(photo by jasleen kaur)
Today marks the first holiday family candy-making inservice at Al Williams’ home. While the Denver business world knows this mild-mannered mustaschioed guy as a trying-to-retire CPA, his friends and family will tell you he’s a heckuva cook. And classic peanut brittle is his forte.
So this afternoon, he’s passing the tradition down to his sons and their significants. Okay, let’s be honest. He’s teaching Brooke and Beth while Matt and Jeff watch the Broncos and shake their heads mournfully. My role is modest—packaging. Which has required only a Dollar Store drive-by for tins and tissue.
Peanut brittle was my dad’s favorite. My friend Louise, a genteel Southern lady with perfect manners, has been known to secret her share away and tell guests it’s all gone. Sorry. And when I recently visited my brother in California, his in-laws asked twice if they’d thanked Al for last year’s supply, because they certainly hoped they’d receive more this Christmas.
And yes, it’s that good.
Williams’ Family Peanut Brittle
(This is a double recipe.)
1 stick margarine – melt on low heat
2 cups Karo® (or other white) syrup
2 cups sugar
2 – 12oz. packages of raw Spanish peanuts
2 teaspoons baking soda
• • •
Melt margarine on low heat. Add Karo and sugar. Raise temperature to medium heat. After sugar melts, add the raw Spanish peanuts. Stir constantly with wooden spoon.
Use a candy thermometer, stirring to make sure mixture doesn’t burn. (Keep on slightly less than medium heat.) Once the thermometer gets toward 260-270 degrees, it starts to move much faster. The magic temperature is 290 degrees.
When the mixture reaches 290 degrees, remove immediately from heat and add baking soda. Stir thoroughly.
Pour onto two cookie sheets. Spread fairly thin. Cool the candy for 30 minutes.
Break candy to desired size after cooled.