Apparently, Christmastime is also for candy.
On my hunt for Christmas cookie recipes, I came across an excellent recipe for Cashew Brittle. Now peanut brittle, I’m not that crazy about, but cashews are a whole different story. We also had bought cashews at Costco the week before, which were delicious. So it seemed meant to be.
I’m also a sucker for the salty and sweet combination, and this definitely fits the bill there.
I found this recipe on another blog that I read, The Wednesday Chef.
Homemade candy is one of those things that seems to impress everyone, but brittle is really about the simplest kind of homemade candy that there is. No candy thermometer or special equipment needed.
Note: Because I wanted the salty flavor to really come through, and because it’s what I keep on hand, I used salted butter instead of unsalted, and it was delicious. One other reminder–the instructions call for a large saucepan, and that’s important. When you add the baking soda and salt, it’s REALLY going to rise and bubble, and my saucepan wasn’t large enough to keep it from boiling over. A non-stick stockpot is really a safer bet, in my opinion.
Makes 3.5 pounds
4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (I used salted butter)
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds salted, roasted cashews
1. Line two baking sheets with lightly buttered parchment paper or lightly coat the sheets with cooking spray. Do not use wax paper or plastic wrap.
2. Combine sugar, butter, corn syrup, and water in a large saucepan and stir together. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the caramel turns a medium-golden color, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Carefully whisk in the baking soda and then the salt. The mixture will rise and bubble. Using a wooden or metal spoon, stir in the nuts, then immediately pour the brittle onto the prepared cookie sheets, using the back of the spoon to spread the brittle out.
3. Once brittle is completely cool, break it into bite-sized pieces using the back of a knife or your hands. The brittle can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container, for up to two weeks.
I’ve made this kind of candy once before, and this recipe is as good as I remember. For an extra fun treat, stir a bag of popped popcorn into the hot candy once it’s spread out on the cookie sheets. It makes an awesome poppycock style snack.