spicy brittled peanuts


So I got to meet Deb.


I got to watch her brown butter over an electric burner for salted brown butter crispy treats.


And let me tell you, folks, she just as (if not more) charming in person as she is on her blog.


And her cookbook?  It’s a winner, as are these peanuts.  They’re like peanut brittle but less brittle and more peanuts and a kick of cayenne for good measure.


Thank you, Deb, for the recipe, the cookbook and the brown-butter demo.  It was lovely to meet you.

spicy brittled peanuts
yield: 2 cups peanuts

recipe notes:  I’ve copied the recipe just as it appears in Deb’s lovely book.

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
2 cups (280 grams) shelled raw or roasted unsalted peanuts, papery skins removed

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.  If you don’t have either, coat your baking sheet with a think slick of vegetable oil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the baking soda, sea salt, and cayenne, and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, the heaviest one you’ve got, heat the sugar, butter, and water over medium-high heat until it begins to turn golden, about 7 to 10 minutes.  Add the peanuts and start stirring, coating them with the sugar mixture.  After a minute or two, the sugar will seize up a bit, making the peanuts look grainy and crusty, and it will be harder to stir them – you’ll be convinced that it’s gone irreversibly south, cursing me under your breath, but fear not, keep stirring, and in about 3 minutes it will melt back into a golden caramel.  Keep stirring, breaking up any clumps with your spoon, until the nuts are evenly coated, then remove the pot from the heat.  Stir in the baking-soda-spice mixture as fast and evenly as you can, then spill the caramelized nuts out onto your prepared sheet, spreading them in a single layer and breaking up any clumps that you can before they set.  Cool completely.

Once they’re cool, break the nut clusters into smaller pieces and put them in a serving dish.  The nuts will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, but rarely do because they’re habit-forming.

source: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook


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