Easy Peanut Brittle Without Corn Syrup Recipe


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Finding a recipe for peanut brittle without corn syrup can prove to be a bit of a challenge. This classic candy often employs this fructose syrup in order to make it easier to make. In fact, using corn syrup in making caramels (because that’s what peanut is!) makes it’s it effectively fool-proof.

But what if you don’t have access to corn syrup and want to whip up a batch of sweet, salty and crunchy peanut brittle? Is it even possible? Yes, yes it is.

Whether you don’t like using corn syrup or live in an area where it just isn’t a thing (like myself), you can still make an excellent peanut brittle without it — and I’m here to show you how! So if you’ve been searching for an old fashioned peanut brittle recipe without corn syrup, I’ve got you covered!

Peanut Brittle Without Corn Syrup
Peanut Brittle Without Corn Syrup

How to Make Peanut Brittle without Corn Syrup

As I’ve already mentioned, making peanut brittle is essentially the same thing as making any caramel, except that you add some peanuts (and baking soda) at the end of the cooking process.

Caramel can be a finicky thing to make and it does take some time to really get the hang of it – this is exactly why so many recipes for peanut brittle (and any caramel, for that matter) call for corn syrup.

The syrup prevents crystals from forming, making it much less likely for your caramel to seize and crystallise while cooking.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make caramel without corn syrup. I have already covered how to make chewy caramels and caramel popcorn without corn syrup, but the same theory applies to peanut brittle, as well.

Ingredients for this peanut brittle recipe
Ingredients for this peanut brittle recipe

So to begin this peanut brittle without corn syrup recipe, you need to prep your pan. Simply line a half sheet tray (a rimmed baking sheet) with parchment paper.

If you want some extra insurance, brush it down with some melted butter or non-stick cooking spray to make sure you can remove the peanut brittle once it has set.

Now, add your sugar and a bit of water to a saucepan. Set it over the lowest heat possible and stir continuously until the sugar is COMPLETELY dissolved, but has not come to a boil yet. This is by far the most important step in this peanut brittle recipe.

If you have undissolved sugar crystals in your mixture after it starts to boil, it will almost certainly seize and crystallise and there is no turning back. You’re just going to have to start over.

If you’re worried that your mixture is coming to a boil before the sugar has dissolved, take it off the heat and keep stirring until you can get the sugar dissolved. Keep in mind that this can take a bit of time, but patience is really key when making any kind of caramel and it will pay off, I promise!

Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture up to a boil. Once the sugar syrup is boiling, DO NOT stir it. This will also cause crystals.

Using a pastry brush (I find that a natural bristle brush works better for this, but a silicone brush will also work if that’s all you have), brush down the sides of the pan with a bit of water to keep any stray crystals from forming.

Brushing down the sides of the pan
Brushing down the sides of the pan

Turn the heat up to medium and do not touch the mixture again. You can continue to brush down the sides but ensure that you’re not actually touching the sugar syrup.

Keep a keen eye on your syrup as it bubbles away – it will seem like nothing is happening but it’s important that you don’t walk away from this as it can go from crystal clear to burnt in a second.

Continue boiling the sugar syrup, brushing down the sides as needed, until the mixture turns a very dark amber colour and small wisps of smoke appear. You will notice it turn from clear, to honey coloured, to amber, to dark amber very quickly.

The mixture turns amber very quickly!
The mixture turns amber very quickly!

This does take a while — I find that making a caramel like this usually takes me about 20-30 minutes once I get the sugar dissolved.

As soon as you’re caramel is dark enough, remove it from the heat. Add your butter, salt, vanilla and baking soda. This is cause it foam and sputter — this is normal and don’t be alarmed.

The caramel foaming after adding in the butter, salt, vanilla and baking soda
The caramel foaming after adding in the butter, salt, vanilla and baking soda

Just make sure to be careful and stand back because this mixture is lava hot and can cause some severe burns if you’re not cautious.

Now, stir in your peanuts. Ensure that the peanuts are completely incorporated into the caramel (but work quickly because you don’t want it to begin to set) before pouring the entire mixture into your prepared baking sheet.

Adding the peanuts to the caramel
Adding the peanuts to the caramel

Use a heatproof spatula to evenly spread the peanut brittle over the baking sheet. Then, let the mixture cool completely and harden. This will take at least four hours, but you can let it go for longer.

Once the peanut brittle is completely cool comes the most fun part, in my opinion. In fact, it’s worth making this peanut brittle recipe without corn syrup specifically for this reason! It’s breaking up the brittle.

Pouring the peanut caramel mixture onto a sheet tray
Pouring the peanut caramel mixture onto a sheet tray

Lift the sheet of peanut brittle from the dish. Set it on a large cutting board, cover it with another sheet of parchment paper, and gently but firmly whack it with a rolling pin! It’s a great way to get your frustrations out.

Smashing the peanut brittle into pieces
Smashing the peanut brittle into pieces

Once you’ve got your brittle into the size of pieces that you desire, all you have to do is kick back and enjoy. Share it with your friends and family or keep it all to yourself.

Peanut Brittle Without Corn Syrup

Peanut Brittle Without Corn Syrup

Yield: 20 servings
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes

If you're looking for a delicious and easy sweet treat to make, then look no further. This peanut brittle has only a handful of ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry - and no corn syrup at all!

Ingredients

  • 400g (2 cups) sugar
  • 50g (4tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 2tsp salt
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g (10oz) roasted, unsalted peanuts

Instructions

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Add sugar to a small saucepan and pour over 120ml (1/2 cup) of cool water. Set over low heat and, stirring constantly, allow the sugar to completely dissolve.
  2. Wash down the sides of the pot with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent any sugar from crystalizing. Once the mixture has come to a boil, stop stirring and allow to boil until the sugar mixture reaches a deep amber colour and wisps of smoke appear. DO NOT stir the mixture at all once it has come to a boil.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the butter. It will sputter and foam so do not be alarmed. Add the salt, baking soda and vanilla and stir until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add peanuts and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared sheet tray and spread out with a spatula to ensure it is even. Allow to cool completely for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
  5. Once the peanut brittle is cooled, remove the brittle from the sheet tray. Cover the brittle with a sheet of parchment paper (to prevent flyaways) and whack several times with a rolling pin mallet until it is broken into pieces of desirable size.
  6. Store in an airtight container or enjoy immediately.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 184Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 297mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 4g

Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.

And that is how you make homemade peanut brittle without corn syrup! This recipe is easy, if not a bit technical. If you have patience and confidence, you will end up with an amazing (and delicious) result.

Are you wondering how to make peanut brittle without corn syrup? Have any questions about this recipe? Let me know in the comments!

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Maggie is the creator behind No Frlils Kitchen. She is a home cook and world traveller who loves to experiment with new cuisines and techniques at every chance she gets. No stranger to improvising and making do with the equipment and ingredients she has available, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others.

Comments

  1. I stirred with a heat proof rubber spatula for over 30 mins and the sugar water mixture was still very cloudy and sugar crystals had formed around the rim of the pot (I was scraping them off as I stirred and also using my clean pastry brush to brush them down)
    I gave up after about 40 mins as it was only getting worse

    I stirred constant
    I made sure the pot was super clean as I know how sensitive sugar is
    I used a thick bottomed stainless pot
    The heat was very low

    Was I stirring to fast?
    Or…?
    I love the idea of no corn syrup!!!
    Thank you, megan

    Reply
    • Hi Megan – from what I gather I think that your heat may have been too low. Next time you try the recipe, try turning your heat up a bit to get the sugar to dissolve more quickly. If you’re worried about the mixture coming up to a boil too quickly, you can take the pot physically on and off the heat as needed. I hope this works out for you!!

      Reply
    • I find the best is to stir until dissolved…then leave it alone! No stirring. Just swirl the pan periodically. Almost fool proof that way.

      Reply
  2. Thanks for the recipe! I tried it tonight and had no problems. BUT I didn’t have any peanuts so I used black sesame seeds and crushed walnuts as the nut part. It was was tempting to stir but I followed directions and let it heat up on it’s own. 🙂

    I couldn’t wait the four hours to cool down; after half an hour I was already nibbling at the edges….delicious!

    Reply

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