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Easy Microwave Pecan Brittle

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Make crunchy, sweet microwave pecan brittle in just a few minutes. There’s no special equipment required, just a big glass bowl and a microwave.

golden pecan brittle on plate with squares of fudge.

Making nut brittles in the microwave is an easy way to make the traditional holiday candy. The peanut version is classic, but using pecans makes it even more special.

This microwave pecan brittle recipe is super quick and simple to make. It’s so easy you can make it for any time, but we usually put it out with our favorite Christmas sweets.

My mom got a recipe for microwave peanut brittle with her first microwave when I was a baby. We have been enjoying the homemade candy every since.

So to say that recipe has been around my whole life is pretty accurate. Everyone who tries it loves it and they’re always shocked that it was made in the microwave.

glass bowl filled with sugar syrup and pecans with bottle of homemade vanilla extract.

Pecan Sweets

Pecans are one of my favorite nuts and they also scream holiday to me. Pecan pie, maple pecan cake, and even pecan studded sweet potato casserole mean special occasion in our house.

I used whole pecans because that is what I had on hand. Feel free to use chopped if that is what you have.  In fact, they might work better.

If you are a pecan lover, feel free to add a few extra nuts to the mixture.  It could withstand a cup and a half of nuts pretty easily.

I think that correlation with holiday food makes them feel extra special. So I thought it would be fun to translate that peanut brittle into an easy pecan brittle.

bowl of hot foamy pecan brittle mixture.

Tips and Tricks

Make sure to use a really big glass bowl when you whip up a batch. The mixture will bubble up quite a bit and you don’t want it to spill out of the bowl.

No only does the mixture do a fair amount of bubbling and boiling when you heat it.  It also has a very big reaction with the baking soda when it is added.

It is the air bubbles created in that reaction that give the brittle its trademark texture.  It is the difference between a nice sweet crunch and a broken tooth from trying to bite into a hard dense candy.

Prepare your baking sheet before the final steps of the recipe. You want to work quickly to spread out the hot mixture, so you need to be ready ahead of time.

shards of golden pecan brittle on baking sheet.

This should go without saying, but that mixture is super hot. Be careful not to burn yourself and don’t try to sneak a taste before it has a chance to cool.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my pecan brittle chewy?

If your brittle doesn’t get hard, it likely wasn’t cooked quite enough. To ensure a crunchy brittle, it should reach 290F. Most people can follow the recipe directions with success without having to take the temperature, but all microwaves are different. If your brittle is hard at first but becomes chewy, it was likely exposed to too much moisture or humidity. It is important to keep it cool and dry.

What does baking soda do to pecan brittle?

Baking soda reacts with the mixture to make lots of little air bubbles. This makes for a fluffier brittle. It is what allows you to take a bite of the hard, crunchy candy without breaking a tooth.

Storing Homemade Pecan Brittle

Store your pecan brittle in an airtight container at room temperature. You want it to stay dry and crunchy, so store it by itself.

Long term storage of brittles with other cookies and candies can cause the brittle to get a little tacky. So it is best to store it on its own and add it to a treat tray right before serving.

If you want to make trays to give and want to ensure the highest quality of pecan brittle, put it in a cute little cellophane bag on the tray. Of course it will still be delicious if you just pile it on the tray. It will just stay fresh longer on its own.

plate of fudge and pecan brittle.

When well stored, pecan brittle will stay good at room temperature for several weeks. Just keep it out of extreme temperatures or high humidity and you’ll be good!

For another fun and easy pecan treat, try making pecan dream bars. They start with a cake mix and condensed milk and end up with a gooey pecan loaded treat.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card.

golden pecan brittle on plate with squares of fudge.

Easy Microwave Pecan Brittle

Servings: 24 Servings
Author: Carlee
Make crunchy sweet pecan brittle in just a few minutes. There’s no special equipment required, just a big glass bowl and a microwave!
4.73 from 11 ratings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions
 

  • In a large glass bowl (at least 6 cups) stir together sugar and corn syrup. Microwave on high for 4 minutes.
    1 cup granulated sugar, ½ cup light corn syrup
  • Stir in pecans Microwave on high 3 to 5 minutes, until it starts getting golden brown.
    1 cup pecan halves
  • Add butter and vanilla to syrup, blending well.
    1 teaspoon butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Microwave on high 1 to 2 minutes more. Pecans will be lightly browned and syrup very hot.
  • Add baking soda and gently stir until light and foamy.
    1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pour mixture onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Let cool for at least a half hour.
  • When cool, break into small pieces and store in air-tight container.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 90kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 83mgFiber: 1gSugar: 14g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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4.73 from 11 votes (11 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Amy

Tuesday 17th of December 2019

It truly amazes me how recipes like this can be made in the microwave. I remember my mother cooking for hours making this kind of candy. I'm feeling pretty lucky about some of the conveniences that we have today. However, sometimes I miss the hours spent together making these Christmas goodies. Those were special times. Now it seems that we are just in a hurry to get everything done. Thanks for sharing.

Carlee

Wednesday 18th of December 2019

The microwave makes it super quick and easy! It is definitely rush, rush, rush all the time!

Julie's Creative Lifestyle

Monday 16th of December 2019

This looks and sounds so good and perfect for holiday gift giving.

Carlee

Wednesday 18th of December 2019

Thank you!

Kelsie | the itsy- bitsy kitchen

Sunday 15th of December 2019

I love making peanut brittle but I've never made pecan brittle. I need to try this. It looks fabulous!

Carlee

Wednesday 18th of December 2019

It's a fun twist, isn't it?