Peanut brittle is one of those confections that could almost be healthy, if only it didn’t feel like biting into shards of hardened refined sugar and corn syrup–the dominant ingredients in most versions. But all those peanuts–they’re great! Chock full of protein, vitamins (especially E), essential minerals, and phytochemicals, if you’re going to eat candy, having one loaded with healthy nuts is a great approach. By trading natural sweeteners for refined ones you can make a much more wholesome peanut brittle than commercial versions–and while it won’t be void of calories, they are wholesome and healthy calories. There is also fun to be had in customizing the recipe with different spices: I like cinnamon or cardamom with a little sprinkle of cayenne for a sweet, spicy, salty mix–add spices at the very end.
1 cup Sucanat (read about Sucanat and other natural sweeteners)
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 cup peanuts, or any favorite nut
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1. Grease a large cookie sheet. Set aside.
2. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, over medium heat, bring Sucanat, agave syrup, salt, and water to a boil. Stir until Sucanat is dissolved. Bring to a boil and add coconut oil and vanilla, stirring constantly until mixture reaches 280F on the candy thermometer.
3. Add peanuts and continue stirring until temperature reaches 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads.
4. Remove from heat and quickly stir in baking soda. Work quickly and pour at onto cookie sheet. With 2 forks, lift and spread peanut mixture into rectangle. Cool and then break candy into pieces.