Peanut brittle is a sweet Southern holiday favorite

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Southerners like their homemade sweets. During the holidays, what better gift to give than a tasty treat made with Virginia peanuts?

Virginia is known for its gourmet peanuts. They’re recognized for their large size and often are called “ballpark” peanuts and used in gourmet snacks. And they’d be perfect in this recipe for Dixie Peanut Brittle from the Virginia Carolinas Peanut Promotions organization. The recipe calls for raw peanuts, which can purchased online through the Peanut Growers Cooperative Marketing Association, at Walmart stores or from various peanut sellers throughout Southeast Virginia.

But if you’re too busy to make this confection, you can buy one of Farm Bureau’s Virginia’s Harvest gift products. We have a peanut trio pack with 12-ounce cans of salted peanuts, butter-toasted peanuts and double-dipped chocolate peanuts. The collection also includes 22-ounce cans of chocolate-covered peanut brittle and 40-ounce cans of chocolate-dipped and butter-toasted peanuts. You can view our product brochure online and order by calling our toll-free number, 800-476-8473. 

Dixie Peanut Brittle

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups raw, shelled peanuts, skins on
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons baking soda

In a heavy saucepan, heat sugar, syrup, water and salt to a rolling boil. Add peanuts. Reduce heat to medium, and stir constantly. Cook to hard crack stage* (293°-300° on a candy thermometer). 

Add butter, then baking soda. Beat rapidly, and pour on a buttered surface, spreading to ¼" thickness. When cool, break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 2 pounds.

*Note: In the absence of a candy thermometer, test for hard crack stage by dropping a tiny bit of the syrup into ice water (Let it thread from a spoon into the water). When the threads turn brittle, the syrup has reached the hard crack stage.

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