I’m so pleased to bring you this delicious honey peanut brittle recipe, friends. Easy to make with a candy thermometer, it’s the perfect candy for honey-roasted nut lovers.
And just because the recipe calls for peanuts doesn’t mean it won’t work as well for cashews, pecans, or even pepitas. Use your favorite nut to customize it.
Peanut brittle makes a great gift, so make a couple of batches and wrap it up for your friends!
Watch my best peanut brittle web story here.
Why This Recipe Works
Peanut brittle is an easy candy to make, and this recipe is no exception.
It’s also easy to vary. Add extracts at the end of cooking, add spices, or change up your nuts. You can even make a mixed nut brittle.
This recipe makes the perfect amount to spread out onto a half-sheet pan.
The candy weighs in at around 2 pounds, which is a generous amount.
Even so, you can double the recipe if you’d like with no issues as long as you have a large enough pan.
The balance of honey and sugar is really nice, also. You can definitely taste the honey flavor, but it’s overly assertive.
There’s also enough salt in it to bring out the nuttiness and cut a bit of the sweetness.
How to Make Honey Nut Brittle
Ingredients and Substitutions
See the ingredient descriptions below the image. I will also add substitutions where applicable.
- Sugar: This provides the sweetness and the crunch when you cook it to the correct temperature. You could substitute half the sugar with brown sugar if you’d like.
- Honey: A lighter-flavored honey works better, especially if you don’t like an aggressive honey flavor. You can also use maple syrup for a different flavor. Or just use more corn syrup for a more neutral peanut flavor.
- Corn Syrup: Adds a bit of sweetness but is primarily there to help avoid crystallization since you have to stir nuts into the candy. Without it, you could end up with a sandy mess. Which will still be tasty. It just won’t be peanut brittle.
- (Water): I add about 1/4 cup of water at the beginning of cooking to moisten the sugar and make it melt more evenly. Consider adding a little extra flavor here by substituting some hard cider or regular apple cider
- Peanuts: You can use any peanuts you like here. I used big old fancy Virginia peanuts because they look pretty in the brittle. Feel free to use your favorite nuts and/or seeds or a mixture. The recipe calls for 9 oz by weight, but the recipe should be able to accomodate up to 11-12 oz, by weight.
- Salt: Tempers the sweetness and brings out the nutty flavor.
- Butter: Not strictly necessary, but it does help to provide a little bit of a creamy bite as well as some buttery flavor.
- Baking soda: The baking soda reacts in the super hot sugar, foaming up like mad. This is what lightens the candy and keeps it from being too hard and crunchy. Those tiny little air bubbles make a big difference. Do NOT subsitute baking powder.
This is a pretty straightforward recipe. Here’s what you’ll do:
1) Mix sugar, honey, corn syrup, salt, and water together and stir to get the sugar wet.
2) Bring candy up to a boil and cook until it reaches 265F.
3) Stir in peanuts and butter.
4) Cook to 310F. Off the heat, stir in the baking soda thoroughly.
5) Pour candy out onto a Silpat-lined half-sheet pan and spread out with an offset spatula.
6) Once the candy cools completely, break it up into pieces.
Note: allow at least a couple of hours for your honey peanut brittle to cool completely before breaking into pieces.
Equipment You Will Need
The most important thing you can own to make candy is an accurate thermometer. I know lots of people like one that clips to the side of the pan, but those aren’t always completely accurate, especially if you’re not stirring the candy.
With a good instant-read thermometer, you can sort of “stir” the candy with the probe to get a better idea of the temperature of the contents of your pan.
And speaking of pans, for safety, it’s best to always use a pan that is much larger than you think you need.
Silicone baking mats can be expensive and are not always the best item for the job, but there really is not substitute when it comes to candy making.
I used 1/2 cup hard cider, maple syrup in place of honey, and crumbled bacon to make this hard cider maple bacon peanut brittle. The rest of the ingredients and amounts are the same.
Stir some crisp, crumbled bacon and banana chips in with the peanuts. Add a little banana extract along with the baking soda and make an Elvis-style peanut brittle!
Spice things up by adding pepper flake or some ground chipotle to the mix. I’d add pepper flakes when I add the peanuts but wait to add the ground spice until the end with the baking soda.
Add some homemade or store-bought granola–granola brittle sounds like a great plan!
Use maple syrup in place of the honey and add pecans as your nut of choice for a delicious maple pecan brittle.
Pro Tips for Making This (or Any) Candy
Sugar can be very temperamental, so always make sugar on clear, high-pressure days. Humidity is the candy maker’s nemesis.
When spreading candy onto the baking sheet, spray your offset spatula with some pan spray to keep the candy from sticking. This will not affect how the candy sets up.
Remember that candy is very, very hot. Since you boil all the water out of it, the temperature is free to soar above the boiling point of water.
So, if some candy splashes onto the counter, just leave it until it cools.
The best way I’ve found to clean a pot after making hard candy is to fill it with water and heat it on the stove to melt any candy adhering to the sides of the pan. Then, just pour it out.
Peanut Brittle Q & A
Store your nut brittle at room temperature in a tightly-sealed container. It should be fine for a couple of weeks. If it’s humid, put a desiccant pack or two in the container. Just grab one from your bottle of vitamins, or you can buy desiccant packs online.
As long as none of your ingredients are made on shared equipment, this recipe is gluten-free as written.
It depends on where you come down on the honey issue. Some vegans will not eat honey, and others will. You can veganize it by using a plant-based butter in place of dairy butter and subbing maple syrup for the honey.
I believe there are peanut brittle recipes made to be cooked in the microwave, but I’ve never done it. Once the water cooks out, the temperature can go up fairly quickly, so I like to be able to test the temperature much more frequently than cooking in a microwave would allow.
You probably didn’t cook it to a high enough temperature. Make sure your thermometer is accurate and make sure to cook it to at least 310F or as high as 315F.
No. Toffee is generally made with brown sugar and more butter, making it a butterscotch-type candy. Peanut brittle contains baking soda, allowing for a lighter, crispy texture thanks to the bubbles. So peanut butter is more closely related to a honeycomb-type candy. So even though toffee and peanut brittle are similar, they aren’t the same.
- Spread it thinly to cool, and you can break it up into shards and use it for garnish.
- Spread it more thickly, you can grate it and make “brittle dust.” This is nice because it sort of melts in your mouth.
- Layer it with custard or use as a crunchy component in an English trifle.
- Bake pieces into brownies.
- Fold it into French vanilla ice cream. The candy will soften and turn into a caramel sauce surrounding the nuts. Like a peanut version of pralines and cream.
- Fold wee pieces into mousse or ganache and use it as cake filling/frosting.
If you have questions about this post or recipe, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can leave a comment on the post and I will get back to you within about 24 hours.
If your question is more urgent, please shoot me an email, and I will respond within 4 hours, unless I’m asleep.
A Note About Measurements
NOTE: Most of my recipes are written by weight and not volume, even the liquids.
Even though I try to provide you with volume measurements as well, I encourage you to buy a kitchen scale for ease of measuring, accuracy, and consistency.
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- 16 oz granulated sugar
- 4 oz honey
- 4 oz light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 9 oz peanuts (they don't have to be "raw")
- 1/2 oz butter
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- In a 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring sugar, honey, corn syrup, and salt to a boil with enough water to get things going (about 1/4 cup water).
- Cover pot with a lid. Let boil for 2 minutes to wash any sugar crystals off the sides of the pot, then remove lid.
- Cook this syrup to 265F, then stir in the nuts and butter.
- Continue cooking (keep stirring) until the mixture has reached at least the bottom end of hard crack stage (310F), or until the mixture is the caramel color you want. Do make sure it's at least 310 degrees, F, or your brittle won't be. Brittle, that is.
- Turn off the heat and then stir in the baking soda. Stir it carefully but thoroughly. It will foam up and look kind of like shaving cream.
- Carefully pour onto a Silpat lined baking sheet and spread to desired thickness. Let cool at room temperature. Break into pieces.
- Store well covered at room temperature.
Honey: You can use all honey instead of a mixture of honey and corn syrup if you really like honey flavor. I find that cooked honey can have a very assertive flavor, so 4 oz is fine for me, but you can go with a full 8 oz (by weight) if you prefer.
Advanced Technique: If you'd like, wear two layers of latex gloves, wait until the brittle has cooled off a bit, and then pull off pieces and let dry separately. This will give you a more delicate end product, and it will have a lovely sheen to it. Be careful, though. It is still very very hot, so pull quickly and don't hurt yourself. Use almost any nut or seed (sesame, pumpkin, etc) to make a brittle. Or cocoa nibs. Or crushed espresso beans.
Nutrition InformationYield 16 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 251Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 2mgSodium 155mgCarbohydrates 43gFiber 1gSugar 40gProtein 4g
The stated nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It is calculated through third party software and is intended as a guideline only.
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Thanks for spending some time with me today. Enjoy the honey peanut brittle, and have a lovely day.