Sandi is blogging from the WhistleStop Cafe kitchen. It's all about good home cooking; food, family and fun. Thousands of posts . . .

~In the south and around the world.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas in the Kitchen

Around the world Paula Dean is probably the best known southern cook, thanks to the Food Network and little good timing. Well, I am here to tell you that in every small town there is a woman who is known for her great cooking- maybe not a famous as Paula Dean- but every bit as talented. I don't think I would even get much of an argument from the lady from Savannah.

We had quite a treat over the weekend. We had a cooking lesson from our very own Mrs. Margaret Brown. Over the years she has perfected the art of making peanut brittle. Lucky friends in Auburn cherish their gift of thin, crispy peanut brittle year after year.

I have her permission to reveal her secrets to my closest friends...

Start with raw spanish nuts, with the skins on. Use fresh baking soda, not the one that has been in the fridge absorbing odors. A good candy thermometer is a must! She uses a heavy duty cookie sheet, set on a moistened dish towel.

Follow the instructions, and it will be perfect every time.

Peanut Brittle
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
2 cups spanish peanuts
2 tsp baking soda
Spread butter and pam spray on a heavy duty cookie sheet. Set the cookie sheet on a wet towel to keep it from slipping. In a heavy pot, add sugar, syrup and water. Stir until it begins to bubble, scrapping the sugar toward the middle of the pan. When it is bubbly add peanuts. Continue to stir using a heat resistant spatula. Cook until it reaches 290° with a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes. Turn the heat down. Continue to stir away from the sides. Add baking soda. The mixture will foam up. Continue to stir until the color is light brown. Pour down the center of the pan.
Using rounded cake knives begin to spread from edges. Pull the candy until it is very thin. This makes the perfect thin crunchy peanut brittle.
Let cool,then box it up to share.
If you need to make more than one batch, and you probably will, take the time to do each batch separately. Don't try to double this recipe.
Y'all thank Ms Margaret for this one!


Barb Cabot said...

A huge thank you for this recipe Sandi. I can hardly wait to make this in the near future. My only fear is that I will eat it all!

rpm said...

Oh, that looks good. I think I would like this more than the thicker version.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Barb~ that is why you need to make two batches (or three)
Pug Mom~ It is even better than Priester's!

wanderlustandpixiedust said...

What a delightful blog. Brought back memories of a road trip with the girls, the cafe and a full tummy the rest of the way home!

Jerry said...

Sandi - what a great post. I wish Ms Margaret lived near me!

tut-tut said...

She's a lot prettier than Paula, too!

Susie Q said...

Love this recipe! Bill is sitting here, at 10:30 am, eating peanut brittle! Our church women's groups made this batch...

Southern cooks are the best. No argument from me!

Have a very merry Christmas!


Britt-Arnhild said...

Merry Christmas from Norway.

Sandy said...

Hi Sandi,
Oh yum! I love peanut brittle.
I hope you and your family have a wonderfully blessed Christmas and very Happy New Year!
Sandy ;)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh Sandie this is the candy my grandmother and aunt used to make. I know I would be eating this all day and night until it was gone!
Thank Margaret for me.
Merry Christmas to all!

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

Now ain't that the truth about Southern cooks? I had several auntie's who would make you tell Paula whatshername she should find another job :)
Stopping by to wish you a very blessed Christmas and you give me a present....thank you and Miz Brown right kindly...

justabeachkat said...

Peanut Brittle is one of my favorites. Now I'm craving it, but alas I don't have the ingredients on hand. Pooh! Thanks for the recipe though. I'll try it soon.

I wish for you and yours the merriest of Christmases!

Christmas hugs for you sweet friend!

Kristen said...

Oh yum!!

Splaneyo said...

I love peanut brittle, but I have always been intimidated by the baking soda part. I might just have to give it a go now. Thanks for the recipe.

GardenGoose said...

now that's yummy looking. has been years since I've had good peanut brittle. wow.

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