I really like making candy at Christmas. I really like candy all the time, but even more at Christmas. Once you get the hang of it, it’s not hard to make candy, but if I made it year-round, I’d end up weighing double what I do (which is already more than it should be). To me the keys to making candy are having a good recipe, following it to the letter, and using a candy thermometer. Candy-making is too serious to leave it to guess work!

I’m a little behind in my cooking, so I’d better quit grading and get busy in the kitchen. So tonight, as my reward for grading 75 papers, I’m making peanut brittle. Here’s the recipe:

2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
1 to 2 cups raw Spanish peanuts (depending upon your peanuttiness preference)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 teaspoons baking soda

Heat and stir sugar, syrup and water in a heavy three quart saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Add salt. Cook over medium heat until temperature reaches 250 degrees. Add peanuts. Keep cooking until temperature is 290 degrees, stirring often. Remove from heat.

Quickly stir in butter and soda. Beat to a froth for a few seconds. Pour at once into a large cookie sheet (with an edge is best) or into a couple of 15 inch by 10 inch pans that have been well-buttered or sprayed with Pam. If desired, you can stretch it with forks to make it thinner. Break it into pieces when it’s cold.

Here’s tonight’s effort: