The Vintage Baker (Chronicle Books, 2018) by Jessie Sheehan is a guide to connecting vintage recipes to modern ones. By beginning with a vintage recipe readers can learn the basics of creating staple desserts and then get comfortable before adding their own special twist. Popular and unpopular recipes are included in this book showing the potential to create new and different interpretations of vintage recipes due to the modern techniques and advances of baking techniques and knowledge of ingredients.
Nut brittle is one of those treats with tremendous bang for the buck. It is incredibly easy to make, perfect for nibbling, and satisfies that sugar-salt craving in the snappiest of ways. Lots of booklets include brittle recipes, but it's the one from Good Things to Eat (1930) that I had some fun with here, boosting the flavor with honey-roasted peanuts, flaky sea salt, and vanilla. Brittle is the perfect treat for binge-watching a favorite TV show (don't ask me how I know that).
- 2 cups [400 g] granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup [210 g] light corn syrup
- 2-1/2 cups [350 g] unsalted honey-roasted peanuts
- 2 tsp flaky sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Lightly grease a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or softened butter. Line with parchment paper.
- Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 1 cup [240 ml] water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Cook the sugar without stirring, but lift the pan off the heat and swirl its contents periodically to ensure that the sugar cooks evenly.
- Continue to cook until the mixture darkens to a deep amber color, about 15 minutes (12 minutes for a golden amber, if you prefer a lighter, more sweet-tasting brittle).
- Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the nuts. Stir, and add the salt, baking soda, butter, and vanilla. Stir again until incorporated.
- Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and, using a small offset spatula or a butter knife greased with nonstick cooking spray or softened butter, smooth out the mixture until it is 1/4 to 1/2 in [6 to 12 mm] thick. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 20 minutes, or on the counter for 1 hour, until the brittle has hardened.
- Crack it into pieces and serve immediately or store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 weeks.
More from The Vintage Baker:
- Pumpkin-Chocolate Tart with Cinnamon Whipped Cream Recipe
- Strawberry-Basil Turnovers Recipe
- Sundae Surprise Ice Cream Cake Recipe