Mixed Nut Brittle Recipe
Nut brittle is easy to make, travels well, and actually improves in flavor with age, making it the ideal treat to give as a gift or to fill your own candy dish at home. Some trace the history of peanut brittle to a resourceful Southern housewife who, in the late 1800s, added roasted peanuts and baking soda to a failed batch of taffy, creating brittle instead. Whatever its origins are, nut brittle became a much-loved holiday tradition, not only for its tempting flavor but also for how easy it is to prepare, even for a novice candymaker. Brittle that’s made with peanuts grew even more popular in the 1900s as farmers in Virginia and Georgia increased their production of the nut. We added that other Southern powerhouse—pecans—to this version, as well as a handful or two of cashews and whole almonds for a tasty change of pace.
For a thinner, more delicate brittle, you can “stretch” it: After spreading the brittle onto the baking sheet, cool slightly for a minute or two just until the candy is pliable but still too hot to touch with your bare hands. Run a long, thin spatula under the candy to loosen it from the baking sheet, and (wearing clean rubber gloves) lift the edges and gently pull and stretch the candy. Move into the middle, pulling gently without tearing it, to make the brittle slightly thinner. You can leave it on the baking sheet to do this, stretching over the sides of the pan, or turn it out onto a marble or granite countertop or cutting board to make it easier to work with.