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When I make this buttery cashew brittle, I have one objective: get it out of the house as soon as possible so that I don't eat it all myself. Fortunately, it's also portable and a great edible gift. Happy Un-Birthday, neighbors!
This brittle recipe calls for double the amount of cashews that you'll find in most recipes. But, don't worry, there's still plenty of crunchy sweetness.
Corn Syrup vs. High Fructose Corn Syrup
It also calls for light corn syrup, **gasp**. But hold on a second - know that light corn syrup is not the same as high fructose corn syrup. Here’s a good explanation of the difference if you’re interested. I'm not saying light corn syrup is health food, but it's something that I'm willing to use from time to time for things like brittle and homemade marshmallows.
Tips for Success
- Use a large enough saucepan to hold the hot brittle when adding baking soda makes it bubble up and to accommodate the volume of cashews.
- Work quickly to spread the brittle on the baking sheet / cookie sheet. With the extra cashews, it begins to harden almost immediately.
- Don't refrigerate your brittle where it will soften and get chewy. Instead store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months. (Good luck with it lasting that long!)
Brittle FAQ and Troubleshooting
Adding baking soda once your brittle has reached the hard crack stage (295 to 309 °F) produces millions of tiny bubbles as it reacts with the acid in the hot sugar mixture, making it porous instead of solid and hard. It's key to a proper brittle texture.
No, brittle won't stick to parchment paper. Lining a baking sheet / cookie sheet with parchment paper before pouring and spreading the hot brittle ensures easy release once it cools and hardens.
Though your brittle will begin to harden immediately as you spread it onto a parchment lined baking sheet, it will take up to 30 minutes to harden completely.
If your brittle is chewy, it's likely that it did not reach a high enough temperature. It needs to reach the hard crack stage (295 to 309 °F) to harden properly.
Brittle will last up to 8 weeks stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
A little bit of patience...
For me, the worst part about making cashew brittle is that I'm terribly impatient while waiting for the candy thermometer to reach 300°F. Whenever I make candy, I end up tapping the thermometer in the last few minutes thinking, "Is this thing broken?" But, trust me, the results are worth the stirring and waiting. And waiting... (if you want a quicker version of sweet, salty nuts definitely try these Sugared Pecans)
Starting with roasted, salted cashews gives these extra crunch and finishing with a generous sprinkle of flaky sea salt takes this brittle from delicious to irresistible.
- candy thermometer
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 10 ounces roasted and salted cashews
- flaky sea salt such as Maldon
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and butter both sides of a rubber or silicone spatula which you'll use to spread brittle after pouring it on the baking sheet.
- Combine sugar, water, butter and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook, stirring often, until caramel temperature reaches 300°F on a candy thermometer (hard crack stage). Remove from heat and stir in baking soda (mixture will get foamy and increase in volume). Stir in nuts and scrape onto prepared baking sheet. Use the buttered spatula to help you spread the brittle in a single layer that is as even as possible.
- Let cool completely and break into one or two-bite pieces.
- Make sure that your saucepan is large enough to accommodate the sauce when it bubbles up with the addition of baking soda and large enough to allow you to stir in the cashews.
- You'll need to work quickly to spread the brittle on the baking sheet. With the extra cashews, it begins to harden almost immediately.
- Store cashew brittle in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 8 weeks. Do not refrigerate or your brittle will soften and become chewy.