spicy brittled peanuts

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So I got to meet Deb.

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

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

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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.

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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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