Making my Grandma’s Peanut Brittle is one of my favorite holiday traditions. This classic treat of salty-sweet perfection is surprisingly easy to make.

Grandma’s Peanut Brittle is one of my favorite holiday classics! It’s super fun and easy to make, and I love giving it as a gift during the holiday season! Cozying up in the kitchen on a cold wintery night and making this recipe is always fun!

Peanut brittle pieces in pan.

I have made my grandma’s recipe for peanut brittle for 8 years now, I have yet to find one that is better.

I’ve had my Grandma’s Peanut Brittle for as long as I can remember. I vividly remember a Christmas candy tray stemming from having Christmas at her house.

That was when I was young because I come from a large Catholic family with my dad having 7 siblings. Naturally, we outgrew my grandparents’ house and rotated it between my aunts and uncles and, on two occasions, at my parents’ house. But every year, we had the infamous candy tray filled with peanut brittle. My Aunt Patty eventually started to make it as well. But I didn’t want this yummy, tasty tradition to be left to her. So I started making it as well.

close-up shot of a piece of brittle.

Peanut Brittle Baking Tip

I remember calling my grandma up and asking her for the recipe. She first told me to make sure I wore excellent oven mitts because otherwise, I would burn my hands. She also noted that I should use oven mitts that I don’t care about just in case I need to throw them away. Okay, at this point, I will be honest, but I was scared. Scared that I was A – going to screw up massively and B – burn myself. Both are ugly situations.

But I let go of the fear and carried on. I went for it, and bam, it turned out amazing. She was right; the first two times I made this, I got the candy all over the gloves, but now I consider myself a pro.

The hardest part of making Grandma’s Peanut Brittle is letting the candy cook at the proper temperature. I am just not patient. I only cook the candy to 280 degrees because I love the brittle color at this point; my grandma cooks it until 290. Either way, this brittle is the best.

overhead photo of the peanut brittle.

My grandma made this peanut brittle recipe until last year; she said that at 90, it was the only thing she would ever still make; that’s how much my grandma loves us and peanut brittle.

Making peanut brittle in our homes is no longer a tradition. So today, I share my Grandma’s Peanut Brittle recipe, hoping you will return the homemade peanut brittle to your table and your neighbors.

Ingredients

  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Water
  • Butter
  • Baking soda
  • Vanilla
  • Salt
  • Spanish peanuts

How do you store Peanut Brittle?

  • Wrap tightly and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Proper storage should keep brittle fresh for up to two months—if you can resist eating it all at once!
photo of a stack of grandma's peanut brittle.

I’m drooling over this stack of peanut brittle; I can’t wait to make another batch.

I love the holidays because of all the yummy treats made. But my favorite part is making traditional treats for my family and friends, whom I grew up with.

Pin To Your Favorite Pinterest Board!

close up picture of peanut brittle with recipe title

Grandma’s Peanut Brittle

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 20 pieces
Calories: 241 kcal
Making my Grandma’s Peanut Brittle is one of my favorite holiday traditions. This classic treat of salty-sweet perfection, is surprisingly easy to make.

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter + more for pan
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cup Spanish peanuts

Instructions
 

  • Butter a large high sided cooking sheet.
  • Over medium heat bring to a boil sugar, corn syrup, water, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Using a candy thermometer cook until it reaches 240 degrees. Add Spanish peanuts and cook until thermometer reaches 290 degrees.
  • Note: I like to remove mine around 280-285, this is where I like the coloring and the crunch but my Grandma likes 290.
  • Remove from heat and quickly stir in baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Pour immediately into the buttered pan, and tilt the pan so that the brittle covers the entire pan corner to corner. DO NOT use a knife to push it around, your brittle will not look as nice.
  • Let the brittle cool and harden completely before breaking up and serving.

Video

Calories: 241kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 247mgPotassium: 135mgFiber: 1gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 35IUCalcium: 22mgIron: 0.7mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know what you think!

Similar Posts

153 Comments

          1. We usually use salted in all our recipes unless specified otherwise. I hope you enjoy!

  1. My Grandma has passed away, her Peanut Brittle is always in my mind, she left no recipe card, but I do remember making it with her adding the baking soda…and the fizz it would make! I can’t wait to try your recipe! I’m thinking it is the same as Goggy’s! Thanks!

  2. Super excited about this–I love peanut brittle! (Okay, I love the brittle and I love peanuts…I could honestly eat the brittle by itself, though…and I might just do it!)
    Thanks for linking this up to Twirl & Take a Bow, too! 🙂

    – Brooke –

      1. The only Spanish peanuts I could find have the skins on them. Do I need to remove the skins or is it alright to leave them on?

    1. I would love to make a pecan brittle. I don’t think you can go wrong with any nut in a brittle. xo San

  3. Oh, God, … . … I’m going to try it right now……..I have all the stuff………….I like the little bubbles in it, it manes it so light. Oh well, Here goes……………… Thanks

      1. Not the same Bethany but had the same result. Used a candy thermometer and it never fully set up. Just had to throw it out. I could roll it into a tube because it was so soft. Thermometer actually recommends taking it to 302 so I’m wondering if that’s where it went wrong?

          1. My grandmother just taught me how to make her peanut brittle and I remember her saying that you cook on the stove until it reaches a softball stage which is to drop it in a bowl of water and push down on it to see if it feels like a softball that is when you take it off and put the rest of the ingredients in

        1. Before you do any candy cooking check your thermometer by boiling water and testing to make sure the thermometer reads 212F. If it reads differently you need to add or subtract the degrees from the finished temp. IE therm reads 209 in boiling water you need to cook candy -3 degrees of candy recipe temp.

    1. Scott mine was soft too, it just rolled. I put mine in the freezer, then broke it into big pieces. Then put the pieces in a zip lock to keep it in the freezer. It is way to soft at room temp. The ratios in her recipe did not work for me.

      I’ll have to dig through boxes to find my mom’s old recipe. There are many recipes, all very similar. Try a few and you’ll find one that works for you.

    2. Butter, nuts and baking soda are to be added at end of cook…that’s why it won’t hit the crack stage

  4. So sweet to read about your grandma. I love that she said to use mitts you would throw away. Your grandma’s brittle recipe looks so good!!

  5. I love trying new peanut brittle to see if I can recreate my grandmothers. She made the best and this one sounds just as good.

  6. Ok so I made this tonight and was looking forward to having some BUT mine has not hardened up. Any suggestions as to why it didn’t?

    1. Hi Dawn! I’m sorry it didn’t harden for you. Did you use a candy thermometer to make sure it got to the right temp? You may need to try cooking it to a higher temp, at least 290. We haven’t tested this but you may be able to save your brittle by breaking it up and re-melting it down to the right temp.

    1. Oh no! I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you. Did you use a candy thermometer? If not, one is definitely recommended for this recipe! If you did use one, try cooking it to a slightly higher temp, like 290. If that didn’t work you can try to save it by reheating it and getting it back up to the temp, but keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn! Let us know how it goes!

    2. The baking soda ratio is no more than a teaspoon (1/2 a teaspoon for most candy recipes never a full tablespoon) Also the butter should be cubed small, and the butter, nuts and baking soda added at the end of the cook when it reaches the hard crack stage. Otherwise you will wind of with a softball candy more taffy like than a brittle.

      1. above she said wait to add the nuts not if there raw spanish peanuts I have been making brittle for 50 years I bring the syrup water and sugar to a boil then I add the spanish peanuts and cook to the hard crack stage some of you said that your candy is to soft do not rely on a candy thermometer they do break. Drop a small amount of the mixture in a cup of cold water you do not want it to be soft at crack stage you will be able to tell I have done it this way for 50 years and my candy always turns out

    1. It will bubble and sizzle when you add the baking soda, but it should go back down to the normal size. The baking soda is what gives it the light and airy texture! Hope this helps.

  7. This is the only recipe I found on the internet that comes close to my Grandparents recipe, which I thought was a secret lost time. Any peanut brittle recipe that uses a microwave should be considered dog food compared to this recipe. This will be a long post, and I apologize. All throughout my childhood when ever we went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house on the Island they always had warm hugs, cookies and peanut brittle. During High School they moved very close to us so we could help take care of them, which is also the time I learned “The Art” of making peanut brittle from them. Before they passed away they asked me if there was anything of theirs I would like to have and I asked for all their peanut brittle making stuff so I can carry on the tradition with my family. I am still using all of it to this day, including the aluminum pot they bought back in the 1950’s. When I say making peanut brittle is an “Art” I really do mean it, because you have to get the temperatures and timing just right. I’ve only ever given out this recipe to family to keep it a secret, but I agree with you Sandra, that other families should start this tradition as well. Watching his parents make peanut brittle is one of my Dad’s earliest childhood memories.

    So here are my recommendations: Do not get cheap ingredients, get good quality because it makes a difference. I don’t think using a non-stick pot is the best choice. Use a thin cookie sheet you can twist and turn once the peanut brittle has cooled, I still use my Grandparents pan and it is not non-stick, because it didn’t exist way back then. Use a metal stirring spoon that has open slots in the spoon part. Only use “raw” Spanish peanuts, they taste horrible raw but get cooked. Use a very good quality candy thermometer, this is a must! The thermometer my Grandparents used no longer had any temperature numbers on the lower half anymore because it had been used so much and only had two scratch marks on it for the peanut brittle temperatures. When I got a good quality thermometer I had to put it in the pot with their old one to even figure out what the temperature actually were. I still have their old one but its bee retired. You also have to always keep stirring, just enough so there doesn’t get any hot spots. If you can’t find raw peanuts in your local grocery store, you can easily get them online from the biggest online seller.

    So now on to the recipe: All my ingredients are the same except I do not use 2 TBS of butter, the only butter I use is “stick” butter to butter the cookie sheet. I also add the Salt at the same time I add the Peanuts. The temperatures I use are 250 for when I add the Peanuts and Salt, then 290 when I add the Baking Soda and Vanilla. This next part I’m going to share with you I think is the most important part. You have to find just the right setting for your burner so the timing is almost just right. You might have to make a “throw away” batch or two like I did until you finally get it dialed in. From what I like to call a “cold” start, which is where you have the Pot on the burner (without the burner on yet), with the Sugar, Light Corn Syrup and Water already in the Pot and stirred together, from the moment you turn the burner on, it should take 11 minutes and 30 seconds to reach 250. It doesn’t have to be exactly that time but within 30 seconds before or after that time should be acceptable, but you should strive to get it perfected to get it as close as you can without having to adjust the burner knob during this cooking time. Then after you add the Peanuts and Salt (yes, the temperature on your thermometer will go down a little bit), it should take 5 minutes to reach 290., and constant stirring is off the utmost importance between 250 and 290. Do not let it go beyond 290 or your peanut brittle will be harder, so around 285 like Sandra suggests is a good idea to keep it more on the softer side. Like I said earlier, timing is the most important thing and you might have to adjust your burner setting just a little bit higher after you add the Peanuts and Salt so it doesn’t take to long to reach 290, which is why I think it doesn’t turn out that good for some people. Just to give you an idea, I have a glass stove top and I use the largest burner and set it to just a little past 8, which works for both temperatures, but I’ve used stoves in the past where I had to use 7-1/2 for the first setting, then turn it up to 8 after I added the Peanuts and Salt.

    Here is my last two cents: My favorite parts are when it first makes the transformation and starts to boil (don’t freak out when this happens because the bubbles start to get higher and you start to think it will boil over, but just keep stirring and it will go down), and my next favorite part is when you add the Baking Soda and Vanilla because its like you doing a science experiment. Here is a pro tip, have a plate nearby so when the temperature reaches 290, take the thermometer out and place it on the plate, then turn the burner off, then add the Baking Soda and Vanilla (which should already be portioned out and nearby in two separate little dishes), then take the pot off the hot burner and stir like your hair is on fire for around 15 seconds as it turns to the golden brown color, then keep stirring as you pour it onto your butter pan starting from one end to the other evenly. I put two hand towels under the cookie sheet so it doesn’t ruin my counter top, because this is HOT stuff. Then I immediately take this out to the garage and place it on the cool concrete floor, and say “Here kitty, kitty!” like my Grandpa used to say (They never had any cats and only said it as a joke, please don’t write any hate comments). After about 5 minutes I slide the pan over to another cool section. It usually takes around 15-20 minutes for it to cool off enough to start breaking into pieces. You’ll know its done when you can pick up the pan and twist the pan from opposite corners and you can pick it up in one whole piece (if you can’t, then it hasn’t cooled enough or you didn’t use enough butter on your pan). Winter time in the PNW helps keep the garage floor cool, which is maybe why I only make it during this time of year. Bring the pan inside and use a large bowl to break it into pieces over, and its easier to break up if you turn over the whole piece of peanut brittle and break it from the back smooth side, using the bottom side of your fist, and yes little piece will probably end up all over your counter, but I’m sure little fingers will gladly quickly grab them to “help” you clean up 🙂 I know this was very long, but I hope it helps make your tradition and memorable one in a good way. Sandra, I feel like our Grandparents were cut from the same cloth, which I why I felt like sharing this with you and your website will be the only one I ever post this advice on.

    1. 5 stars
      I enjoyed reading your very long post and look forward to trying this recipe for the first time with your suggestions!! Thanks for sharing your ideas.

      1. I just made this brittle and don’t cook to 290 it is to dark I think I will shut the fire off at 280 maybe better

    2. When my now adult children were young I made peanut brittle on Friday evenings to munch on while watching horror movies on TV, together. This became a fond memory in the family. My recipe would make you shudder, but it worked. We did not have the internet to find recipes in the 1950’s. I melted 2 cups of granulated sugar in a heavy aluminum fry pan and cooked it until it was golden. Then I poured it over a layer of peanuts into a greased pan. This worked really well but required that it be eaten the same night as the brittle would become sticky by the next day. With four kids and a husband that enjoyed it too, this was not a problem.
      I have just finished making a batch of peanut brittle using your recipe. I should have read your comment first, as the cooling pan I used was too small resulting in a thicker slab. The pan was also glass, rather than the metal you advise. Also the pan I cooked the brittle in was heavy and prevented me from pouring the result around the pan. This resulted in many peanuts in the middle. Live and learn.
      I made this recipe for a family Disney movie streaming over Zoom, due to the Covid pandemic. The family now includes our great grand children. We plan on placing the peanut brittle in a bowl with a sign that says, “Eat Your Heart Out,” as my husband and I munch together. We will share what is left over, if there is any.

    3. 4 stars
      The recipe didn’t specify whether roasted or raw peanuts were to be used. That’s the only reason I knocked off a star. I have always used raw peanuts so I did in this recipe, and they were not cooked enough. I took the peanut brittle off the heat at 285 degrees, and really wish I would have cooked it longer. I will make another batch eventually and test all three of my candy thermometers to make sure I have an accurate one, that may have been part of my problem. The candy part was also not as dark or hard as I like. I tried this recipe because I can’t find the absolute best one I had for years. I know this one was similar except I am pretty sure butter was added at the end, along with the baking soda and vanilla. Loved Brian’s long post from 2019, and the tips!

      1. 2 stars
        Do you need to get the hull (I think that’s what it is called. The brown covering off of the Spanish peanut before cooking?

      2. Great recipe. Making brittle is an art. Every stove cooks differently, so you have to adjust your stove temp setting accordingly. Start to finish should take about 30 minutes, don’t rush it…. Candy thermometer is a must. I cook between the soft and hard ball stage! Almost perfect every time..

  8. 5 stars
    What a delicious recipe. I have a cashew brittle recipe that I top with sea salt and this is similar. You just can’t go wrong with this for the perfect handmade gift for over the holidays. I absolutely love trying different versions!

    1. Thank you Ali! I love the idea of cashew brittle, and the sea salt on top sounds mouth watering!

  9. I wanted to give my Dad a wonderful gift last year. He really missed some good old fashion peanut brittle. I used your recipe and he made us veg for some out of his stash. He loved it. Today I will be making another large batch for him. Thank you for helping me bring back some childhood memories for him.

    1. That is a really sweet gift! I’m so glad you were able to do that for him with this recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  10. 5 stars
    This is such a great recipe! I was always kind of afraid to try peanut brittle, but it wasn’t a huge deal at all and it was so tasty! Everyone loved it, thanks!

    1. Hi Sharon! This peanut brittle is gluten-free. If you’re cooking for someone with severe issues with gluten, just be sure to check for a gluten-free label on each ingredient. The main ones to watch out for are the baking soda, vanilla, and peanuts as they can be processed on shared lines. I hope this helps, enjoy!

  11. 5 stars
    My first time making peanut brittle and I followed your recipe. It turned out perfectly. Everyone loved it. It got hard and cracked loudly. The taste is addictive. Your grandma was right about the 290 degrees. I like mine really caramelly. The temperature is the key. Buttering the pan gave it an added buttery yumminess. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  12. I’m very excited to try this recipe! I’ve been wanting to make my great grandmother’s recipe, from a cookbook called Choice Candy Recipes (1930) that she used for the candy shop she owned in downtown Portland, OR during the depression. Everyone still bought candy! Her old cookbook is threadbare, badly stained with evidence of much candy-making, and written all over. I was nervous to follow her recipe without researching the method. I’m relieved to see how similar your grandma’s tried-and true recipe is! My Grandma Helen’s hand-written notes say to “Add nuts about 235 degrees; Add butter and salt at 280; cook till nuts are straw colored.” Maybe I’ll try both! 🙂

    1. Renee – did you use a candy thermometer? Sounds like it didn’t get to the hard crack stage, I have done that before too. Practice makes perfect.

  13. 5 stars
    My grandma always made peanut brittle at Christmas. She passed before I ever was able to get her recipe and I’ve always been a little afraid to try to make it. I finally made your recipe today and followed your instructions exactly. It came out so perfect!! My candy thermometer was messed up so I ended up using my instant read thermometer expecting for it to fail but I took it off right at 285 and it’s super crunchy without being so rock hard that you’re afraid of breaking a tooth on it. And the FLAVOR is amazing! I truly believe this is the best peanut brittle I’ve ever had! Thank you so much for sharing! My grandma would be proud!

    1. I hope you enjoyed it! You should let it cool completely to room temperature before breaking it up.

  14. 5 stars
    I just made this today and it turned out amazing! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I was looking for a good brittle recipe and I’m saving this one for sure!

  15. Nothing beats a good old fashioned peanut brittle this time of the year. Thank you so much for sharing, I will be making this weekend!

  16. I believe that peanutbrittle recipes are almost the same. It’s how you tweak it through experience that makes the difference. I use my mother’s 100 year old cast iron skillet. I freeze a pizza pan. It sets up nicely. Using the pizza I can turn it easily to stretch the peanutbrittle. Don’t use thermometers. They break give false readings or just get in the way. I was taught the way it looks and smells.

  17. 5 stars
    This was the first time I have ever attempted peanut brittle. Followed recipe/steps exactly and it turned out perfect. Thanks for the great recipe!

  18. 1 star
    TOTAL DISASTER and worst recipe ever. brittle was totally undercooked and tacky–turns out science dictates that sugar has to get to at least 300 to become hard, so taking it off the heat at 280 won’t do. i tried to fix it by putting it in the oven at 350 for 15 min as other sites suggested, but that didn’t work. then i tried balling it up and putting it back on the stove, and that just resulted in a lot of burnt up sugar and nuts. total waste of ingredients. not to mention, i am terribly upset by the entire experience.

    1. Oh sorry, that sounds rough Jane. It took me a few tries my first time getting it to come out correct. Hopefully you don’t give up, this recipe is tried and true.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating