Microwave Peanut Brittle may be the easiest thing you’ll do all month. Staying away from it... now that’s another story. Every golden bite is fluffy, nutty, and gloriously addictive.
The whole reason to make candy and cookies is to delight, and it doesn’t get more delightful than a plate of Christmas Crack or Homemade Snickers Bars. All the best cookie recipes are just a click away.
Most people think that candy making is difficult, but the only thing that’s hard about making this recipe for peanut brittle is not eating it all in one sitting.
Perfectly toasty peanut brittle should taste like honeycomb, sponge candy, or fairy food. It should snap when you break it and melt in your mouth. That's exactly what this recipe is. It's never burnt or bitter.
The best microwave peanut brittle recipe ever isn’t without a few tips and tricks, though—some of which are pretty genius—so you can make it again and again.
Microwave Peanut Brittle Ingredients:
- Granulated sugar. Plain old white sugar works great, but there’s a variation for Peanut Brittle with brown sugar down below.
- Light corn syrup. Corn syrup is an essential ingredient in candy making, responsible for making the brittle crack.
- Peanuts. Salted or unsalted. Raw peanuts are okay, too.
- Butter. A little pat of butter contributes to the rich flavor.
- Baking soda. Making peanut brittle without baking soda may not give you the results you’re looking for, so head back to the store!
What does baking soda do to peanut brittle?
Adding baking soda to the hot sugar syrup makes lots of tiny air bubbles that give the candy the porous, honeycomb texture it's famous for. It’s also more delicate, so it's easier to bite.
How to make Microwave Peanut Brittle:
This recipe makes about a pound of brittle. It might be difficult to make double batches of it, so if you want more, make batches assembly-line style.
Get ready, because making peanut brittle in the microwave moves pretty quickly.
- First, line a baking sheet with parchment, or lightly butter it. At this stage, to make clean-up easier, coat the bowl you’ll be using with non-stick spray, as well as the spoon or spatula you’ll stir with.
- Then mix together the sugar and corn syrup; it will be stiff. Microwave on HIGH power for 4 minutes.
- Next, stir in the peanuts and microwave on HIGH powered until the picture is a light golden brown. Keep your eye on it during this crucial stage. In most microwaves, this could be anywhere between 3 and 5 minutes.
- Then stir in the butter and vanilla and microwave on HIGH until the peanuts are lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
- Now for the fun part! Stir in the baking soda. The mixture will get very foamy and lighten in color.
- Quickly pour the hot mixture onto the prepared pan and tilt the pan one way and then the other to let the brittle spread out.
- Let cool for 30 minutes before breaking into pieces.
Why did my peanut brittle turn out chewy?
Oh no! When you don’t cook the candy long enough, the brittle never reaches the hard-crack stage, so it sets up sticky and chewy.
Make sure you cook the brittle until it reaches a light caramel color, before adding the baking soda.
Tips for the best Microwave Peanut Brittle:
- Grease the pan. Butter a baking sheet or line it with parchment so the brittle doesn’t stick.
- Make thin brittle. Warm the sheet pan in the oven for a few minutes—this helps the brittle spread spread out quickly before it cools. Once you pour it out, just tip the sheet pan so the hot brittle spreads naturally. It's easier to bite, and it makes more pieces.
- Whatever you do, don’t help it along with a spatula; just let it flow like lava.
- Make clean-up a breeze. Spray the bowl and the spoon or spatula with a non-stick spray before you use them; it will make the hot brittle less sticky and make clean up a little easier.
- Use the right equipment. Hot sugar can be dangerous, so play it safe. Make sure you use a high-quality glass or microwave-safe bowl when making peanut brittle, as the bowl can get very hot during cooking. A 2-quart Pyrex measuring bowl with a single handle works well, too, so you can manage it with one hand and scrape the candy out with the other.
- Not all microwaves behave the same. 1100 volt, 1200 volt, every microwave is a little different. Some cooks use an older (weaker) model just for making peanut brittle!
If you're not sure and would prefer to eyeball it, microwave it in 2-or 3-minute increments and just keep an eye on it! Do that until the candy is light brown in color before adding the baking soda.
Delicious Microwave Peanut Brittle Variations:
- Chocolate peanut brittle. Sprinkle a layer of semi-sweet chips as soon as you pour the hot brittle onto the pan. Then wait a minute for the chips to melt and gently spread the chocolate over the surface. Amazing!
- Microwave Peanut Brittle with brown sugar. Some readers love to throw a little brown sugar in the brittle recipe. Feel free to add an extra 1/4 cup of brown sugar to the recipe if you like an extra deep flavor.
- Microwave Peanut Brittle without corn syrup. Unfortunately, there isn’t a good recipe out there for an easy microwave peanut brittle that doesn’t call for corn syrup.
It’s possible to make a hard, caramel-style candy using a lot of nuts, but corn syrup is key in the favorite peanut brittle.
How do you store peanut brittle?
Whatever you have left over stores well between layers of parchment or wax paper, sealed in an airtight container or a pretty cookie tin.
How long can you keep peanut brittle?
This is the perfect make ahead candy recipe will last well for up to two months!
What kind of nuts do you use for peanut brittle?
Microwave Peanut Brittle Recipe
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1 cup peanuts
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, wax paper, or a silicone mat. In a deep microwave-safe bowl, combine sugar and corn syrup. Mix thoroughly and microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes.
- Stir in peanuts and microwave on HIGH until the mixture is light brown, about 3 to 5 minutes longer.
- Stir in butter and vanilla until combined. Microwave on HIGH until peanuts are lightly browned, about 1 to 2 minutes longer.
- Stir in baking soda until mixture is light and foamy. Pour onto prepared pan and cool 30 minutes. Break into pieces to serve and store in an airtight container.