In this recipe developed by former Spago pastry chef Mary Bergin, buttery macadamia nuts replace the familiar peanuts in the old-fashioned crunchy candy.
- 2 cups unsalted macadamia nuts
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. 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, let them cool to room temperature, and then coarsely chop. Set aside.
3. Put the sugar in a deep, medium saucepan. Add the corn syrup and water and, over medium heat, bring to a boil. Continue boiling until a layer of bubbles forms on top, 3 to 4 minutes. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and continue to boil 5 minutes longer.
4. Remove the foil, add the butter, and stir with a wooden spoon until the butter is melted. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 300°F, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, coat with vegetable oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray a 12-by-17-inch sheet pan.
5. As soon as the sugar mixture reaches the desired temperature, immediately stir in the salt, baking soda, and reserved nuts. Spread the nut mixture over the prepared pan, spreading it as thinly as possible with a long, metal spatula. Leave the brittle to cool to room temperature. When it is completely cool and hardened, run a clean, dry towel over the surface to absorb some of the oil. Cut or break the brittle into irregular pieces. Store in an airtight container at cool room temperature.
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