I have fond memories of helping make peanut brittle as a kid. When else does your mom give you a 'hammer' and let you shatter something to pieces? As helpers it was always our job to to give the golden slab a good whack, cracking it into jagged pieces.
Our family has always used the microwave version, which takes less than 15 minutes and requires no candy thermometer. I stuck to that part of the tradition this year, but couldn't help adding my own twist. For some unknown reason I had my mind set on adding something other than nuts. After some mental grocery shopping I settled on granola.
I intended to make granola then add it in, but realized there was no need to coat the oats with sugar twice. I use crisp rice cereal in my homemade granola and decided to use it here as well. It adds extra crunch to the brittle but lightens it up a bit. Raisins provide variety with their chewy texture while sunflower seeds add a hint of salt to this sugary treat. Other dried fruits and nuts will likely work as well and I'm guessing pre-made granola would do the trick too.
Cinnamon and ginger tie it all together for a memorable burst of flavor. We've barely cracked open the possibilities here. Use what you have on hand, go out on a limb, try something new. It never hurts to try a little twist in tradition.
Sweet and extra crunchy this peanut brittle is kicked up a notch with crisp granola and cozy spices.
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup crisp rice cereal
2 Tbsp raisins
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
1/2 cup raw peanuts
1 Tbsp butter
* In a small bowl combine oats, cereal, raisins, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, ginger and baking soda; set aside. Butter a large baking sheet and set aside.
* In a 4-cup or larger microwave-safe glass measuring cup combine sugar and corn syrup. Microwave** at full power 4 minutes. Stir in peanuts. Microwave 4 minutes longer or just until syrup begins to turn very light brown. Stir in butter. Microwave 1 to 3 minutes longer or until mixture turns light golden, it will continue to cook and darken after removed from the microwave. Stir mixture 10-15 seconds, then quickly stir in oat mixture. Carefully spread onto buttered baking sheet in a thin layer. Let cool completely before breaking into pieces; store in an airtight container.
**This recipe was tested in a 850 watt microwave. Microwave times may vary greatly. Watch your syrup very carefully as it burns quickly.
Food for Thought: "Patience, he thought. So much of this was patience- waiting, and thinking, and doing things right. So much of all this, so much of all living was patience and thinking." -Gary Paulsen, Hatchet