The 21st Century Herbalist

Easy Cinnamon Peanut Brittle

As we continue to celebrate the multi-generational traditions of women, I can’t help but think of all of the wonderful recipes that have been passed down through the women in my family.  This time of year always puts me in the mood for peanut brittle but not just any peanut brittle, I look forward to my great-grandmother’s cinnamon peanut brittle.  It’s that little bit of cinnamon that makes this treat feel unique to my family and always makes me nostalgic.

The cinnamon tree is native to India and can now be found in many parts of the world.  The bark has long been used as a delicious flavoring in many types of food but it also has many medicinal benefits too.  This spicy bark is warming and works as a mild, yet effective, digestive aid.  It also has antiviral properties that make it great for fighting infection.

There are so many peanut brittle recipes out there, so feel free to just add a bit of cinnamon to one of your favorites.  If you don’t have a favorite, then I’d love for you to share in my family’s tradition and make the version below.  It makes a yummy treat that can be wrapped up and given as treats to your co-workers, family and friends.

Easy Cinnamon Peanut Brittle

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/3 c. sugar
  • 6 1/2 oz. shelled, salted peanuts
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • butter to grease cookie sheet
Thoroughly grease a cookie sheet with butter, being careful to cover the entire bottom and sides.  Next you’ll need to cook the sugar.  Once the sugar is ready you’ll need to add the peanuts and cinnamon, stir and pour into the cookie sheet pretty quickly so have everything you need setup and ready to go.  Be sure to set out two metal spoons to spread the brittle with.
Over low heat, add the sugar to a frying pan or skillet and stir slowly until it begins to melt and turn light brown.  Some people use candy thermometers and there’s a lot of temperature monitoring but we’ve never done that in my family…we just heat until it melts and turns light brown.  I’ve always enjoyed the simplicity of it.
As soon as the sugar is light brown, pour the peanuts and cinnamon into the sugar and stir.  Once they are incorporated, pour the candy onto the cookie sheet and immediately begin to spread it out using the back of two spoons.  It will start to cool pretty quickly, so you’ll want to keep moving.  Spread the mix to “one peanut high” as gran used to say.
Pop the tray into the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes and allow the candy to cool completely.  Then remove the tray and drop it onto the counter with a little force and the candy should start to break up.  Store it in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (hahaha, like it would last that long!).  Feel free to bribe family and friends to do your housework in exchange for this yummy treat!
Do you have any family recipes that make it feel like autumn has officially begun?