Crunchy, sweet, and salty homemade toffees and brittles are that bite of heaven you are craving. They receive plenty of attention during the holiday season, when people are looking for creative and thoughtful gifts, but we think you should make them all year long. Sprinkle the broken pieces over ice cream sundaes or simply store them in Tupperware for a convenient treat.
You can even get around not having a candy thermometer by using Better Homes and Gardens‘ guide for the different stages of the “cold water test.” This will allow you to approximate the temperature of your candy by seeing what happens when a spoonful of the hot mixture is dropped into cold water, determining if it is in the “soft ball,” “firm ball,” or one of the other stages.
1. Nut Brittle
What Food & Wine’s recipe does spectacularly — other than make a delectable brittle – is show how adaptable these candies are. Put in virtually any nut you would like for a a sweet and salty homemade candy.
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 12 ounces roasted salted peanuts, cashews, pistachios and/or pecans
- Fleur de sel or crushed Maldon sea salt
Directions: In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water, butter, and corn syrup and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the caramel is light brown and registers 300 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully stir in the baking soda. The mixture will bubble. Stir in the nuts, then immediately scrape the brittle onto a large rimmed, nonstick baking sheet. Using the back of a large spoon (oil it lightly if it sticks), spread the brittle into a thin, even layer. Sprinkle with salt. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Break the brittle into large sections.