texture of your peanut brittle, making it soft and chewy, which is the opposite of everything you want in peanut brittle.
Variations on the Basic Recipe
Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe for microwave peanut brittle, you can start trying out different variations. Peanut brittle is an easy recipe to tweak and make your own, so don’t be afraid to try new ingredients and flavors.
Here are a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:
- More nuts: Replace peanuts with almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans.
- More flavors: Add dried fruit like raisins for an extra fruity taste or switch the vanilla extract with almond extract.
- Make it bolder: You can swap a light corn syrup for darker corn syrup. This will give the microwave peanut brittle a richer, more intense flavor.
- Experiment with some spices: Try adding cinnamon, nutmeg, or clove and taste the differences.
Recipe Notes and Tips
Here are a few tips to help you make the best microwave peanut brittle:
- If you’re looking to make a large batch of peanut brittle, it’s a good idea to use a very large heatproof and microwave-safe mixing bowl. This will prevent the mixture from bubbling up over the sides and making a mess in your microwave oven.
- If you’re looking to make perfect peanut brittle every time, it’s a good idea to use a candy thermometer. This will help you ensure that the sugar has cooked long enough and at the right temperature to achieve the desired consistency.
- Every microwave oven can cook food differently, so your results may vary. You may need to increase or decrease the cooking time.
- If you’re looking to make a traditional thin peanut brittle, you should use a spatula to spread the mixture out in a thin layer. For a thicker candy just let it flow.
- Don’t worry if the peanut brittle doesn’t spread evenly in the microwave. It will still crack and break apart beautifully once it has cooled.
- If you’re having difficulty breaking apart the peanut brittle, you can use a meat tenderizer to help.
1. Can I use salted peanuts?
Can I use salted peanuts in this recipe? You betcha! However, I recommend omitting the salt from the recipe if you use salted peanuts; otherwise, the candy may turn out too salty.
2. Can I make peanut brittle without corn syrup?
Unfortunately, there is no direct substitute for corn syrup when making peanut brittle, whether using a microwave or other methods.