Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle is a hard candy stovetop recipe, with 5 ingredients plus roasted peanuts–a family favorite during the holidays!

holding a black bowl of peanut brittle

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Here’s a delicious last-minute Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe to make the week of Christmas!

Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe

It’s a family favorite during the holiday, but can be enjoyed any time of year!

There’s just something special about Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle. My other favorites include Millies Best Rocky Road Fudge, and Christmas Frosted Sugar Cookies.

close up piece of peanut brittle with dark peanuts

Ingredients for peanut brittle

If you’re looking for a tasty recipe to make with your family on Christmas Eve, give this peanut brittle a try! And this recipe always makes me think of my mom! My mom made it every year growing up, and even though I wasn’t a huge fan back then, I can sure appreciate it now.

I bet you have all of these ingredients:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Vanilla
  • Sugar
  • Light corn syrup
  • Butter (salted)
  • Shelled, unroasted, raw peanuts

black bowl of peanut brittle

Tips for the best peanut brittle

  • You can make it ahead (for next year), as it stays fresh at room temperature for up to two weeks.
  • It’s great to give away on cookie platters, or store in an airtight container at room temperature. If you leave it out, it will get sticky on top.
  • You do not want to refrigerate Peanut Brittle, as the moisture from the fridge will cause the brittle to soften.
  • Make sure your peanuts are not frozen before adding them to the hot melted sugar.
  • Lastly, allow the brittle to cool completely, and you can freeze it up to four months!
  • Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle can be frozen and stored up to 2 months in an airtight container. Sometimes I use a Ziploc bag (but you have to really get the air out of it before sealing).

broken pieces of peanut brittle in a black bowl

How to serve peanut brittle candy

Break the brittle into large pieces, which look pretty packaged for gift-giving, or for serving.

You can also serve it on my Christmas Nutella Dip Board! Here’s another delicious recipe to add to a dessert board: Easy Peppermint Fudge.

How to make peanut brittle

Here’s the meat/candy thermometer that we used (affiliate link). You have to invest in a good one with candy-making, as the heat needs to be very accurate. I learned this from my mom!

If you cook your brittle much beyond the 300 degree F point, it could burn, and if you don’t cook it long enough, the Peanut Brittle won’t set as hard, and will be more sticky and chewy than crunchy and, well, brittle.

Make sure your pan is ready to pour the brittle into once you reach 300 degrees.

Use a spatula to scrape the hot mixture onto the sheet pan, and then tilt the pan around from side to side–quickly, so the brittle spreads to the corners.

So many years I watched my mom do this :) Also, your cooking mitts might get dirty in the process (it’s sort of a sticky, gooey, mess, HA).

large pieces of peanut brittle

How to substitute peanuts

As I always say here on RE, substitute foods to make the recipes best for you and your family! If you have peanut allergies or just plain don’t like them, add in other nuts, like cashews, pecans, or macadamia nuts.
Store your peanut brittle in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. If you leave it out, it will get sticky on top.

I keep a bowl of this on the counter, for the family to munch on. All you need is a little bite :) It’s truly a family favorite during the holidays, but can be enjoyed any time of year!

Merry Christmas!

holding a black bowl of peanut brittle
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Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
cooling: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yield: 12
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  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup water, + 1 tsp, divided
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 Tbsp butter, salted
  • 1 pound shelled, unroasted, raw peanuts, (about 3 1/2 cups)


  • Prepare 2 baking sheets (15 x 12 inches) with parchment paper and set aside. Keep pans warm.
  • Combine soda, 1 tsp water, and vanilla and set aside.
  • Combine sugar, 1 cup water, and the corn syrup in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to 240°F on candy thermometer.
  • Stir in butter and peanuts. Cook, stirring constantly to 300°F. Watch carefully so mixture doesn’t burn.
  • Immediately move from the heat and stir in the soda mixture. The mixture will foam and change texture.
  • Pour half the mixture into each warm baking sheet and quickly tilt/spread in to 1/4-inch thick layer.
  • Cool for at least 30 minutes; break candy into pieces and serve.


TIP: Store the completely cooled Peanut Brittle in an airtight container.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
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close up piece of peanut brittle