Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Maple Walnut Brittle

I remember it, I would be at the "Autumn fest" at our church or the grade school bake sale looking at those bizarre dolls made from rotten, er excuse me, dried apples (can you say "creepy"?) or the toilet paper roll cover doilies.  My grandmother would muss my hair and offer me a little treat.  "Mrs. Butterfield made peanut brittle, I saved some for you kids." I hated peanut brittle, you remember it, tooth cracking hard and made with those awful Spanish peanuts. I would eat my obligatory bit, sure that I would never be able to get the last bit of burned Sugar out of my teeth.

This recipe would be peanut brittle's yummy cousin... it started late last week I received a cookbook in the mail, it was a free on that one of my blogger (Phoo-d) friends linked for me.  I was flipping through it and came upon the Maple Walnut Brittle.  I thought "Hey Kris likes maple and walnuts... This could work out well"

So I made a batch

I think that I have mentioned before that candy isn't really my thing, first there is the measuring, then the thermometer then the taking things off the heat at the "hard crack" stage whatever that means.  The first batch didn't turn out so well I think that I may have heated it too much or stirred it too often.  I poured it out on my silicone pad and as soon as it started to harden I thought, Mrs. Butterfield would be embarrassed by this mess, she would probably send me home from the church bake sale if I came with this in hand.  I started to look for enough to make a second batch luckily I found it all.  I halved the recipe the second time and this time I vowed to FOLLOW the instructions...

3 TBS Maple Syrup (the real stuff)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 stick butter
2 TBS water
1 cup chopped Walnuts

In a saucepan over medium heat stir together syrup, sugar, cayenne, butter and water until melted.  Continue to gently boil and DO NOT STIR until a candy thermometer reaches 300F "hard crack."  Immediately stir in walnuts then pour onto an un-greased cookie sheet or silicone mat.  Spread into a thin layer with a wooden spoon and let cool.

The directions then have you melt white and dark chocolate and drizzle but we couldn't wait to the "cool completely" part.  Kris was ready to run off before the pictures were even done.  This turned out really good, crunchy without being too hard and the subtle maple flavor really made it .  Now what to do with the first batch... I did the same thing I did with the gingerbread houses a couple of weeks earlier.  I won't spell it out but if you ever find yourself driving through the Northwest suburbs of Chicago and start to wonder "why are the squirls in this neighborhood so FAT?"  Well, you might be by my house.

Oh and the website where I found this cookbook and recipe walnutlovers.com


  1. Yum, I'll bet this would be good chopped up on top of SNOW ICE CREAM!! Need a recipe?


  2. That looks so good! I think you'll need to eat lots of it to keep your energy up while you shovel all of that snow!

  3. This sounds so good! I bet the cayenne makes it extra interesting.

    Your squirrels are pretty lucky!

  4. Smile. My grandmother use to make peanut brittle too. This version sounds SO much better. They look just delicious, my friend, and I fully support what you did with the first batch. I hope you are warm and happy on this cold winter night. Sweet dreams and many blessings!

  5. I made more candy when the kids were young, Bryan. We made fudge, lollipops etc. My dad adored peanut brittle, but I never did. Mother made it for him all the time.
    But perhaps I could be persuaded if it was pecans....I don't like walnuts much either. Good heavens, I'm fussy! :)

  6. I love peanut brittle Bryan but not a fan of walnuts....maybe the maple will save me?
    BTW your first batch looks good? I like it a little darker.....wishing I was a squirrel right about now!

  7. Very nice brittle, Bryan. I haven't been very social lately but it's nice to be back and see this delish creation.