What is Fragile Peanut?

A hammer can be used to break the peanut fragments into pieces.

Peanut Brittle is a type of candy that is made by placing peanuts, spices and sometimes other ingredients in a mixture of heated sugar and water and then allowing the mixture to cool on a flat surface. After the crumble cools, the hard sugar and peanut sheet is broken into small pieces so that it can be stored and eaten more easily. Some peanut crumble recipes include other ingredients such as vanilla, peanut butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, or occasionally other types of nuts. While there are only a few basic ingredients needed to make peanuts crumbly, the process of heating the sugar and water together requires some attention and usually a candy thermometer for accurate measurements to ensure it turns into a hard candy when cooled.

Peanut crumble is made by placing peanuts, spices and other optional ingredients in a mixture of heated sugar and water, allowing it to cool.

The crumbly texture of peanuts comes from water and sugar that is heated to a temperature known as the hard crack stage, after which it cools into a hard, almost glass-like form. In many cases, corn syrup is added to the sugar and water mixture to prevent sugar crystals from forming and ruining the final crumb texture. Once the mixture has reached a high enough temperature, it is removed from the heat.

Just like peanuts, almonds and cashews can be used to make crunchy and crumbly candies.

Peanuts and vanilla are added to the crumble at this stage. If peanut butter is incorporated into the hot mixture, it will melt and cause the crumble to take on an opaque peanut-like color as opposed to the translucent golden color that regular sugar would have. Baking soda, butter and any other remaining ingredients are then mixed into the mixture and the hot peanut crumb is poured onto a flat surface so it can cool and harden.

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Once on the flat surface, the added baking soda will cause the crumb to rise slightly, creating little gas bubbles inside so the hard candy isn’t too hard to eat or break. Some recipes call for the crumble to be crushed or stretched as it cools to help develop the texture and distribute the peanuts, although this is usually not necessary. After the peanut brittle has completely cooled, it is ready to be cracked.

The resulting crumbly peanut leaf is often broken into smaller pieces so it can be eaten, packaged and stored more conveniently. This can be done by breaking the pieces one by one or using a hammer or other tool to break the sheet. Depending on several factors, peanut brittle stored in an airtight container or refrigerator can stay fresh for several weeks, although high levels of humidity or heat will eventually cause it to develop a rancid taste and odd texture.

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