I don’t often have occasion to use my candy thermometer. In fact, candy making of most kinds scared me to the point that I wondered why I even had a candy thermometer to begin with. As it turns out, candy making is really not that frightening as long as you make sure you watch what you’re doing and remember that in some cases, you’re dealing with sugar that has been heated to over 300 degrees. Despite this fear and avoidance, for some reason, I decided to yet again try my hand at making brittle.
This brittle was really good, and much better than the stuff you buy in boxes from a store. I used Brazil nuts, but peanuts or cashews would work just fine as well. There’s beer in the mixture for this, but only 1/2 a cup, and it must be warm. So, pour out 1/2 C. of beer and while it’s getting warm, enjoy the rest of the bottle. For the record, I used Blue Moon and that worked just fine. I really recommend a citrusy IPA over anything else.
1/2 C. unsalted butter
2 C. sugar
1/2 C. beer (something citrusy works best)
1 tsp. salt
1 C. nuts (Brazil, peanuts, cashews) lightly toasted
Lightly grease a baking sheet (with butter, not cooking spray), or use a Silpat.
Put butter, sugar, beer and salt in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.
Bring to a boil and cook to hard crack stage (300-310 degrees, not more than 325 degrees).
Remove from heat and stir in nuts.
Pour onto prepared baking sheet, spreading evenly.
Let cool completely, and then crack into bite-size pieces.
Source: adapted from The Homebrew Chef