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Toffee-Style Brittle

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Yields 6 cups

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 126

This boiled candy is a good one to have in your repertoire because it’s so versatile. Depending on your add-ins, it can be classic or offbeat, sweet or spicy. Be warned that if you’re using red pepper flakes or cracked black pepper, the heat will build as you eat.

  • Vegetable oil for the pan, if needed
  • 2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. (1/2 oz.) kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped nuts (such as pecans, walnuts, or pistachios), or seeds (such as sunflower, sesame, or toasted pumpkin); OR,
  • 2 tsp. spice (such as red pepper flakes, cracked black pepper, cracked coriander, or ground cardamom)

Have ready a 10x15-inch rimmed baking sheet. If the sheet is not nonstick, lightly coat it with oil.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter, and 2/3 cup water in a heavy-duty 4-quart saucepan. Stir until all of the sugar is wet. Clip a candy thermometer onto the pan and cook the mixture over medium-high heat without stirring (it will be foamy) until it registers 310°F and is tan around the edges, 12 to 16 minutes.

Remove from the heat and quickly remove the thermometer. Whisk in the baking soda (it will be foamy), and then the salt. Whisk in most of the seeds or nuts or all of the spice of your choice. Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and tilt the sheet to spread it evenly. Sprinkle any remaining nuts or seeds on top. Cool completely on the baking sheet on a rack at room temperature, about 1-1/2 hours.

Invert the brittle onto a large cutting board. Use a meat mallet, rolling pin, or your hands to break it up into medium-to-small pieces. The brittle can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : 2 Tbs., Calories (kcal): 40, Fat (kcal): 2, Fat Calories (g): 20, Saturated Fat (g): 0.5, Protein (g): 0, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1, Carbohydrates (mg): 6, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 0, Sodium (g): 65, Cholesterol (g): 5, Fiber (g): 0,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Several reviewers below noted that their brittle came out too salty. The test kitchen responds: The Fine Cooking test kitchen mainly relies on Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt for testing, though not all kosher salt crystals are equal. Morton’s Kosher, for example, has a denser flake which, when used in the same volume as the Diamond, is much more powerful. If you’re measuring by volume, 1 Tbs. Morton’s = 1-1/2 Tbs. Diamond. In this recipe, you can be sure you have the right amount by weighing your salt.

Also keep in mind that table salt is even more dense, and using 1-1/2 Tbs. here will render the toffee inedible. Likewise, if you substitute salted butter or salted nuts for unsalted, that will only add to the saltiness.

I made this with the roasted peanuts and got rave reviews! Weighing the salt and using a candy thermometer it is a wonderful peanut brittle!

I made this as directed, and it was NOT overly salty. I think the folks who had problems must have been using table salt instead of the kosher salt called for? Kosher salt amounts are typically double those of regular salt because it tastes less salty. I had a little trouble spreading the toffee thin, but I am guessing I need to practice more. A little thick but tasted good.

This is WAY too salty, and WAY too expensive to throw out. I'm trying hard to stomach it and/or find a way to use it as is and would really appreciate any comments or suggestions, as Fine Cooking doesn't seem to be responding to any of our posts. Thanks!

I had the same results on the salt typo, it should probably have been teaspoons, not tablespoons. I also had the oiliness problem, but I just wiped it off the slab before breaking it up. I would increase the nut quantity by 50-100 percent as well.

I followed the directions for this recipe with unsalted, toasted hazelnuts, and the brittle came out VERY salty--as in "SALT LICK" salty. I have always been able to trust Fine Cooking recipes, so I didn't worry about the listed 1-1/2 TBS of salt required for this recipe. I had never made candy before, so...I went with it. BIG mistake. There must be a misprint with this recipe. I made a second batch with only half of the salt amount in the recipe, and it was still WAY too salty. (Sigh) I made a third batch using only 1/4 tsp of salt, toasted hazelnuts (last bag), and a hint of cayenne and toasted ground ginger. (It was an expensive day for me, being the test kitchen for FineCooking.com.) Also, oiling the pan for release left my brittle oily as well. I would suggest putting down a sheet of parchment paper into the pan. It peels right off of the paper. No mess, no greasy toffee.

I assumed the 1.5 Tbsp of salt was an error, and used only 1.5 tsp of salt, which seemed right for my palate. The brittle was excellent. I used a mixture of toasted almonds, hazelnuts and pecans, with a tsp of crushed pink peppercorns. Was very popular in my household.

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