Peanut brittle traces back to the 1800s (or even before), but its origins are quite uncertain. The history of peanuts goes back to the American Civil War, when peanuts were used for their protein when meat was scarce.
Peanut Brittle is carmelized sugar or corn syrup with nuts tossed into the melted sugar, along with a bit of butter and baking soda. It is then poured onto a cookie sheet or other flat surface and smoothed thin. Once cooled, it becomes brittle and can be broken off into smaller pieces. They say it’s best to avoid making it on a rainy day.
Some people claim that it was a traditional Celtic dish that was served during the holidays. It was made by mixing peanut butter and sugar together, then baking it. Legend says that Irish settlers then made its way to the United States with Irish settlers.
Another origin story for peanut brittle is that a woman in New England in 1890 made it on accident. She was attempting to make a taffy, but she accidentally put in baking soda instead of cream of tarter. Not wishing to be wasteful, she continued making it and threw in a handful of peanuts just to see what would happen. She shared this peanut bark with her friends, along with the recipe, and it “went viral.”
A third story (that is clearly just folklore) is that Tony Beaver, supposed cousin of Paul Bunyan, saved a town from flooding by pouring molasses and peanuts into the river – thus creating peanut brittle!
No matter what the real reason is (and the first two could both be true), the term “peanut brittle” first appeared in 1892. The recipe has remained the same, only now most people use corn syrup instead of molasses.
Homemade peanut brittle (Brazilian-style) is similar to the American peanut brittle recipe, except it is nuttier and more buttery. The addition of baking soda helps to crack it nicely even when it is made in humid weather. Give it a try on National Peanut Brittle Day!
The best homemade nut brittle recipe for National Peanut Brittle Day – perfectly sweet and crunchy, with chunks of nuts in each and every bite. While old-fashioned peanut brittle is typically made with only peanuts, this recipe adds almonds to the mix for a double dose of nutty goodness.
This ginger Pecan Brittle with chocolate drizzle is surprisingly simple to make! It's also a perfect edible gift on National Peanut Brittle Day or at any time of year. Try this easy brittle recipe - a twist on the peanut brittle classic.
Whether you don’t like using corn syrup or live in an area where it just isn’t a thing (like myself), you can still make an excellent peanut brittle without it. Check out this recipe on National Peanut Brittle Day.
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