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Old 01-31-2005, 06:30 AM   #1
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Polydextrose Peanut Brittle

I used Scott's recipe for corn syrup and got a very respectable peanut brittle! It sticks to your teeth a little, but I think regular peanut brittle does too. When I first mixed the polyd and water to make the corn syrup sub, it didn't seem thick enough, so I added more polyd. I think that was a mistake, as once I got boiling it, it got too thick, and I ended up adding more water to thin it out. I think if I'd left the original proportions alone, it would have worked. This is what I did:

1 cup polyd, (I added 1/4 cup extra)
1/3 cup + 1 Tab. water (I probably added an extra 1/4-1/3 cup)
1/3 cup equivalent sweetener (I used liquid Splenda, Stevia Plus, and a little bit of Whey Low)
1/2 tsp. each salt, baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tab. butter
about 2 cups of salted peanuts (I didn't measure, just put handfuls in)

In medium saucepan, mix polyd and water. Bring to boil. Boil until syrup reaches almost 300 degrees, (hard crack stage on candy thermometer), stirring regularly. While syrup is boiling, combine salt, soda, and vanilla in a small dish. Have peanuts and butter ready. Either butter a cookie sheet, or if you have a silpat, (silicone baking sheet), it works great to line the cookie sheet, no butter needed.
When syrup reaches proper temp, turn off burner. Stir in vanilla mixture and butter. Then stir in peanuts. I tried to get as many as I could get to be coated. Pour onto baking sheet. The syrup will start thickening up immediately so you have to work quickly spreading it as thinly as possible. After a few minutes, I was able to use my fingers to spread it thinner without getting burned. After it cooled, I drizzled on some melted SF chocolate chips. It sticks to your teeth, so, like Scott said about his caramel, if you have expensive dental work, eat at your own risk.
I made this yesterday, and I think it is even better after sitting overnight. It seems a little less sticky. The flavor is very good! I will definitely make this again! Thank you, Scott, for the corn syrup recipe. Now I need to go order more polyd. I hope their sale is still going on!
If anyone tries this or has any tweaks, please let me know how you make out.
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Old 01-31-2005, 06:57 AM   #2
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Hmmmm....could English Toffee be far behind...? That sounds awesome!



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Old 01-31-2005, 09:13 AM   #3
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it didnt seize up on you? wow im really excited. i ordered my poly friday, the sale i think is still on.do you find that the poly goes fast in recipes like the carb q. i would rather order bigger shipments than to run out. can you taste the poly at all? i wonder if theres a way to cure the stickiness? i would love to make stain glass candy.
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Old 01-31-2005, 11:20 AM   #4
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Cathy, sounds great!

I'm curious, did it achieve the right color for brittle?

After you take it off the heat, it get's very thick and hard to work with very quickly, doesn't it? I noticed that when I worked with it.

Do you happen to recall making this recipe with sugar? And, if so, do you see any differences between working with polyd and sugar?

Although 300 is hard crack for a sugar syrup, I think it's possible that PDX is a little higher than that. You might want to play with 305 or even 310 next time. It's just a theory, but I think the stickiness is indicative of not being brought to a high enough temperature (soft crack rather than hard crack).

Last edited by scott123; 01-31-2005 at 11:56 AM..
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Old 01-31-2005, 11:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by griffin
it didnt seize up on you? wow im really excited. i ordered my poly friday, the sale i think is still on.do you find that the poly goes fast in recipes like the carb q. i would rather order bigger shipments than to run out. can you taste the poly at all? i wonder if theres a way to cure the stickiness? i would love to make stain glass candy.
It didn't seize up at all, because, as Scott has pointed out, polyd loves heat! When you first mix it with the water, it's sticky, but once it starts warming up, it dissolves just fine! I have used it in quite a few recipes, and I still have about 1/2 of my first order. In general, I think you use less of it in a recipe, usually a cup or less, than you do Carbquik. Also, it comes in 5 lb. bags vs. 3 lb. boxes of Carbquik for less money, so I think it's a great value. As far as taste, again, I'm quoting Scott who noticed it has a slight cotton candy taste. Once you add other sweeteners, and in this case, peanuts, you don't detect any off taste. I would think stained glass candy would be possible if you had a thinner syrup, so maybe add more water. This would just be too thick to spread out as thinly as I remember stained glass candy to be. Happy cooking!
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Old 01-31-2005, 12:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by scott123
Cathy, sounds great!

I'm curious, did it achieve the right color for brittle?

After you take it off the heat, it get's very thick and hard to work with very quickly, doesn't it? I noticed that when I worked with it.

Do you happen to recall making this recipe with sugar? And, if so, do you see any differences between working with polyd and sugar?

Although 300 is hard crack for a sugar syrup, I think it's possible that PDX is a little higher than that. You might want to play with 305 or even 310 next time. It's just a theory, but I think the stickiness is indicative of not being brought to a high enough temperature (soft crack rather than hard crack).
Scott,
It was absolutely, dead on, the right color for brittle, though it didn't darken until the last few minutes. I have made regular peanut brittle before, many moons ago. As far as differences, of course there's no sugar crystals forming on the sides of your pan, which is a plus. My syrup was quite thick, and twice I took it off the heat, and stirred in some more water, but, as I said earlier, I think I started out with too much polyd. I tried to drop some in a cup of cold water to test for the different stages, and it wouldn't come off the spoon. Fortunately, it was very forgiving as to adding the water, so you can adjust as you go along. That's interesting about cooking to a higher temp. The brittle definitely has a nice "snap" to it. It just leaves a sticky residue in your teeth. I will try cooking it a bit longer next time and see what happens. In the meantime, it's delicious! What a way to get more fiber in your diet!
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Old 01-31-2005, 01:22 PM   #7
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Cathy, fascinating stuff, thanks!!!

PolyD has some issues with caramelization. From what I understand, the little bit of sugar (glucose) it contains caramelizes, but not the rest of the fiber (90%). In other words, it caramelizes a little, but not as much as sugar does.

I think you may have improved caramelization by the addition of whey low.
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Old 01-31-2005, 01:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by CandidCam
Hmmmm....could English Toffee be far behind...?
I am all aflutter! I have to go right out now and won't have a minute to myself this week, but if anybody is looking, here are some toffee recipes I've collected--all the original recipes with sugar so we can start in the same place. Notice how, even if you correct for the fact that some make batches twice the size of others, the recipes differ hugely in their proportions. I didn't write any of them and haven't tried any of them, so your guess is as good as mine (and probably better).

Almond Roca
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 cups whole almonds
1 large package chocolate chips
1/2 cups walnuts ground in a blender

Melt butter over high heat. Add sugar, stirring until it foams up well. Continue over high heat, adding almonds. Continue to cook, stirring continually until mixture is color of mahogany and sugar is all melted. (Take it off the heat for a moment if it starts to smoke.)

Stir as you take it off the heat permanently and pour quickly onto your biggest flat pan with sides. Tilt to spread evenly. After 5 minutes, pour on chocolate chips. When they have melted a bit, spread them over the top of the hot mixture with a rubber scraper. Scatter ground walnuts over the top, shaking to distribute evenly.

Candy is thoroughly cooled when the chocolate is dull looking. (Cool at least three hours at room temperature.) Break into pieces and it's ready to eat.


Almond Brickle

1 cup butter
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups slivered almonds
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cook butter and light brown sugar in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes or until sugar has completely melted. Add almonds and continue cooking and stirring for another 2-3 minutes, until almonds just begin to brown on the edges.

Pour mixture into a well greased 13x9 pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the hot mixture. As chocolate melts spread evenly over the top of the brickle. Chill for twenty minutes or until chocolate is firm. Break into pieces.


Heath Bar Candy

1/2 lb butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup almonds, very finely chopped
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Combine first 3 ingredients and boil, stirring constantly until it thickens and looks like a brown paper bag. Pour on greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Let melt and spread smooth over the mixture. Let cool and harden. Break into pieces.


English Toffee

1 cup butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 Tab light corn syrup
3 Tab water
1 1/2 cups toasted blanched almond bits

Coating:
4 (4 1/2 oz) milk chocolate candy bars
1 cup almond bits

In a large heavy pan add butter, sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, to the hard crack stage (300 degrees F.) Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups almond bits. Spread mixture in a well greased (sprayed with Pam cooking spray) 9x13 pan. Cool.

Coating: Melt the chocolate bars. Turn cooled candy out onto waxed paper and spread with one half of the chocolate. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup almond bits. Let this set. Then turn the candy over and spread the other side with the remaining chocolate and rest of the almond bits. Chill to firm. Break into pieces.


Butter Toffee

2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 pound butter (not oleo or margarine)
2 cups sliced or slivered almonds
1 (6 oz) package semi sweet chocolate chips

Put sugar into a medium sauce pan and pour water over. Do not stir. Cover loosely. Cook 6 minutes.

Add butter one stick at a time and stir each till completely melted. As soon as the last bit of butter is melted, add the two cups of almonds and stir continuously till the mixture turns a rich auburn color. (You will think you are burning it but cook till auburn.)

Pour into two cookie sheets and spread as thin as possible. While hot pour melted chocolate chips and spread over entire top surface. Let cool two or three hours and break. Store in zip lock bags.
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Old 01-31-2005, 02:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by scott123
Cathy, fascinating stuff, thanks!!!
I think you may have improved caramelization by the addition of whey low.
I only used a Tab. because I'm a bit suspicious of their claims, but it does really improve the finished taste of recipes. Ilike to use a majority of liquid Splenda, with smaller amounts of Stevia Plus, Erythritol, and very small amounts of Whey Low.
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Old 01-31-2005, 02:53 PM   #10
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Binki,
Most of those toffee recipes don't call for water. The question, to me, is what happens to the polyd when you just mix it with butter? My experience mixing polyd with a melted butter/chocolate mixture in a brownie recipe wasn't pretty! But then, I didn't heat it anymore once I added the polyd. Maybe it would be fine!
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Old 01-31-2005, 03:21 PM   #11
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Hooray !!
Can't wait to try this one for some LC "Just the Nuts"!
Thanks Cap!
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Old 01-31-2005, 03:33 PM   #12
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Binki, it looks like the important ratio, sugar to butter, is about the same for all the recipes.

I think the use of raw almond or toasted almonds makes a big difference. Getting a good toast to the almond as you're caramelizing the PDX might be tricky, but at the same time, incorporating toasted nuts into the final mixture might be tricky as well. I think the latter technique is preferable, though.

Cathy's right about polyd requiring water for the initial dissolve. Water in these types of recipes doesn't really matter all that much - it just adds a little time for evaporation.

If I had to choose one of these recipes, I'd go with the English Toffee one, as it's the only one that gives temperature. A soft caramel you can eyeball to an extent, but not a hard crack stage.

Here's a rough sketch of how I would approach it:

Low Carb English Toffee

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1.5 cups polydextrose
1 cup post-synergy sugar equivalent:
...2/3 C. splenda equivalent
...2 T sweetening equivalent of ace k or stevia
1/2 C. water
1 1/2 cups toasted blanched almond bits*

Coating:
8 (1 oz) erythritol based milk chocolate candy bars**
1 cup toasted almond bits

In a large heavy pan combine water, sweeteners and PDX. Bring to boil, stirring - PDX should be dissolved. If it isn't, either add more water and/or continue to stir on warm. Add butter. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, to the hard crack stage (300 degrees F.) Remove from heat and quickly stir in 1 1/2 cups almond bits. Quickly spread mixture in a well buttered 9x13 pan. Cool.

Coating: Melt the chocolate bars. Turn cooled candy out onto waxed paper and spread with one half of the chocolate. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup almond bits. Let this set. Then turn the candy over and spread the other side with the remaining chocolate and rest of the almond bits. Chill to firm. Break into pieces.

Notes:

*This almond quantity seems a little high for toffee. Maybe the first time, I'd go with this much, but then adjust it the next.

**A sf ganache will work here as well.

It's very important that the pan be buttered/ready and the almond bits be next to the stove. Once you hit hard crack and remove the pan from the heat, manageability becomes an issue very quickly. You have literally seconds before the mixture becomes too cool to pour. Stir the almonds quickly and get it into the pan. It might work better to have just toasted/still warm almonds or maybe adding the almonds while the mixture is still on the heat - we'll see.

This might work with a little erythritol, but I'd try it without the first time around.

The temperature necessary to caramelize the PDX might be so high the butter burns. We'll only know by trying.
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Old 01-31-2005, 07:16 PM   #13
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scott are you using sweets free?
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Old 01-31-2005, 08:13 PM   #14
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Yes I am, Griffin.
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Old 01-31-2005, 08:20 PM   #15
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Hm. I wonder if there's enough water in the butter, or if you couldn't add a bit of water just so the PD would cook and caramelize. Or if it would do so even without water, just melt like straight sugar.

Stupid work is keeping me from this all-important experimentation and it's making me very cranky! I've got to lobby for a hot plate, oven, and WiFi connection at my desk.

- -
on edit: I just reread Scott123's post above. Never mind!

Last edited by binki; 01-31-2005 at 08:22 PM..
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Old 02-01-2005, 02:57 PM   #16
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I was making Scott's buttery English Toffee...WOW what a rich delicious flavor & perfect texture! My candy thermometer is broken, so I was doing the drop into cold water thing and tasting as I went along. It tasted so good at the gooey soft ball stage, I didn't even progress to the nuts and chocolate, but just put it on some LC Vanilla ice cream. It is SO GOOD on it's own. Everyone in my family LOVED it.
What was left, I drizzled over some mixed nuts with a little melted MiniCarb choc chips too. yummy
Look at this stuff, caramel heaven! Thank you Thank YOU for working this out.
Oh Thank Heaven for PolyD & "123" (and all our other Poly Pioneers)
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Old 02-01-2005, 04:01 PM   #17
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P.S. Don't forget to post these to the Poly recipe thread!
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Old 02-01-2005, 04:19 PM   #18
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Jaideyes, we should be thanking you. Without your wonderful pictures prompting people to buy this stuff, the experimentation would be pretty much non existent. I'd still be talking about how wonderful polyd is and getting lots of blank stares. Everyone's contribution has been invaluable in the quest to understand/utilize polyd, but your pictures have said thousands of words, literally

I'm curious, how was the level of sweetness? Did it require any tweaking?
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Old 02-01-2005, 04:27 PM   #19
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im sorry, i cant seem to find the thread with the corn syrup on it, could someone point it in my direction? jaid eyes, im so impressed, you have a touch of alton brown
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Old 02-01-2005, 04:51 PM   #20
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Thanks! I love my Sony digital cam

For the sweetening, I winged it a little on your recipe's measurements, using 1 t. TrishZ liquid S, 1/4 t. liquid stevia extract, & 1 T Steel's Brown. It's so perfectly sweet & rich, but not cloyingly so.

After refrigerating the mixed nuts with toffee & chocolate last night, they are amazing today, the toffee/caramel is firm but not super tooth cracking hard nor sticky. They're even better than the Orville Redenbacher "Drizzlers"
I'm bringing these to work tommorow to share, or I will eat them ALL.
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Old 02-01-2005, 05:09 PM   #21
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griffin, Scott's corn syrup sub recipe is listed 1/2 way down the page in this thread...

http://lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/showth...ght=corn+syrup
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Old 02-01-2005, 05:35 PM   #22
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thank you!!
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Old 02-01-2005, 05:42 PM   #23
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Jaideyes, what's the sweetening equivalent for the 1/4 T. liquid stevia extract? Is that the same stuff from the 'liquid stevia' thread?
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Old 02-02-2005, 06:30 AM   #24
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Looks like the butter toffee is next, now that my peanut brittle is almost gone. Everyone that has tried it, including non-LCers, has loved it! My only complaint is how it sticks to your teeth, but Scott gave me an idea for next time, and it looks like Jaideyes didn't have any problem with stickiness. Maybe the higher butter content helps. I agree with how helpful the pictures are. Thanks to all who are able to post them!
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Old 02-02-2005, 02:07 PM   #25
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About the liquid stevia, I am not sure about the official equivalents, here is the stuff:
I usually squirt in about 1/2 a dropper full in recipes.

NuNaturals Pure Liquid Clear SteviaExtract
NuNaturals has developed this easy to use liquid that allows the most accurate measurement of Stevia Extract. This liquid is so concentrated, that only 5-10 drops are needed. Our Pure Liquid Clear Stevia Extract contains 200 mg per ml and is in a base of vegetable glycerine and 20% pure grain alcohol. Clear Stevia comes in a 2 oz bottle. Great for teas and other beverages.
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Old 02-02-2005, 02:31 PM   #26
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Jaideyes, I took a look at the nunaturals website. 1 dropper equals 4 teaspoons, so 1/2 dropper equals 2 t.

Cathy, I'm sure that the butter helps for the stickiness. I added butter to my caramel recipe yesterday and it improved significantly.
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Old 02-05-2005, 03:26 PM   #27
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I just made something which I think fits into this thread. I was pretty worried about it but it came out just scrummy.

Crunchy Pecan Goodness
1 egg white
1 teaspoon water
2 drops liquid splenda

1 pound pecan halves

1/4 cup Splenda
1/2 cup Polydextrose
a good-sized pinch of salt, at least 1/4 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon or so of cinnamon

Beat egg white, water and liquid sweetener until frothy. Mix in pecans and stir to coat. Mix the dry ingredients in a big bowl and pour the wet pecans into that. Mix well and dump onto a buttered cookie sheet. Bake for an hour at 225 degrees and stir every 15 minutes.

I was pretty worried about lumps when I first stirred the nuts into the sweeteners, but it was fine. I was afraid I'd end up with a giant sticky clump, so at the second stir I added a tablespoon or so of butter.

When the hour was up I put the nuts onto a buttered Silpat mat and separated them into a single layer. Now that they've cooled I put them into a storage container which I think should really be in some sort of vault; they're yummy. I'm glad I have people coming over tomorrow.

I had nightmares of cleaning the pan, but a little hot soapy water in it made the sticky polydextrose just dissolve and disappear like magic.
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Old 02-07-2005, 02:52 PM   #28
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PEANUT BRITTLE BREAKTHROUGH!
I made peanut brittle again, but this time I used Scott's converted English Toffee recipe included in this thread. I only made 1/2 the recipe, because I wasn't sure if it would work with the peanuts. I also cooked it to 315 degrees, because my first attempt stuck to my teeth. OMG! It might be dangerous to have too much of this around! It reminds me of the Carbwell Planter's Peanut crunchy bars. I don't know if it's the higher temperature or the butter, but no more digging this out of my teeth! Majorly delicious! Here's what I did.

3/4 cup polyD
sugar subs to equal 1/2 cup sugar. I used 1/2 tsp. TrishZ's liquid Splenda, 1 tsp. Stevia Plus, and 2 Tab. Whey Low.
1/4 cup water
1 stick butter
2 cups salted peanuts
additional water
In saucepan, combine polyD and water. Heat till polyD has melted. Add butter. Cook stirring, till syrup reaches 315 degrees. (As mine cooked, and got really thick, I added 2 Tab. water on 2 different occasions, and at the very end, 1 last Tab. of water, for a total of an additional 5 Tab. water. Each time, it boiled more vigorously, and the color of the syrup darkened. Have a Silpat or buttered cookie sheet ready. Add 2 cups of nuts, while pan is still on stove. Stir quickly to blend. Remove from heat and immediately turn out onto pan and use back of spoon to spread brittle out. Let cool. Break into smaller pieces. As with the original recipe, you can drizzle SF chocolate over the top.
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Old 02-08-2005, 08:50 AM   #29
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These recipes sound great. Thanks for sharing
I've never made peanut brittle but I seem to remember it has baking soda or something stirred in at the end. Has anyone tried this? Also Im wondering if Davinci english toffee or another flavor would be good in place of the water. I'll let you know if I try it
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Old 02-08-2005, 02:41 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by chickiemom
These recipes sound great. Thanks for sharing
I've never made peanut brittle but I seem to remember it has baking soda or something stirred in at the end. Has anyone tried this? Also Im wondering if Davinci english toffee or another flavor would be good in place of the water. I'll let you know if I try it
The first recipe I made did have 1/2 tsp. of baking powder. The second recipe didn't. I think the second recipe is just perfect! You could probably sub Davinci's for the water that you start with, and cut back on the other sweeteners, but I would use water for the liquid that you add as it's cooking, as I think it might get too sweet otherwise. It's such a great recipe, with all the buttery/toffee flavor you could want. I hope you try it!
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