I’ll admit it: I kinda forgot about Father’s Day. Only kinda. Saturday morning I slapped my forehead and said “dammit I forgot to get Dad something!” Luckily my dad is particularly easy to get gifts for, and usually, his gifts involve some kind of food. My dad happens to be a big fan of See’s peanut brittle, so I decided to try making a homemade version for him.

Brittle, of course, is candy. Candy involves making sugar syrup (one or more kinds of sugar melted with water.) Sugar syrup is the base of all different kinds of candies: fudge, taffy, caramel, nougat, as well as hard candies such as brittle. The difference is the temperature to which the sugar syrup is heated. Different temperatures yield different hardnesses, as you can see here.

cooking peanut brittle!

cooking peanut brittle!

I used this recipe, and for once I didn’t modify it much. I’m not new to candy making; in fact, I make chocolate fudge for the neighbors every year (that recipe, by the way, is a family secret.) Candy is a science, however, so I’d rather not tinker with a new recipe the first time I make it. The only thing I changed was the peanuts. I could not find raw peanuts, so I went ahead and used dry roasted and lightly salted peanuts. I also poured all of the brittle onto a single baking sheet rather than two. It was hard to spread out and set up pretty fast.

peanut brittle cooling

peanut brittle cooling on a baking sheet – smells so good!

Sweets of any kind go fast in this house; I just barely managed a few snaps of the final product before much of it was devoured:

This brittle is not too hard and it’s absolutely loaded with peanuts so it kind of crumbles in your mouth. Surprisingly enough, it’s actually not too sweet; cooking the sugar for so long allows it to develop some deeper, more complex flavors. So, rather than just tasting like sugar, the brittle tastes nutty and buttery. It’s also easy to make, and if you pack it in a decorative tin, it makes a great gift! Happy Fathers Day, everybody!

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