Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday's Twist: Peanut-Granola Brittle

Tuesday's Twist:  A basic recipe with a fun twist.  In other words, just another excuse for me to play around with weird recipes I've been dying to try.

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.

Peanut-Granola Brittle

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

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