December 04, 2004



brittle season usually starts around here in october. bill and i make batches and batches of cashew brittle every year. we probably make between 30 and 50 pounds a year. we make cashew brittle – no peanut brittle. although i AM thinking about trying some almond brittle this year. we make plenty of other things; but brittle and chocolate-dipped “stuff” (oreos, pretzels, ritz crackers, potato chips) make up the bulk of our holiday treats.

we package up pounds of the stuff every year for gifts. the recipe below made enough to fill the 2.5 pound plastic jar the cashews came in, two other 4-cup gift containers, and a larger 8-cup ziploc container. the cashew jar’s going to a coworker, vernie, down in my mobile office. i send that office goodies every year; the first year i sent it, vernie told me “that is the best thing i’ve ever put in my mouth.” heh. nuff said.

i know many of you are terrified of making anything that requires the use of a food thermometer. all you need is the right tool. look specifically for a candy thermometer – one that rises to over 300 degrees fahrenheit. and clips on to the side of a pot. a high sided pot. and do NOT use a metal long-handled stirring spoon WITHOUT a composite handle. this stuff gets HOT. oh. and be very careful not to brush your husband’s hand with the spoon you’re scraping the molten liquid out of the pot with as he’s pouring onto the baking sheets. i’m just sayin’. that would be a BAD thing.

we USUALLY double this recipe. then you get double the amounts listed above. i’ve never weighed the results. we’re guessing you get between 4 and 4 and a half pounds per batch.

6 c sugar
2 c lt. corn syrup
1 cup water

2 lbs. 14 oz. cashews (I USED A 2 1/2 lb. JAR OF COSTCO CASHEWS TODAY)

8 T butter
4 t vanilla ext
4t baking soda

Combine, cover pot, bring mixture to a boil over high heat, about 5 minutes.
Swirl pot often to dissolve sugar. Once steam begins to rise around lid,
remove lid, reduce heat to medium. Insert thermometer, boil to 230 degrees.

Add cashews, stir constantly with metal spoon, until temperature reaches 300

Remove from heat, stir in butter, vanilla and baking soda quickly. Mixture
will become foamy. Pour onto cookie sheets, spreading out with spoon. Let
cool one hour. Break it up.

Posted by Stacey at December 4, 2004 09:37 PM

I can testify that this is great stuff!!!

Posted by: lucy at December 5, 2004 12:33 AM

That looks like a person would KILL for it.


Posted by: -d at December 5, 2004 03:14 AM

Thermometer, thermometer, thermometer...

I have to remember what the hell that is for my next round of Catch Phrase.

Posted by: KathyHowe at December 5, 2004 08:43 AM

Who does your washing up? Those are some clean corners on that jellyroll pan. Tmpressive.

Posted by: Suzette at December 5, 2004 08:57 AM

ohmydog that looks to die for. or to lose one's skin for at the very least.

dumb question from a gal who never had an easy bake oven as a child...

if you were going to make another nut brittle, you'd just change the nuts - you wouldn't have to change anything else about the recipe?

Posted by: Keri at December 5, 2004 12:58 PM

Just stopping in to say hello and to congratulate you on your recent nomination at the BoB Weblog Awards 2004.

Posted by: Genuine at December 14, 2004 12:38 AM