Grease a large baking sheet with some butter, or line with parchment paper, or silicone baking mat. Reserve the 2 tablespoons softened butter for recipe.
In a medium saucepan combine sugar, water, salt, and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture starts to boil. Stir in peanuts.
Set a candy thermometer in place and continue to cook, stirring intermittently until temperature reaches exactly 300ºF / 149ºC. This will take about 10 minutes and mixture will get very thick.
Immediately remove from heat and stir in butter and baking soda vigorously. (Be careful it will boil up and expand) Pour onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread with a silicone spoon, then pull more with a fork, until it almost fills up the baking sheet.
Cool and break into pieces. Store in tin or another airtight container.
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Tips / Tricks and Problems Solved
When making any candy make sure all the ingredients and equipment are ready to go before starting. Timing is crucial and this will avoid any mishaps.
Use a bigger saucepan, at least triple the volume of the ingredients. The boiling syrup increases in volume, so there has to be ample room for expansion.
Peanut brittle turns out best if the recipe is not doubled or tripled. Make one batch at a time. Luckily the process goes quick!
Parchment paper or a silicone mat be used instead of greasing the pan, but DO NOT USE WAX PAPER, which will melt and stick to the peanut brittle.
Why Is My Peanut Brittle Chewy / Sticky / Didn't Harden?
This is a temperature issue. Make sure the candy reaches exactly 300ºF / 149ºC, which is hard crack stage, before pouring onto baking sheet. See "Equipment Used to Make Peanut Brittle" for my recommended thermometer. If you're peanut brittle is still chewy after it cools, you may be able to save it! First test your thermometer in a saucepan of boiling water for a few minutes. It should read 212ºF (100ºC). If not, calibrate accordingly so you know what the "true" 300ºF is on your thermometer.
Break up the peanut brittle and place it in a glass, microwave-safe bowl. Heat on HIGH heat 1-2 minutes until soft and semi-melted. Melting it in the microwave first prevents it from burning in the pan before it liquifies and is stirrable.
Transfer the semi-melted brittle to a a clean saucepan. Continue heating over medium heat until it reaches the adjusted 300ºF temperature.
Immediately remove from the heat and add additional 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and let it cool again.
How to Store Peanut Brittle
Peanut Brittle has a long shelf life and, if properly stored, can last a couple months. Simply place brittle in a completely dry, air tight container (food storage container, ziplock bag, lidded jar, or tin), away from extreme temperatures.Do not freeze or refrigerate peanut brittle because of the humidity and moisture. The peanut brittle will become sticky and lose its crunch.Adapted from Allrecipes