Classic Dairy-Free Peanut Brittle with the Perfect Crispy Bite

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Some peanut brittle recipes are naturally made without dairy, but these days, it’s very common to find versions made with a little, or a lot, of butter, and sometimes even with cream. The dairy adds body to the texture and richness to the flavor. This classic dairy-free peanut brittle recipe is adapted from one that uses just a little butter. We have a few tricks and modifications for the best vegan-friendly results.

Classic Dairy-Free Peanut Brittle Recipe - A vegan friendly favorite with foolproof tips.

Special Diet Notes: Classic Dairy-Free Peanut Brittle

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, tree nut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.

Classic Dairy-Free Peanut Brittle
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Baking soda causes the brittle to bubble up. Those little bubbles are the key to a lighter, crispy consistency, so you don't want to touch the mixture when you spread it. Make sure your ingredients are all ready to go before you begin to cook. It comes together quickly toward the end.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup (see Corn Syrup Note below)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup raw unsalted peanuts (see Peanut Note below)
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
Instructions
  1. Grease a large jelly roll pan or cookie sheet, and place the pan in a warm oven (lowest heat setting).
  2. Place the the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in a heavy 2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the peanuts. Set a candy thermometer in place, and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 300ºF, or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, and immediately stir in the buttery spread, vanilla (if using), and baking soda.
  4. Pour the mixture onto your prepared cookie sheet in a circular motion, to help evenly distribute the peanuts and brittle. Carefully (it's hot!) tilt the pan to even the mixture out, so it is roughly 12x14 inches.
  5. Let the brittle cool completely before breaking it into pieces.
Notes
Peanut Note: If using roasted peanuts instead of raw, add the peanuts once the candy thermometer reads 250ºF. If added sooner, the roasted peanuts might burn.

Corn Syrup Note: If you need to make peanut brittle without corn syrup, you can use honey, brown rice syrup, golden syrup, or light molasses.
 

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

3 Comments

  1. I made two batches of this because I burned the peanuts a little bit trying to get a little deeper caramel color the first time. Even the slightly burned batch was still tasty, however. I might try adding the peanuts once the sugar is almost done next time to see if i can get the nice rich caramel color with less done peanuts. Just remember the sugar keeps cooking even after you take it off the heat!

    Overall everything turned out great and it was fairly simple to do (I didn’t even use a thermometer the second time because I knew what the sugar looked and felt like after the first go). This is going in my Christmas gift baskets. Thanks for sharing!

  2. White sugar is not considered vegan due to the bleaching process which animal bones are used. Maybe a light cane sugar can be used?

    • Rebecca, you are in luck, many brands of white sugar are in fact vegan. Look for beet sugar instead of cane sugar (both are marketed as “white sugar” and hard to tell apart by taste or look), or cane sugar that is specifically labeled as vegan. There are many such brands.

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