This old-fashioned confection is a tradition around the holiday season. Although it’s usually made with peanuts, this recipe calls for pistachios, which add a vibrant green color; you can swap in chopped walnuts or pecans as well. The brittle will keep well for several weeks stored in a dry, airtight container, with each layer of brittle separated by parchment paper. Tip: it’s also great for hostess gifts, party favors and holiday presents!
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (12 oz./375 g.) sugar
1 cup (10 oz./315 g.) light corn syrup
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 lb. (500 g.) pistachios
Preheat the oven to 250ºF (120ºC). Generously butter 2 rimmed baking sheets and place in the oven. In a small bowl, stir together the baking soda, vanilla and 1 teaspoon water.
In a large, heavy saucepan, cook the sugar, corn syrup and 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) water over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar crystals, until the mixture is clear and reads 240ºF (115ºC) on a candy thermometer, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the butter and pistachios and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened and the thermometer reads 300ºF (150ºC). Watch carefully to prevent the mixture from burning. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the baking soda mixture. Be careful, as the mixture will bubble up.
Remove the baking sheets from the oven. Carefully pour half of the candy mixture onto each warm baking sheet and quickly spread into an even layer about 1/4 inch (6 mm.) thick. Set aside to cool for about 1 hour. Lift the edge of the brittle and break it into large or small pieces. Makes about 2 lb. (1 kg.).
Find more mouthwatering ways to end a meal in our cookbook Dessert of the Day, by Kim Laidlaw.