This beer peanut brittle is so easy to make that I whipped up two versions of it in no time today! The house smells delightful – way to send off the year, paired with a craft beer of course. We will give away a lot of it, between the two batches we now have waaay too much brittle. It is almost scary to look at all three bowls of it. Not that we couldn’t eat it all if we had to.
Both versions use the same overall ingredients, the differences lay in the choice of beer and the temperature to which the candy is cooked. In each version you will need identical quantities of sugar, maple syrup, coconut butter, salt and of course peanuts. Feel free to use other nuts if peanuts are not your thing or a nut mix.
The first version of the beer peanut brittle was Chris’ favorite. I used a stout and cooked the candy mixture to hard crack candy temperature of approximately 300° F.
As soon as it reaches 300° F you need to pull it away from the stove and add the peanuts, stir well and pour over parchment paper lined sheet pan and spread it very well to form an even layer. Sprinkle some extra finishing salt if desired.
Once it completely cools off, you can break it up in chunks and pair it with the stout you didn’t use to make it. Or a brand new one.
The second version is the one I personally like better. I used a nutty brown beer we received from our craft beer club and cooked the candy mixture to soft crack candy temperature of 280° F.
It is fascinating to me how it takes a good while for the temperature to rise to 250° F and then get to the soft crack temperature in a matter of seconds. It is so easy to miss the 280° F mark and get to hard crack! So pay attention and as soon as you approach the 280° F remove from the stove, add the peanuts and spread over the lined sheet pan.
Once cooled off, the soft crack candy is still crunchy, but much better for sinking your teeth into in my opinion. I am just not a hard candy person. Having that extra brown beer to pair it with is definitely a bonus. Sweet, nutty, salty, toasty, all together.
Then imagine the possibilities – you want to spice things up? How about cleaning out a fresh jalapeno (perhaps using just a quarter of it though), finely mincing it and adding it to the candy mixture shortly before it gets to the desired temperature?
- 1 cup beer (stout or brown)
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1½ cup unsalted peanuts
- ¼ tsp salt (more to sprinkle over cooked brittle layer before letting it cool off)
- Combine the beer, sugar, maple syrup, salt and coconut oil in a pan.
- Over medium heat, stir well until the mixture begins to simmer.
- Keep stirring occasionally as you monitor the temperature with a food thermometer.
- In about 10-15 minutes the food thermometer will begin to register a more rapid increase in temperature.
- Be prepared to stir in the peanuts and swiftly remove from the stove as soon as your target temperature is registered.
- If using stout, keep until sugar mixture reaches hard crack candy temperature of 300°- 310° F
- If using brown, keep until sugar mixture reaches soft crack candy temperature of 270°- 280° F
- Pour brittle mixture over a parchment paper lined sheet pan and spread around with a wooden spoon to form an even layer.
- If desired sprinkle with some more salt.
- Let cool off completely before cracking into pieces.