With the holidays coming up, no doubt candy and cookie making will be on your mind. Part of what I love about the holiday season so much is all the baking. It was the part I looked forward to every year as a kid (well and of course presents). But, now that I am an adult and don’t really get presents – the baking is still there. And it always brings me so much nostalgia for this time of year.
And, this is my first year that I won’t be in the bakery in over 10 years! So, I am a little bit excited – okay, a lot excited. As the holiday season has always been absolutely nuts for me with the bake shop and making sure all our orders get done, the bake shop is stocked, and everyone gets their special holiday treats, as it’s a very important time of year. So, while running the bake shop I never really had time to enjoy Christmas myself. And I am beyond excited about that this year.
One of the traditions in my house during Christmas was my mom set up a White Elephant for Christmas day. When we were done unwrapping presents – which literally took all day because my mom went nuts on Christmas and I was very lucky! We literally did not stop unwrapping presents sometimes until almost dinner time. But when the pile was finally almost gone and my grandma had cleaned up enough wrapping paper to unveil the tiny little presents wrapped under the tree with no names on them – then it was time for White Elephant.
And this White Elephant was not extravagant at all! While my mom went nuts for Christmas, this little extra White Elephant gift exchange was minor in comparison. It was all food! It was always food or candy of some kind. And there were always our favorite things like vanilla buttecreams for my dad, sour candy for my brother, and peanut brittle for my grandpa. We all drew numbers, shook the tiny boxes, and opened up – sometimes I would mistake Good ‘N Plenty (which my mom loved) for Mini Charleston Chews (which I loved), and then have to trade as I have never liked Good ‘N Plenty. But, the funny part was – everyone had their favorites. And, while it was always super fun trying to pick out what we wanted from the wrapped treat pile – and then being super excited, or super bummed, or having Bompa yell at you that you better give him his peanut brittle if you ended up with it. We all always shared in the end, and got a sweet treat. And, it was honestly sometimes the most fun I had all day – with just something as simple as a treat! Go figure, haha!
So, as I think of all the Christmas traditions I have missed out on the past ten years because I have been working – I thought I’d make some Easy Vegan Peanut Brittle! Now, my grandpa would probably turn over in his grave if I had mentioned a vegan peanut brittle to him, haha. As butter was his favorite food. But, I bet if he was here to try it, he would love it as it’s absolutely delicious! While butter is in most peanut brittle recipes, it’s not necessary. And this Easy Vegan Peanut Brittle is amazing and perfect for any holiday gift!
You could wrap this up in cellophane and tie with a cute ribbon. Or you could put this in a holiday tin and give it as a gift. This makes about one sheet pan, so that would be about 4 small bags or 1 to 2 tins, depending on the size of the tins.
Tips for Making the Best Vegan Peanut Brittle
• I use a 2-quart pot for this recipe. But, if you are going to double or triple it then please use a much larger pot! When you add the baking soda it will rise up, so that is why a larger pot will be needed if you make more than one batch.
• Use the best organic ingredients. This recipe has very few ingredients, so they truly matter! Use organic cane sugar, organic corn syrup, and organic peanuts!
• If you’re wondering if the baking soda is necessary, it truly is! Why is baking soda needed in peanut brittle? What does baking soda do in peanut brittle? The baking soda creates air bubbles (watch your sugar mixture foam and rise when added!) which helps give peanut brittle its texture. This candy is known for being light, airy, and crispy – and that is due to the baking soda. So don’t skip it!
• Make sure to use roasted and salted peanuts. This type of peanuts have all the flavor as opposed to raw peanuts. And we want all that amazing flavor and salt in this candy as it’s supposed to be sweet and salty!
• This is a great candy to make ahead of time as it lasts a while. So, it is why it makes such a great gift as you can make it ahead when you have time and it still tastes amazing upon giving.
Easy Vegan Peanut Brittle
Makes 40 ounces
454 grams (2 cups) organic cane sugar
311 grams (1 cup) organic light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
425 grams (3 cups) organic roasted & salted peanuts
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium pot, add the cane sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is melted. Bring to a boil and continue to cook over medium heat until it reaches 300°F on a candy thermometer.
Remove from heat, and add in the baking soda and stir to combine completely. Add the peanuts and stir to combine completely.
Immediately pour onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly, hurry as it cools quickly.
Store in a cool dry place for up to 2 weeks.
High Altitude — Cook until it reaches 285°F on a candy thermometer.