Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Magic and microwave brittle

Well I have something very awesome to share...I have a theme song! A song that was made for little ol' me. How, you ask? Well, I made him brittle and he made me a song. (That sounds romantic, but it wasn't. My husband has made a song for me though, that I won't share because it's mine and mine alone.)

So this theme song is pretty cool. He read my blog and ate my brittle and put it all into a little instrumental.

Hit it Paul!


video

Nice, huh? I thought so. Thanks Paul, you are too cool.


Now on to fancy pants stew. I don't really have a recipe for that. It's more of a story about my mom. My mom makes brittle for every Christmas and she makes it in the microwave. I know some of you have heard of this and I'll share a recipe below. But the really cool thing is my mom made this when microwaves weren't in every home and if they were you mostly just reheated your coffee or something. Another cool thing about my mom is she's Vietnamese (my dad's Kansas) and she still made brittle even though she didn't have that growing up. She learned how to make it because, I suspect, one day at work someone was talking about making some candy in the microwave and she remembered it, then she came home and did it. And it was amazing, it was the best tasting brittle I'd ever had. She didn't use thermometers, she didn't know anything about hard crack stage or microwave wattages...she had heard someone describe the process and she maybe had a piece. An that was it. This is her magic.

Another example of her magic is when we'd go into a restaurant and we'd all have a nice meal. Someone would comment about the stew and how good it was and the next day my mom would whip out this bowl and it would be the same stew. She'd had figured out what was exactly in that stew just from a few tastes. Even when the name gave no indication what was in it, it could have been called fancy pants stew or something. But somehow she knew. That is magic.

I don't have that kind of magic. But I do have her and she showed me how to make brittle. That's pretty good.


Microwave Peanut Brittle
Adapted from my mom


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 ½ cups raw Spanish peanuts with skins
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Spray a metal cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Combine sugar, corn syrup and peanuts in a 2 quart glass bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir and continue microwaving on high 3 minutes more, then stir in butter and vanilla and microwave for 2 more minutes.
  2. Finally stir in baking soda and salt until just mixed. Pour onto cookie sheet and spread thin with a large spatula or metal spoon (sprayed with non-stick spray). Cool completely then break into pieces and serve.

Be very careful, melted sugar is hotter than the surface of the sun. It will burn. This I know.

So microwaves vary and you might need to adjust times to better fit your microwave. You are trying to reach hard crack stage. Here's a nice site describing how to test for that.







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