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MiMi’s Microwave Peanut Brittle

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Sweet, crunchy peanut brittle is a classic candy that you can easily make at home. This updated recipe doesn’t involve a candy thermometer, just a microwave. Make some to see how easy it really is.

plate of pieces of easy microwave peanut brittle.

This is the easiest peanut brittle recipe you will ever make. It is made with basic ingredients, a big glass bowl and the microwave.

The resulting candy has the crisp texture and nutty finish you would expect. It would be a perfect addition to you Christmas candy menu, but don’t save it just for the holidays. It is delicious any time of the year.

Easy Microwave Peanut Brittle

If you enjoy the sweet, caramelly crunch of peanut brittle you are not alone. It is a classic candy for a reason. But did you know you can make it in just a few minutes with a few ingredients in the microwave?

You don’t need a candy thermometer or any fancy equipment. So gather up the ingredients and lets make a batch!

Peanut brittle has always been one of our favorite Christmas candies.  MiMi says this recipe was in the book that came with their very first microwave back in the ’80s and it has been a staple ever since.

She never likes doing anything that requires a candy thermometer, so this is the perfect kind of candy recipe for her.  And I know she isn’t alone in thinking that having to hit an exact temperature is intimidating.

sugar mixture in glass bowl by measuring cup of peanuts.

How It’s Made

Luckily it really doesn’t get any easier to make than this.  It starts by making a simple sugar syrup of sugar and corn syrup.

Once it is all hot and bubbly, you stir in the peanuts and let it cook a bit more.  It starts getting a little caramelized at this stage and the peanuts get toasty.

Stir in just a bit of butter and vanilla and cook it some more.  When it is golden and delicious, you stir in some baking soda.

foamy hot peanut brittle mixture after stirring in the baking soda.

Have you ever stirred baking soda into a hot sugar mixture like that?  We also do it when we make caramel corn.

It bubbles up big, so you want to make sure to have an oversized bowl.  But all of that air is what makes it crunchy but light instead of a solid sheet of lollipop textured break your teeth hardness.

So just be careful, as the hot bubbly sugar could definitely get your fingers or make a mess. But if you size your bowl correctly, it shouldn’t be a big deal at all.

Chunks of broken up peanut brittle on baking sheet.

Then just pour the mixture onto a greased baking sheet and let it cool.  Break it into pieces and store it in an airtight container to enjoy at your leisure.

You could also bag some up as gifts, people will think you went all out making them such a tasty treat!

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have a high Watt microwave?

Microwaves have changed a bit over the years since MiMi originally got this recipe in the 1980s. If you have a high Watt microwave that tends to cook things faster than the directions state, take about 30 seconds off of each of the cook times. Watch the color and stop it when it has a nice golden shade.

How do I store homemade peanut brittle?

Make sure your peanut brittle is completely cooled before moving it to an airtight container. If kept away from humidity and in a cool place, it will keep at room temperature for several weeks. Do not refrigerate the candy, as it will cause the candy to soften.

Pro tip: If serving peanut brittle on a tray with other cookies and candies, be sure to add it at the last minute. Or if you are gifting the tray, wrap the peanut brittle separately. The moisture from other baked goods could cause the brittle to soften faster.

More Homemade Candy Recipes to Try

If you like brittles, you can also make a microwave pecan brittle. It has the same great texture and easy instructions.

For a chocolate and peanut treat, try making crockpot peanut clusters. This recipe features bits of toffee for something extra special.

If a chewier caramel is you thing, try making bear claw candies. They have soft caramel and cashews inside and chocolate on the outside.

plate of pieces of easy microwave peanut brittle.

Easy Microwave Peanut Brittle

Carlee
This microwave peanut brittle recipe allows you to make the crunchy caramelized candy at home without a candy thermometer. If you have a big glass bowl, a microwave and few simple ingredients you can make your own candy in no time at all.
5 from 6 ratings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 Servings
Calories 90 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup roasted salted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions
 

  • In a large glass bowl (at least 1½ quarts), stir together sugar and corn syrup. Microwave on high for 4 minutes.
    1 cup granulated sugar, ½ cup light corn syrup
  • Stir in peanuts. Microwave on high 3 to 5 minutes, until it starts getting golden brown.
    1 cup roasted salted peanuts
  • Add butter and vanilla to syrup, blending well.
    1 teaspoon butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Microwave on high 1 to 2 minutes more. Peanuts 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
Tried this recipe?Mention @carleecooks or tag #cookingwcarlee!

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Recipe Rating




Lori

Thursday 27th of December 2018

These sound so good! I definitely need to try it!

Carlee

Friday 4th of January 2019

It is so good and easy too!

Carlee

Monday 24th of December 2018

It is definitely a Christmastime must. Thanks!

Amy (Savory Moments)

Tuesday 18th of December 2018

This is a great recipe! So much easier!

Carlee

Monday 24th of December 2018

Sooooo easy and delicious too! Thanks, Amy!

Amy

Friday 15th of December 2017

This recipe looks like a keeper. I'm with Mimi when it comes to not using a candy thermometer if possible. That is funny that she got this recipe with her first microwave! Thanks for sharing. I need to try this.

Carlee

Tuesday 26th of December 2017

This definitely makes it foolproof and I love that she's had the recipe that long too! Thanks, Amy!

Susan - of every moment

Monday 21st of December 2015

Wow - this sounds so easy compared to the stovetop version I have made. I'm definitely trying this next time! Pinned!

Carlee

Monday 21st of December 2015

I have never done it stove top because this is the way I always saw my mom make it. I feel like I should try it that way sometime for experience sake, but this way is so easy!