Holiday Cook

*Peanut Brittle*

Its sweet, hard and rugged - no its not your favorite movie star, this hunk of candy is Peanut Brittle. A great holiday snack.

1 pound shelled peanuts (not roasted)
1 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Start by greasing 2 cookie sheets (best to use ones with 1/4 to 1/2 inch sides to prevent overflow). Mix the baking soda with 1 teaspoon of water and the vanilla, set aside.

Now mix the sugar with 1 cup water and the corn syrup in a sauce pan. Cook over a medium heat to 240 degrees (if you have a candy thermometer) to test for doneness drip a drop of the mixture into a cold glass of water if the drop forms a round bead and then flattens slightly when it is removed from the water, then you know you are ready for the next step.

Stir butter and peanuts into the mixture. Continue on medium head - be sure to stir constantly to avoid sticking. When the drip into water test turns the drop into threads that are hard and brittle, remove the saucepan from the burner and mix in the baking soda mixture.

Now dump the candy mixture half on each cooky sheet and quickly spread to about 1/4 inch thick with a spatula. When mixture cools, you can break it into pieces.

This is a great gift item that can be put into a tin. It is best to first wrap candy in wax paper. It can also be wrapped in tissue paper...first place pieces in a plastic bag, then set bag in middle of a 12 inch square piece of paper. Gather up sides and then tie together with a ribbon.

This recipe makes about 2 pounds of candy, enough for several gifts.

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