Anyone who knows my mother knows that she excels at being a hostess. She’s kind, thoughtful, funny, and — importantly — quite skilled in the kitchen. So for both my sister’s recent wedding as well as mine a couple of years ago, Mom decided to outdo herself by filling gift bags for everyone who came into town and stayed in our hotel wedding block. She stuffed the bags with several Southern items — things like a hat from The Varsity, Coca-Cola, Georgia peanuts, homemade chocolate chip banana bread, and homemade strawberry/fig jelly — to make out-of-towners feel right at home. The whole things is wonderfully welcoming and sweet — and also very useful for when you’re in need of a snack over the busy wedding weekend!
For Susan and Marty’s wedding, Mom discovered a delicious new treat to include in the bags — microwave peanut brittle (a Cooking Light recipe, no less!). That’s right — now you don’t have to wait for the humidity to be just right to whip up a batch of this crunchy sweet stuff. It’s quick and easy, and tastes just as great.
(Note: I amended this recipe since I didn’t have any peanuts on hand but I did have cashews. You can substitute virtually any kind of nut for peanuts if you’d like. Pecans, walnuts, almonds, and pine nuts work especially well.)
Microwave Cashew Brittle:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
- 3/4 cup toasted cashews
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Parchment paper
- Line a jellyroll pan (basically a cookie sheet with 1-inch deep sides) with parchment paper.
- Combine sugar and corn syrup in a two-quart microwavable glass bowl. Microwave at high for three minutes (sugar mixture will be clear and bubbly).
- Stir in cashews.
- Microwave at high for three minutes, or until mixture is a light caramel color, stirring each minute.
- Stir in butter, vanilla, and salt.
- Microwave at high for one and a half minutes, or until mixture is the color of peanut butter.
- Add baking soda and stir until texture is foamy.
- Quickly pour mixture into prepared pan.
- Spread to 1/4-inch thickness and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container for up to a week.