The Sharing Spirit

'Tis the season, as they say, and much of it revolves around eating. It's also a time of gifting and sharing, and with that in mind, our lovely hostess Ivy Knight made this edition of 86'd a holiday cookie swap. About a dozen or so people showed up with tasty treats to trade with each other, enjoy some drinks and each other's company.

I'm no baker, but a few days prior, my friend Jen, The Fashionista Foodie, made a post about her "tried and true microwave peanut brittle". "Perfect", I thought. No baking required and it can be done in about 10 minutes! But what flavour? After doing a bit of googling on brittles, I settled on maple walnut. I did consider adding some rum, but decided that might be overkill. The recipe makes fairly small batches, so I did two in the half hour I had to do it. I ended up with 8 decent sized gift packages for the swap.

I was a bit worried after adding the baking soda, as it gave the candy a consistency I didn't associate with a traditional brittle. It still tasted good, but was more like the love child of brittle and sponge toffee, so I thought I'd maybe undercooked it. I dubbed it a "crunch". Jen has since assured me this is the texture it's supposed to have. So, yay me!

I'd like to try this again with different flavour combos. I'll have to be careful with the nut choices, as things like macadamia would likely be too soft/creamy to withstand the cooking. Suggestions?

PS, while we're on the subject of sharing, I've got a link in the sidebar to my Second Harvest Giving Page. If you're able, you can make a donation on that page. Their mission "is to help feed hungry people by picking up and preparing excess fresh food and delivering it daily to social service agencies in Toronto." Happy holidays!

Jen's Microwave Brittle

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup white or golden corn syrup (golden will be a slightly darker result) I substituted a half and half mix of pure maple syrup and regular table syrup with 15% maple syrup.
  • 1 cup roasted salted peanuts I substituted the same amount of chopped walnuts.
  • 1 tsp butter (plus more for greasing cookie sheet)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Lightly grease a cookie sheet with butter.

In a large glass bowl (that will fit in your microwave) combine sugar and corn syrup. Microwave 1 minute.

Remove from microwave and stir in peanuts.

Return to microwave and cook for another 3-5 minutes. (My microwave which is standard takes 4 minutes) Remove from microwave and stir in butter and vanilla.

Return to microwave and cook for 1-2 minutes more. (I cook mine for the full two)

Remove from microwave. Your peanuts will look lightly browned and the whole mixture will be extremely hot and bubbling.

Here is where the magic happens, add the baking soda and stir and the mixture will rise and get light and foamy.

Carefully pour the mixture onto a greased cookie sheet and slightly tilt tray to spread out mixture.

Carefully pour onto greased cookie sheet. Let harden for 1/2 hour- 1 hour. Crack and break into pieces and enjoy or give as gifts.


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