Introduction: Brittle Diablo (a Sweet Treat With a Devilish Twist)

About: Retired Institutional Trade Instructor. Taught cooking to residents of a community home.

A science, an exact science. Exact temperatures and attention to detail will allow you to execute this simple recipe. Witness how the glucose in the corn syrup interrupt the crystallization that normally occurs when sucrose (sugar) is heated to the hard-crack stage. Watch how baking soda reacts to the sugar acids present at 295 degrees Fahrenheit, enjoy the texture in the candy provided by this reaction.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

  • 1cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 heaping cup cocktail peanuts
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda (sifted)

Step 2: Gather Your Equipment

  • Heavy, 2 quart sauce pan (sides buttered)
  • Wooden, non-slotted spoon
  • Sheet pan, buttered
  • Thermometer (reads up to 300degrees)
  • Two table forks

Step 3: The Boil

In sauce pan, combine corn syrup, sugar, water and butter. Cook and stir on medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils. Continue to cook at med-lo heat, stirring occasionally until mixture reaches 275 degrees (soft crack stage).

Step 4: The Nuts and Spices

When the mixture finally reaches 275 degrees, add all of the peanuts, the cayenne and the cinnamon. Continue to cook over the med-lo heat. notice: the mixture temperature will drop after adding nuts. The temperature will gradually recover, continue to cook and stir often until temperature of 295 degrees. (hard crack stage) Remove from heat at 295 degrees.

Step 5: The Finishing Touch

Once the mixture reaches 295 degrees, remove from heat, and immediately stir in the sifted baking soda. You'll notice a foaming reaction to the addition of baking soda. This reaction is the soda reacting to the acids in the hot sugar creating a carbon dioxide foam. Pour hot mixture on to prepared sheet pan. Stretch brittle with table forks. When the brittle cools completely, break and enjoy!

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