Grandma Rankin’s Cashew Brittle

Cashew brittle, originally uploaded by super eggplant.

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.

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6 Responses to Grandma Rankin’s Cashew Brittle

  1. Seanna Lea says:

    The great thing about brittle (other than that it doesn’t take that much time) is that it is pretty easy to vary the flavor with different nuts and spices.
    I made Habanero Peanut Brittle a couple of years ago for a spice fanatic, and one of my friends makes bacon brittle (which makes me shudder a bit).

  2. carolyn says:

    a brittle story with an unexpected blood bonus!

  3. Grace says:

    I just made this past weekend…can you believe how easy it is? LOVE IT! I used butter instead of the non-cook spray…must try the silpat (because I WILL be making this again, oh yes).

  4. Samantha says:

    I made this last year, great recipe. Was thinking about trying it with walnuts or pecans this year. 🙂

  5. amy k. says:

    so cool you made some!
    and mine was different, although same recipe of course, it poured out, wasn’t thick and hard to move at all. but it set up really hard anyway. weird huh?

  6. sequinK says:

    I made two batches of the same recipe this morning too! I heart my Silpat. The only difference is that I used 12 ounces of salted mixed nuts (no peanuts), and sprinkled fleur de sel on the brittle after pouring it out, rather than adding it in with the baking soda. Fan-freaking-tastic.

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