We think this fast and easy microwave version of a holiday classic is better
than its stove-top counterpart. Its light, airy bite; top-notch flavor, and doesn't-get-stuck-in-your-teeth
consistency make it worth putting aside any microwave (and corn syrup) bias you
might have to give it a try.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Spray a wooden spoon (or other heat-proof stirring implement) with non-stick
Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.
Mix together the sugar and corn syrup in a large microwave-safe bowl and
stir until well combined; the mixture will be stiff and hard to stir. Be sure
to use a large enough bowl; the sugar/corn syrup should fill it no more than
1/4 to 1/3 full.
Microwave the sugar mixture uncovered on high power for 5 minutes; it will
Add the peanuts and butter, and stir well to combine. Speed is key! The
cooler the mixture becomes the harder it will be to stir.
Replace the bowl in the microwave and cook on high for 2 to 4 minutes, until
the mixture turns a nice medium-brown caramel color. Start watching carefully
around the 2-minute mark, and remove when the caramel color is achieved.
Add the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will bubble furiously upon
the addition of these ingredients this is what gives the candy its hallmark
airy texture. (This is also why you need to use a large bowl.) Stir quickly
to combine. The finished mixture will look creamy and caramelized.
Working quickly, pour the mixture onto your prepared baking sheet and spread
it as evenly as possible. If you end up with an uneven spread, don't worry
the candy should still set up nicely, even in the thicker areas.
When the brittle has set and cooled (30 to 60 minutes), break it into pieces.