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Near Instant Peanut Brittle | Candy Confections

Near Instant Peanut Brittle

This fast version of peanut brittle is yummy and kid-friendly with its measuring and mixing, but particularly good for a game of Candy Land while it's cooling. Note: the microwave makes this a simple, fast treat, but the syrup comes out very hot, and pouring it is a parent's job.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  1. In a 1 1/2-quart microwave-safe bowl, stir together the sugar, syrup, peanuts, and salt, mixing well. Microwave on high for 6H minutes. (Times will vary depending on microwave wattage. We based these times on an 850-watt oven.) Carefully swirl the butter or margarine and vanilla extract into the mixture; don't stir.
  2. Microwave for another 30 seconds. The peanuts should be light brown, the syrup will have darkened slightly, and the mixture will be very hot (300° on a candy thermometer). Add baking soda and gently stir the mixture until it's light and foamy. Pour it onto a lightly buttered cookie sheet. (Tip: For a thinner brittle, first warm the sheet in the oven.) Let the brittle cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then break it into small pieces. Makes 2 pounds.
  3. WRAPPING IT UP: Our colorful gift boxes are simply plain candy boxes, available in several sizes from stores that sell candy-making supplies. We stamped ours using inexpensive patterned stamps (available at craft and fabric stores) and acrylic paint in bold holiday colors. You can also use homemade potato stamps and the like. Tip: For mess-free stamping, we like to use aluminum pie tins. Squirt in some paint, spread it into a thin layer with a paintbrush, then dip in the stamps. Once the gift boxes are dry, layer the brittle with waxed paper to keep the pieces from clumping. To give your presents an even more elegant look, first line the boxes with paper doilies.