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Brown Butter Almond Brittle

Brown butter almond brittle is a tasty variation of traditional peanut brittle. It incorporates the rich and nutty flavor of browned butter and fresh almonds for the most delicious flavor.

If you love the flavor of almonds like I do, try almond flour pancakes or keto chocolate chip cookies.

A plate of brown butter almond brittle.

What is Brown Butter?

Brown butter is melted and cooked until the milk solids separate and brown, giving it a fragrant, nutty flavor. Cooking the butter over low heat produces brown butter with a deep, rich nuttiness through caramelization. When used as an ingredient, it provides a complex, toasted flavor to take your brown brittle to the next level.

What You Need to Make this Recipe

  • Butter: Since the recipe calls for salted peanuts, use unsalted butter and let it come to room temperature before using it.
  • Sugar: Use granulated white sugar for this recipe.
  • Light Corn Syrup: Light corn syrup is the best for making brittle, but check out my substitutions below. 
  • Almonds: I used chopped almonds to make the brittle in the picture, but you can also use shaved or slivered almonds.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda is essential and gives the brown butter almond brittle the perfect texture and flavor. The baking soda causes a chemical reaction (notice the foam when you stir it in), giving the peanut brittle its hard but chewable texture. 
  • Vanilla Extract: Use vanilla extract to increase the sweet taste of the brittle candy and enhance the color. 

Additions and Substitutions

  • I use an old family recipe as a base for the almond brittle, and I recognize that not everyone uses corn syrup. If you need a substitute for corn syrup, try honeylight molassesagave nectar, or brown rice syrup.
  • If you prefer a different nut or don’t like almonds, try experimenting with nuts like peanuts, pecans, walnuts, and even hazelnuts.
  • Stir chopped bacon into the pan with the almonds for a savory and salty component.

Tools Used to Make this Recipe

The tools you select for candy-making have an impact on the final product. I strongly recommend using a candy thermometer for this recipe. While there are ways to make candy without one, using a thermometer saves you guesswork and frustration. Similarly, use a heavy-bottomed pan like a stainless steel pot or an enamel Dutch oven, which allows for better heat distribution. You will also need a 9×13 baking dish  or prepared jellyroll pan to spread the almond brittle as it cools. 

How to Make Brown Butter Almond Brittle

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper. Then, measure out the ingredients for the almond brittle and have them ready.

Step 2: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, continue to cook, stirring frequently.

The butter will begin to foam, and the color will change from yellow to golden brown. Stir frequently to prevent the butter from burning for about 5-7 minutes. Once browned, remove the pan from heat.

Brown butter in a pot.

Step 3: Add the sugar, water, and corn syrup to the brown butter mixture. Return the pan to the stovetop and warm the mixture over medium heat. Stir occasionally until it gently boils.

Tip: You might be tempted to increase the heat to speed up the process, but don’t.

Syrup in a pot coming to temperature.

Step 4: Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan, ensuring it is fully submerged without touching the bottom. Warm the sugar syrup at a rolling boil until the temperature reaches 250°F (121°C), stirring occasionally.

Step 5: Add the almonds, stir constantly, until the temperature reaches 300℉ (149℃).

Almonds added to the syrup.

Step 6: Remove the mixture from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract; it will begin to foam, but that’s normal.

Syrup in a pot coming to temperature.

Step 7: Carefully spread the cooked mixture onto the reserved baking dish using a wooden spoon to create an even layer.

Brittle spread into a pan.

Step 8: Set the almond brittle aside, at room temperature, for at least an hour to harden before breaking it apart.

Expert Tips

  • Mise en Place: This is a fancy way of saying have your ingredients measured out and ready before you start making the candy because you will want to move quickly once the syrup comes to temperature.
  • Temperature is Key: Use a candy thermometer to make peanut brittle since the proper temperature of the candy is crucial to achieving peanut brittle that is not too soft and chewy and not too hard. If you end up with soft peanut brittle that didn’t come to temperature, check out my tips for how to save peanut brittle.
  • Work Quickly: Once the candy reaches the hard crack stage you will need to work quickly to add the remaining ingredients, as it will harden quickly.
  • Break the Brittle: Let the brittle cool completely before breaking apart and enjoying. To break the brittle, hold it with both hands and then apply pressure to snap it into irregular pieces. If the brittle is thick or you prefer more control over the break, place the peanut brittle between layers of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to apply gentle pressure.

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A plate of brown butter almond brittle.

Serving Suggestions

Making candy with my sweet mama is one of my best childhood memories. In our home, we always made a little for the family, but you can also package the brown butter almond brittle in a box or bag with a gift message for a Christmas or thank you gift for neighbors, family, and friends.

What to Do With the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate  You can make almond brittle several days or even weeks in advance. It stays fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for 6-8 weeks. Do not refrigerate, as the moisture from the fridge will cause the brittle to soften.
  • Freeze – Let the dish cool completely and transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Brown butter almond brittle freezes for three months. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my brittle not hardening?

Short Answer: It didn’t get hot enough. 
For the candy to harden, heat the sugar mixture to the hard crack stage around 300-310°F (149-154°C). This temperature indicates how hot the syrup is and how much water is in it. It is necessary to heat the sugar to that specific temperature range to ensure it hardens correctly.

Why do you put baking soda in brittle?

Short Answer: Baking soda makes the peanut brittle crisp and crunchy. 
The baking soda causes a chemical reaction that releases bubbles into the candy to make the peanut brittle delicate and crisp, so it’s easy to break and less likely to stick to your teeth.

How do I prevent sugar from burning?

Short Answer: High cooking temperatures and inappropriate cooking materials can cause the sugar mixture to burn or heat too quickly. 
Almond brittle requires low heat for cooking. You may feel tempted to speed up the cooking process by increasing the heat. However, this causes the sugar to brown too quickly and easily burn.

You should also keep a close eye on the sugar as it cooks, stirring it constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula. Using a heavy-bottomed pan also helps to distribute the heat evenly. If you notice the sugar browning too quickly, remove the pan from the heat and continue stirring before returning it to the stovetop.

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A plate of brown butter almond brittle.

Brown Butter Almond Brittle

Tressa Jamil
Brown butter almond brittle is a tasty variation of traditional peanut brittle, incorporating the rich and nutty flavor of browned butter and almonds.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 381 kcal
Ingredients
  
  • 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups almonds, crushed, shaved, slivered
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
 
  • Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper. Then, measure out the ingredients for the almond brittle and have them ready.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, continue to cook, stirring frequently. The butter will begin to foam, and the color will change from yellow to golden brown. Stir frequently to prevent the butter from burning for about 5-7 minutes. Once browned, remove the pan from heat.
  • Add the sugar, water, and corn syrup to the brown butter mixture. Return the pan to the stovetop and warm the mixture over medium heat. Stir occasionally until it gently boils.
    Tip: You might be tempted to increase the heat to speed up the process, but don't.
  • Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan, ensuring it is fully submerged without touching the bottom. Warm the sugar syrup at a rolling boil until the temperature reaches 250°F (121°C), stirring occasionally.
  • Add the almonds, stir constantly, until the temperature reaches 300℉ (149℃).
  • Remove the mixture from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract; it will begin to foam, but that's normal.
  • Carefully spread the cooked mixture onto the reserved baking dish using a wooden spoon to create an even layer.
  • Set the almond brittle aside, at room temperature, for at least an hour to harden before breaking it apart.
Notes
Expert Tips: 
  • Mise en Place: This is a fancy way of saying have your ingredients measured out and ready before you start making the candy because you will want to move quickly once the syrup comes to temperature.
  • Temperature is Key: Use a candy thermometer to make peanut brittle since the proper temperature of the candy is crucial to achieving peanut brittle that is not too soft and chewy and not too hard. If you end up with soft peanut brittle that didn’t come to temperature, check out my tips for how to save peanut brittle.
  • Work Quickly: Once the candy reaches the hard crack stage you will need to work quickly to add the remaining ingredients, as it will harden quickly.
  • Break the Brittle: Let the brittle cool completely before breaking apart and enjoying. To break the brittle, hold it with both hands and then apply pressure to snap it into irregular pieces. If the brittle is thick or you prefer more control over the break, place the peanut brittle between layers of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to apply gentle pressure.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  •  The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 381 kcal | Carbohydrates: 60 g | Protein: 5 g | Fat: 16 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9 g | Trans Fat: 0.2 g | Cholesterol: 10 mg | Sodium: 231 mg | Potassium: 177 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 56 g | Vitamin A: 117 IU | Calcium: 70 mg | Iron: 1 mg
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