If there is one thing I love, it’s a good salty-sweet combo treat: kettle corn, popcorn mixed with dark chocolate m&ms, and chocolate covered potato chips. My husband has much more of a pure sweet tooth, however, and one of his favorites is peanut brittle. I usually try and buy a box of See’s Candies Peanut Brittle at Christmas for his stocking. Unfortunately this year all of the local kiosks were sold out one week prior to Christmas (I know, I was procrastinating but I had a 2 month old!) and I didn’t have time for an online order so his stocking was a little light on the treats. I’ve been feeling slightly guilty about it since then and decided to take matters into my own hands (and kitchen) and make some peanut brittle with a twist. What resulted from my kitchen adventures is Salted Peanut Brittle with a Hint of Lime.
In addition to the thoughts of missing holiday treats, this recipe was partly inspired by a totally addictive snack treat I discovered while in Mexico earlier this year. Have you guys tried Sabritas Sal y Limón? Those little nuggets are the perfect crunchy, salty and slightly tangy snack. Now, I’ll tell you straight up that this peanut brittle is nothing like the original. I know, why bring it up? Well, I couldn’t stop thinking about them and when I decided to make a peanut brittle, I thought back to those goodies and figured a hint of lime might be just the key to giving my brittle something unique.
Making peanut brittle can be a bit persnickety, but don’t let that scare you off. The key is to have all of your ingredients measured and close at hand as once the sugar mixture is ready, you’ll have to move quickly to get things combined before the brittle sets. Start with a well buttered baking sheet. In a nonreactive (stainless steel) sauce pan, mix together the sugar, kosher salt, and water. Don’t walk away from the stove. Over medium-high heat, allow the sugar and salt to dissolve while stirring occasionally. Continue cooking the solution until it develops a deep amber color (or if you’re using a candy thermometer, about 300 degrees). Caution: it can go from the perfect color to burned very quickly so don’t walk away during this portion. Turn off the heat, stir in the lime juice and peanuts and immediately turn out the contents of the pan onto your buttered baking sheet. With a rubber spatula, spread the brittle mixture into a layer of your desired thickness and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Allow to cool and break into bite sized pieces. Oh, and try not to eat it all at once! The brittle will keep in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 generous teaspoon kosher salt plus more for sprinkling
- ¼ cup water
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 cup lightly salted peanuts
- Prepared a baking sheet by coating with a light layer of room temperature butter, set aside.
- In a wide mouth sauce pan, combine sugar, kosher salt, and water.
- Cook on medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and a deep amber color is just beginning (approximately 300 degrees on a candy thermometer).
- Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the lime juice.
- Add the peanuts and stir to coat.
- Turn the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into a layer of desired thickness.
- Sprinkle with additional kosher salt.
- Allow to cool and break into bite sized pieces.
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