Learn how to make quick and easy microwave peanut brittle recipe without a candy thermometer, homemade with simple ingredients. It's sweet, salty and crunchy and a classic candy for Christmas holidays.
Using peanuts in any form in desserts and candies is my favorite thing to do ever. You may remember this Peanut Butter Fudge (3 Ingredients) or this Easy Buckeye Recipe (Peanut Butter Balls)or even these Peanut Butter Eggs. These are all delicious and very popular with family, friends and readers like you! My grandparents made today's recipe on the stovetop but thankfully, my Mom taught me the microwave version, which is so much better. This is even better than what you buy at See's candy store, in my opinion at least.
Table of contents
Key ingredients for best homemade brittle candy
- Granulated sugar- The essential ingredient for this sweet treat and irreplaceable with other sugars.
- Corn syrup- Use light and don't try to substitute it with other ingredients.
- Peanuts- Be sure they are both roasted and salted for the best flavor.
- Butter- Unsalted is best to ensure your treat isn't overly salty.
- Baking soda- Not to be confused with baking powder that would give an entirely different texture.
- Vanilla extract- Compliments the peanut flavor with warm undertones.
Replace peanuts with any other nuts of your choice- Like almonds, pistachios, cashews, macadamias, pecans, walnuts. You can even use a combination of multiple nuts of your choice.
Dip each brittle piece halfway in melted chocolate- Such as dark, white, semisweet, or milk in order to add a cocoa flavor to them. Try my Homemade Chocolate Bars, which can easily be melted.
Ice cream topping- Chop the brittle into small pieces and sprinkle them on top of some ice cream.
Use it on cakes- As decoration on top or crush it and sprinkle it over the top for a crunch in each bite.
Use other extracts- Like maple extract, coconut extract, almond extract, and more.
Try raw peanuts- Roasted peanuts are best because they enhance the "nutty" flavor, but raw peanuts can be used too.
How to make old fashioned easy peanut brittle recipe from scratch in microwave?
- Mix sugar and corn syrup- In a bowl and heat in microwave.
- Mix in peanuts- Then heat again.
- Add vanilla extract- And baking soda, then mix.
- Pour mixture in a cookie tray- Lined with parchment paper.
- Let it cool and harden- At room temperature.
- Break into small pieces- And enjoy!
Tips for easy peanut brittle recipe:
Enjoy in moderations- Many wonder if this treat is healthy. No, it's not, but candies are supposed to be enjoyed just do so in a balance with all the other things you eat in the day.
Don't even think about making this without corn syrup- Because it will change the flavor and texture.
Don't use a plastic bowl- Use a microwave-safe glass bowl because the mixture will become very hot.
You need to work quickly between each step- Because if you are too slow, the mixture starts to cool and it becomes hard to mix everything together.
Don't replace baking soda with baking powder- Because the results are not the same!
Make sure the baking soda is not old or expired- Or else the results will not be that good.
Granulated sugar cannot be replaced- With brown sugar, because the taste and texture will be off.
It usually takes about 30 minutes- For this to harden. I leave it untouched for 1 hour, just to be safe.
Do not cool it at room temperature- Cooling it in the fridge or freezer can alter the texture and make it sticky. Brittle cannot be exposed to moisture and humidity.
Don't keep a lid on the microwave bowl- That you are using, because the mixture needs room and air to bubble and cook. Otherwise it may explode all over in there and ruin everything.
Don't be afraid of the bubbles- When you add the baking soda and vanilla a chemical reaction is taking place. It's totally normal, but be sure you mix it quickly until combined.
Be sure your tray is properly lined or greased- So that it won't stick to the tray and be harder to break up.
Spread mixture as evenly as possible- So that there is a consistency in thickness throughout.
Spray a wooden spoon with an oil spray- When mixing first ingredients to make it easier to stir and ensure it won't stick so much to the spoon.
It may have become soft because ingredients were not measure properly OR it wasn't cooked long enough to reach the "hard-crack" stage in which the brittle is no longer soft and sticky and becomes dry and breaks easily.
Baking soda was either old and expired OR not enough baking soda was used. Those are the 2 main reasons for this issue.
It was microwaved too long and over-cooked and may have burnt.
Baking soda gives a delicate texture. When you add baking soda to the sugar syrup, you unleash lots of air bubbles that give the brittle its airy and porous texture.
Take a very small cup of cold water and drop a bit of the mixture in. If it dissolves into the water, it's not ready.
Make ahead- These can be prepared up to 3-4 weeks in advance. Just be sure to keep at room temperature in a covered box with wax paper separating the layers. Keep away from humidity.
Room temperature- Store pieces in an airtight container, where layers are separated by wax paper so that pieces don't stick together. Keep this container at room temperature away from moisture, humidity and even heat from the stove for up to 1 month.
Refrigerate- This is not recommended, because the humidity from the fridge can seep in and change the texture, making it too sticky.
Freeze- This is not recommended, because the humidity from the freezer can seep in and change the texture, making it too sticky, or in some cases may just break your teeth.
More Candy Recipes
- Candied Orange Peel and Slices
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars
- Lemon Fudge (2 Ingredients)
- Chocolate Mint Truffles
- Red Velvet Truffles
- Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bars (Eggless)
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark
- Fantasy Fudge (Marshmallow Creme)
Easy Peanut Brittle (Microwave)
- Spray a wooden spoon with an oil spray.
- In a a large bowl, add sugar and corn syrup and mix until combined. The mixture will be stiff and hard to stir. That's okay. Use a glass bowl that's microwave-safe.
- Heat this mixture (uncovered) in this microwave on high power for 5 minutes. It will start bubbling vigorously.
- Remove bowl from microwave and add peanuts and butter. Mix to combine. everything well. Work quickly because the cooler the mixture becomes, the harder it is to mix it together.
- Heat this mixture in the microwave again on high power for 2 to 4 minutes, until the mixture turns a medium-brown caramel shade. Keep a very close eye after 2 minutes.
- Remove from the microwave and add the baking soda and vanilla extract. The mixture will start bubbling A LOT but that's normal and gives the brittle its unique texture. Mix quickly until combined.
- Pour this mixture onto your baking tray that's been lined with parchment paper or been lightly greased with oil. Work quickly and and spread this mixture as evenly as you can.
- Let the brittle cool and set at room temperature for about 1 hour.
- Then, break it into pieces and enjoy.
- Replace peanuts with any other nuts of your choice.
- Don't replace baking soda with baking powder. Make sure it's fresh and not expired for best results.
- Use a microwave-safe glass bowl (not plastic!) because the mixture becomes extremely hot.
- Don't rush the cooling process by chilling in fridge or freezer because that can make this sticky.
- Read additional tips and variations above.
- Leftovers can be stored at room temperature in a covered box with wax paper separating the layers for up to 1 month. Keep it away from humidity!