Monday, February 04, 2008

Indian-spiced Peanut Brittle

Sometimes a recipe comes around that I'm so excited about that I can barely wait until I post it to 28 Cooks. This is definitely one of those.

I love to play with spices, especially whole spices. I almost always have cumin seed, fennel seed, coriander, whole peppercorns, and a host of other spices hanging around in my spice cabinet. I especially love combining those that remind me of one of my favorite cuisines, Indian food.

I haven't made anything sweet in awhile, and I really wanted to make it more of a savory one. For some reason, even though I haven't eaten it in years and don't generally care for it, the idea of peanut brittle ended up on my "to cook soon" list. After thinking about it for awhile, I decided to do 2 different things with it. One - I didn't want to be fussing around with any thermometers or careful attendance, so I used the microwave. Trust me when I say this is probably the easiest candy recipe you'll ever make. The only thing you have to do is put it in the microwave, stir, and you've got yourself a great snack. The second thing I wanted to do was spice it up, using up some of my favorite whole spices. I think the combination of the spices really complement the brittle and make it a snack I'm sure you'll love. It's also delicious crumbled up and swirled into vanilla ice cream.

Indian-spiced Peanut Brittle

Indian-spiced Peanut Brittle

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 c light corn syrup
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 cup dry-roasted unsalted peanuts
1/2 tbsp butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp coriander seed
1/4 tsp fennel seed
1/4 tsp mustard seed (I used yellow but feel free to use black)
1/4 tsp whole white peppercorns
1/8 tsp cumin seed

In a microwave-safe dish (I used my Pyrex 4-cup measuring bowl) combine sugar, corn syrup, salt, and peanuts. Place in microwave and heat for 4 minutes on high. Remove, stir well, and return back to the microwave for an additional 4 minutes. Remove, add butter, and stir well. Return back to the microwave for an additional 2 minutes. While peanut brittle is in the microwave, combine coriander, fennel, mustard, peppercorns, and cumin seed. Crush slightly in a mortar and pestle, bruising the spices well. Set aside. Remove brittle from the microwave, and add the baking soda and vanilla, stirring well. The mixture will foam up, so continue to stir for an additional minute. Add spices, stir for another minute, then spread thinly on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cool, then break into pieces. Store in a airtight container.


Courtney said...

Mmmmm, sounds awesome! My husband and I were just chatting about peanut brittle...he hates it, I love it! I think I'll have to make some (don't I say that after all of your recipes!?)
Did you ever make it to Morning Edition?
Take care...Courtney

gray la gran said...

oh! i think this is *candy* i can live with!

i am way more savory vs. sweet.

also, do you have any suggestions regarding a mortar & pestle set/combo? thoughts of purchasing a set has been on my mind for some time, but i don't know if one material/brand is perferred over another .....

thank you!

Dori said...

How innovative...and I'm sure delicious!

Rachael said...

As soon as I read the title I could taste the flavors in my mouth. I can see how well such a sweet/savory combo would go together! Great idea!

Evelin said...

Spicy peanut brittle? This sounds really good! The coriander-fennel combo is what drags me to it. And making it in the microwave? Sounds easy enough...

Fiber said...

Courtney - haven't made it yet, but it's definitely on the list of places to go. I'm thinking next weekend. And you should definitely have your husband try this - I'm not huge on peanut brittle, but I'm oddly addicted to this one.

Gray - Oh, so am I! I'll take something salty or savory over a sweet any day! As far as mortar and pestles go, I just have a marble one I picked up rather cheaply at Target. I use it all the time though, even for cracking peppercorns.

Meeso - thanks! Everyone who's tried it so far loves the different flavors.

Rachael - Yep, it's definitely a unique blend of flavors, but it works very well together. Give it a try and let me know how you like it!

Evelin - It doesn't really get any easier than this! 15 minutes, 1 bowl, and a microwave can't be beat. And I love coriander and fennel too. Such great spices!

Deborah Dowd said...

What an innovative combination of flavors! I love it when someone comes up with a new twist on an old favorite.

Anonymous said...

I really like this recipe! I love the flavor coriander adds.

Chris said...

Yes please! This sounds awesome, we'll have to try it ourselves!

Anonymous said...

Wow! This looks amazing..i like this recipe it sounds awesome buddy.U have done nice piece of work.
Thanks for sharing with us .
keep up the gud work.

Miss M said...

You've done it again. So yummy. I added a little Masala spice to it as well. It was quick and easy. I swear it seemed to bubble forever when I added the baking soda ! Do you think agave nectar can be substituted for the corn syrup? My blood sugar went up just making it. But oh so worth it!

Anonymous said...

Quick, easy & delicious!! Who could ask for anything more?

Chris said...

I ended up making these for our housewarming party and they were a huge hit, thanks for the recipe!

Fiber said...

Deborah - thanks! I love those twists too!

Hillary - I'm a sucker for coriander too. It's one of my favorite spices.

Miss M - Masala spice sounds like an awesome addition. I'll have to give that a try. As far as the agave nectar, I really have no idea. It would be interesting to try though. Let me know if it works.

Anon (aka. Jen) - thanks for finally commenting! And you're right - who could ask for anything more? =)

Chris - love your variations on it too! It looks so tasty and I will have to try it soon.

Miss M said...

Agave nectar I burned my first batch! (luckily peanuts are not expensive at tj's) Reducing the second round microwave time to about a minute did the trick. Next experiment will be rice syrup. Flavor was coworkers ate the whole batch so it couldn't have been too bad!