Spicy Nut Brittle

There's something about peanut brittle that makes me automatically think of the holidays. I really don't know why. Maybe an aunt used to make it for the family's annual Christmas eve party? Maybe I saw it in a movie once? I mean, it's not like my family ever made it. We were more of the anise cookie kind of people. So, when I was flipping though the Franks cookbook last year and saw a recipe for the brittle, I knew I had to make it. Which I did... and then I made them again this year to send to family and friends. Oh yes, they are that good.

One of the things I love about this brittle is that it's not sweet. So, if you are looking for a sweet brittle, this is not the brittle for you. I, personally, don't have a sweet tooth unless it's a baked good. So, I loved that these weren't sweet. In fact, they are like the brittle version of spicy nuts. The Frank balances out the sugar perfectly and then you get the nuts in there and it's just amazing. These are really easy to make, too. One piece of advice though, if you don't have a candy thermometer and you do the water test, make sure the candy that comes out of the water is really and truly hard and brittle and not of caramel consistency. I did just that and took it off the heat too early and the brittle wouldn't harden up. If that happens to you, just cut up the brittle and melt it back down and cook it longer.

adapted from Cooking with Franks RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups shopped nuts*
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 8 Tbsp. butter, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. Franks RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Place the nuts in a medium-sized dry skillet. Toast the nuts over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat but keep the nuts in the pan.
  3. In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar, corn syrup, butter, and Franks to a boil. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the candy reaches 300°F or until the mixture darkens and a dollop of the mixture dropped into a cup of cold water hardens instantly. This should take about 10 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the baking soda. Fold in the nuts. Immediately pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet and use a spoon to create a layer between 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch thick. Allow to cool completely. Break into bite-sized pieces. Store in an airtight container.

*Unsalted peanuts, almonds, and pecans are great nuts for this brittle.
*If you want even more spice, add 1/4 tsp. of ground cayenne to the mixture when you add the nuts.

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