1 1/4 c sugar
1/2 c light corn syrup
3 Tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
1 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp butter
Dried hot chile peppers, ground fine, to taste- no seeds (seeds will char and cause the candy to burn)
Heat: 1/2 tsp coarse Scotch Bonnet or Habanero flakes, ground fine, will be quite hot, as will be 1 tsp coarse Tabasco flakes, ground fine. 1/2 tsp coarse cayenne flakes, ground fine, will be fairly mild. See Things To Do With Chile Peppers for information on drying and grinding chiles.
Coat a 13" x 9 " x 2" pan with cooking spray.
Combine sugar and next 5 ingredients (sugar through salt) in a large (1.5 - 2 quart) saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 10 minutes or until sugar dissolves and candy thermometer registers 325 degrees F, stirring occasionally. Stir constantly from 300 to 325 degrees F. Remove mixture from heat; stir in ground chiles (don't inhale!), butter, then baking soda, then peanuts, mixing well to coat and evenly distribute peanuts.
Quickly pour mixture into prepared pan, spreading to edges. Let stand 1 hour; break into pieces.
Yield about 1 1/4 pounds. Store the peanut brittle in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Adapted from Cooking Light, December 2002, p. 141.
This recipe last updated: 23 December 2003