TRB to the Rescue: Nutty Over Brittle

Posted by & filed under almonds, brittle, candy thermometer, corn syrup, macadamia nuts, nuts, peanuts, TRB to the Rescue.

As holiday cookie baking draws nearer, TRB has been steadfastly focused on gathering recipes to share with you. However, an emergency request from a faithful reader with a nut brittle disaster just made its way to TRB.

Now, nut brittle falls into the candy category, which, admittedly, is not a TRB specialty, but not being one to back away from a “sweet” challenge, here goes nothing…

“Hello TRB,

I just made a batch of cashew, pecan, macadamia and coconut brittle. Everything was going smoothly until, for some dumb reason, I decided to add a little more baking soda than usual. I was hoping to make the brittle a little more porous and crackly, but the entire batch foamed into a monstrosity.

I really need your help. Is there a way to salvage these costly products? Putting it in the oven and heating? Adding it to a larger new batch? Can it be saved?

– Torrent”

Well, Torrent, as stated above, TRB isn’t a candy-maker, so some research was required in order to provide a tip for this frothy mess.

From various Web sites, TRB was able to gather that a few things probably went wrong in this process from the get-go:

  • Did you use a candy thermometer?
  • Did your recipe call for baking soda or did you just decide to add it?
  • An oven is generally not used in making brittle — did you put your mixture in?

It appears there’s more than one way to crack a nut brittle (sorry, just couldn’t resist!). Most recipes, which — from reader feedback, anyway — seem to turn out just right, don’t call for the addition of baking soda. What’s more, it’s absolutely critical to use a candy thermometer when making the initial mixture to ensure that your brittle will achieve the “soft crack” state.

So, unfortunately, Torrent, it would seem that your recipe cannot be saved — an unusual and disappointing response from TRB, we know!! But all is not lost. Here is a recipe that earned the praise of brittle makers, which you may want to try next time:

Mixed Nut Brittle

Please let us know how it turns out!

Did you find this tip helpful? Post a comment.

2 Responses to “TRB to the Rescue: Nutty Over Brittle”

  1. Anonymous

    I made almond brittle this morning – 1 cup sugar, 1 cup butter 3 Tablespoons water – cook till crack ( about 10 min) + add 1 Cup toasted slivered almonds – It didn’t harden so I put it all back into the pot along with 2 Tablespoons water and melted everything on low heat – I then turned the heat up to med + cooked + stirred constantly until crack was reached – it worked – I saved the batch


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