Food & Drink

Peanut Brittle with Sorghum

Makes about 1 pound of brittle

Brian Noyes of Red Truck Bakery in Marshall, Virginia, shares a recipe rooted in sweet family memories

photo: ANDREW THOMAS LEE


“My grandmother’s ‘Welcome to North Carolina’ gesture during my summer visits there was to let me help her make peanut brittle on the stovetop,” says Brian Noyes, founder of Red Truck Bakery in Marshall, Virginia, and author of the new Red Truck Bakery Cookbook. “My first job as a youngster was to simply stir, though she ultimately taught me and trusted me with every step of the process.”

“Whenever we need peanuts for a recipe, we grab a tin of Belmont Peanuts off our own retail shelves. Grown and roasted by Patsy Marks and her family on their farm in Capon, Virginia, just above the North Carolina border, they have a bold buttery flavor and an underlying savory sensibility,” he says. “The Virginia variety is the largest type of peanut, so they add a satisfying crunch to complement the brittle’s crackle.”


Ingredients

    • Nonstick cooking spray

    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    • 1 cup sugar

    • ½ cup sorghum syrup

    • ½ cup corn syrup

    • 1 teaspoon baking soda

    • 2 cups roasted salted peanuts


Preparation

  1. Line a 9 x 12-inch baking sheet with foil and lightly coat the foil with nonstick spray. Coat a metal offset spatula with nonstick spray.

  2. In a large saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer (if you have one), melt the butter over low heat. Increase the heat to medium and add the sugar, sorghum syrup, corn syrup, and baking soda. Cook, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until deep golden brown, at least 10 minutes. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches 300°F on the candy thermometer, then remove the pan from the heat. (Alternatively, use a spoon to scoop up a bit of the mixture and dip it in a cup of cold water. When it hardens, remove the pan from the heat.)

  3. Quickly add the peanuts to the hot mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, quickly spreading it into an even layer with the prepared offset spatula. Let cool for 30 minutes, then break the brittle into large pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe reprinted from Red Truck Bakery Cookbook: Gold-Standard Recipes from America’s Favorite Rural Bakery. Copyright © 2018 by Brian Noyes. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Andrew Thomas Lee. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.


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