|1 lb. can Planters cocktail peanuts*||1 Tblsp. baking soda (heaping)|
|1 c. Karo corn syrup||2 tsp. vanilla extract|
|2 c. white granulated sugar||2 Tblsp. butter|
|*Bob said that you should split all the whole peanuts in half, because it helps to distribute the peanuts evenly. (Note: Bob and I spent a most memorable hour and a half splitting nuts and talking. When I made this recipe with whole peanuts, I found no real difference. But this is Bob’s recipe, so you decide.)|
|1 3-quart sauce pan, at
least 1/8-inch thick
|2 smooth pizza pans
or cookie sheets
|1 candy thermometer||1 large metal spoon|
Caution: This mixture will get extremely hot, to 300°, and can cause extreme burns if not careful. Temperature is critical in making peanut brittle, so it’s important to keep an eye on the thermometer as the mixture heats up.
Lightly grease both pans with one of the tablespoons of butter, coating pans evenly. Set pans aside. In the sauce pan, add sugar, corn syrup, and the other tablespoon of butter. Clip candy thermometer on the inside of the pan, making sure not to let it touch the bottom of the pan.
Turn stove burner on to medium high and stir the ingredients as they melt. When the sugar melts thoroughly, start adding a small amount of peanuts, around ½ cup, at a time. Keep stirring the entire time that peanuts are being added. Wait one minute, before adding more peanuts each time, so that the mixture does not cool down. Keep adding and stirring in the peanuts this way until they are gone.
Important: Watch the temperature as it increases! It should be above 200° and still rising. Keep stirring as the temperature increases. Get pizza pans ready near the stove. The goal is to reach 300°, so keep a close eye on the temperature as it reaches 295°. When the temperature reaches 297° to 298°, turn off the heat and remove the thermometer; the temperature will continue to rise to 300°.
As soon as you turn off the heat, add the vanilla (be careful, as it will splatter when added). Keep stirring until well-blended. Then add the baking soda quickly, stirring to blend well. This mixture will start foaming up and increasing in size. Keep stirring it continuously.
Hold the sauce pan over a pizza pan. When the mixture reaches the top of the sauce pan and starts to overflow, pour out the mixture equaly into the centers of both pizza pans. Let the peanut brittle stand until cool. Then break into pieces, eat and enjoy.
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