Okay, so Melissa talked me into getting The Craft of Baking cookbook, and the only recipe I’ve tried so far is the cashew brittle. I am not, generally speaking, a brittle person, but Melissa had given me some, and it was pretty darn delicious, so I thought I’d give it a go. It is easy and fun to make, though you must be cautious when breaking the brittle into pieces. Very sharp points tend to form, and I accidentally stabbed myself in the pinky and drew blood (none of the blood got on the brittle).
Grandma Rankin’s Cashew Brittle from Craft of Baking
Makes 1 3/4 pounds
2 cups sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups roasted & salted cashews (you can sub different nuts, of course)
The instructions say to coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray, but I just used a Silpat, and it worked great. In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Add 1/2 cup water. Stir it around and make sure all the sugar is wet. Turn on the heat and cook over high. DO NOT STIR. You’re going for a dark amber color, which will take about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat then whisk in the baking soda, followed by the salt. The mixture will froth up and look like a cool science experiment, which it sort of is. Add the nuts and stir in with a heavy metal or wooden spoon. Work quickly, because dang this stuff is stiff and gooey! Pour it onto the prepared Silpat/sheet and, if possible, use the back of the spoon to gently smush the goo around until it’s 1/2″ thick (it was really difficult for me to move the stuff around). Let it cool then break it into chunks. I used the back of a knife. This stuff will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container, but I guarantee it won’t be around that long.