Macadamia Nut Brittle

Rating:

(5 votes) 3 5

Wolfgang PuckSome of the most thoughtful gifts I know are those from the kitchen. Especially during the holidays, treats that you make yourself and wrap simply but beautifully tell their recipients that you’ve made an effort to share something special. One of my favorite sweet flavors is caramel, the complex taste you get by cooking sugar syrup until it turns golden brown. Add butter for richness, roasted nuts for texture and flavor, and a touch of sea salt to contrast tantalizingly with the sweetness, and you get one of the all-time classics: the jagged, crunchy treat called brittle. Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving! Click here for Wolfgang Puck's full introduction.

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Ingredients

  • 2 C. unsalted shelled macadamia nuts
  • 1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 C. light corn syrup
  • 1/3 C. water
  • 1/2 lb. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

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Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spread the nuts on a baking tray and toast them in the oven until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes, turning the nuts after 5 minutes so they toast evenly. Remove them from the oven and let them cool to room temperature. Put the cooled nuts in a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade and pulse the machine a few times to chop them coarsely. Set aside.

Put the sugar in a deep, medium saucepan. Add the corn syrup and water and, over medium heat, bring to a boil. Continue boiling, undisturbed, until a layer of bubbles forms on top, 3 to 4 minutes. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and continue to boil undisturbed for 5 minutes longer.

Remove the foil, add the butter, and stir with a wooden spoon until the butter has melted and combined with the sugar mixture. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 300 degrees, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, coat a 12-by-17-inch sheet pan with vegetable oil or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.

As soon as the sugar mixture reaches the desired temperature, immediately but carefully stir in the salt, baking soda and chopped macadamia nuts. Using a long metal spatula, spread the nut mixture as thinly and evenly as possible over the prepared pan. Leave the brittle to cool to room temperature.

When the brittle is completely cooled and hardened, run a clean, dry towel over the brittle’s surface to absorb some of the oil. Carefully cut or tap the brittle with a mallet to break it into irregular pieces. Store in one or more airtight containers at cool room temperature.

Yield: 1 13/4 pounds

(Chef Wolfgang Puck’s TV series, “Wolfgang Puck’s Cooking Class,” airs Sundays on the Food Network. Also, his latest cookbook, “Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy,” is now available in bookstores. Write Wolfgang Puck in care of Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, N.Y. 14207.)

©2006 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

Reviews (3)

  • Beyond wonderful! II found this recipe about 3 months ago and it sounded so good, I had to try it. Despite having no experience with brittles or toffees, I was amazed how easily it came to gether. The first batch turned out so well, I made a second to share with my office. It was gone in less than hour! The only change I made was to add 1/2 t of vanila before spreading it out to cool.

    Since then, I've tried it with almonds, pecans and cashews, also. All were wonderful.

    Flag as inappropriate jules1972  |  October 14, 2009

  • Also souds like a LOT of work, and a good chance of something going wrong. But well worth the effort if it turns out. Has anyone tried this?

    Flag as inappropriate caroljan  |  October 15, 2008

  • This one sounds like a keeper. yum

    Flag as inappropriate Beverly1947  |  September 17, 2008

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