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Operation for making peanut candy

Publish admin On 2015-10-31

Operation for making peanut candy

Add one cup of water, one cup of corn syrup, and one and a half cups of sugar to your saucepan and set it on your stove. Turn the burner to high and stir it occasionally. Set the candy thermometer in the pan to monitor the temperature. You are now breaking down the sugar crystals into hot liquid candy!
We just added the water to the sugars and now we’re going to boil it away!
While you’re boiling the water, take a minute to prepare for the end of the process. Do not sample the hot liquid candy. It’s not delicious and will burn your gullet.
Open the peanuts. Cut off a 3 tablespoon chunk of butter. You’ll need these at the same moment pretty soon so keep them handy! You can eat a few peanuts if you can’t wait, but do not eat the butter…
Use some more butter to grease both cookie sheets. I like to heat them up in the oven first (200 degrees ought to do) and leave them there until I need them at the end. One stick of butter will divide perfectly into two 3-tablespoon lumps plus four greased cookie sheets. Neat!
It’s also time to mix 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 teaspoon of water, and 1.5 teaspoons of baking soda in the little bowl. This is the catalyst for light non-dentally-dangerous peanut brittle! It won’t combine, so just do your best to keep it stirred until you need it.
The bubbling mixture on the stove will stay at 212 degrees (the boiling point) for a while while the water vaporizes. Then you’ll see the temperature start creeping up.
At 240 degrees the sugar reaches “soft crack” stage. Yes, that’s really a cooking term. It makes a different sound while bubbling and has a nice thickness to it while you stir!
Once the mixture reaches 240 degrees, you’re ready to add the butter and peanuts. Just dump them in together.
This will make it much harder to stir, which is ironic since now you have to stir it constantly to keep it from burning! The temperature will drop quite a lot and your candy thermometer will have trouble staying in the candy. You could take the thermometer out for a while until it’s easier to stir, then stick it back in to measure the temperature as it nears 300 degrees.
I like to use a back-and-forth folding action rather than a round-and-round stir.
While you’re stirring the peanut-butter-candy mixture with one hand, keep an eye on the temperature. Be ready. When it reaches 300 degrees you have a lot of work to do very quickly!
As you near 300 degrees, make sure to stir the little bowl of baking soda and vanilla. It won’t mix, but you want the baking soda to stay suspended in the water so it will distribute when you dump it in!
When you’re almost to 300, make sure your greased baking sheets are ready to use. Set them on a cooling rack or pot holder – they’re going to get hot! Again, Alton Brown’s recipe heats the candy too hot, making it harder than necessary. Some people use a granite slab or “candy stone” but I’m going to assume you don’t have one of those.
The baking soda mixture won’t really mix, but get it ready with a quick stir!
At 300 degrees you’re ready for action. Stop. Look. Make sure the baking soda and cookie sheets are ready. Get the dog and the kids out of the way. This is hot and dangerous!
Turn off the heat. While stirring constantly, dump in the baking soda mixture. Keep your face and arms out of the way because it will steam and hiss and foam and go nuts!
You are most likely to get injured or make a huge mess at this point!
Keep stirring for a moment to get it evenly mixed. Then pick up the saucepan and dump half the candy on one cookie sheet and the rest on the other. It will make two nice big round blobs. Do not delay in pouring it out! It will foam up and get all over the stove, the floor, the dog, and the kids. This is really bad and will result in emergency room visits!
Leave the candy alone on the cookie sheets. Do not spread it out or tamp it down. Just let it rest and cool. Now fill the saucepan with hot water from the tap to clean it out. You’ll be thinking you just ruined your saucepan, spoon, and thermometer, but don’t worry. The water will dissolve the sugar quickly and you’ll be left with nice, clean tools to start over on the second batch!
Once the candy has cooled, break it into shards and set it aside in an airtight container. Sneak some for yourself. Now do it all again!
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