This old-fashioned gluten free peanut brittle is a family favorite and the best peanut brittle you’ll make this season. With just a few simple ingredients found at your local grocery store, you can whip up this delicious desert.
When the weather starts to cool, nostalgia kicks in and I want all the yummy treats that remind me of my childhood. This peanut brittle is one of those treats that I simply can’t get enough of this time of year.
This family favorite peanut brittle recipe is one that never stays uneaten for long and I often have to make a second batch. We just can’t get enough of the peanut-y caramel flavor. And the best part? It’s gluten free!
If you’re in the mood for some other festive treats, try these chewy gluten free molasses cookies with ginger. Another favorite cozy recipe I love to serve this time of year is gluten free chicken noodle soup.
Subscribe to This Vivacious Life
Receive a free e-book of Instant Pot recipes!
I know many of you may be a little bit intimidated by making anything that requires specific temperatures, especially if this is your first time making a flat candy like this one. But let me assure you, this recipe makes it simple. You’ve got this, my friend!
Why you should make this recipe
- Peanut brittle is always a good idea.
- This is a festive, fun treat that makes an excellent gift.
- You can serve this at dozens of holiday parties.
- This recipe breaks down the steps to make it nice and easy to achieve the best peanut brittle possible.
Sugar – Use whatever brand of granulated white sugar you like best.
Light corn syrup – I recommend using light corn syrup over dark because it will give your peanut brittle that nice blonde, caramel color.
Water – Plain old tap water will do nicely, unless you prefer something filtered, then use that.
Salt – Regular table salt will work just fine, but sometimes I use pink Himalayan or kosher salt.
Raw Spanish peanuts – Raw peanuts give you the best texture for this brittle.
Unsalted butter – Because you’ll already be adding salt to this brittle recipe, unsalted butter works best.
Gluten free vanilla – While it’s not common for vanilla or vanilla extract to contain gluten, just double check your label.
Baking soda – This helpful little ingredient causes a chemical reaction that allows the peanut brittle expand, adding little air pockets so it doesn’t break your teeth when you bite into it.
How to make Gluten Free Peanut Brittle
Prepare the pans and ingredients
Prepare a cookie sheet by covering it in foil, then spray with a light layer of non-stick spray. Set aside. Do this first so it’s ready to go when you’re ready to pour the hot brittle.
Combine the sugar, water, corn syrup and salt in a 4-6 quart stock pot with a wooden spoon. Then place a candy thermometer on the side of the pan. Don’t forget that thermometer.
Heat it up
Heat the ingredients in the large saucepan over medium heat. I know you will be tempted to stir the sugar mixture at this point, but don’t do it. DO NOT STIR.
You already combined the ingredients in the previous step, so let the sugars work their magic until the proper temperature and time.
Add peanuts and stir
Once the thermometer tells you the brittle mixture has reached 234 degrees, add the peanuts. After you add the peanuts you can start stirring.
Keep stirring frequently. We don’t want those peanuts to burn from sitting too long without stirring.
Add butter and keep stirring
The temperature of the sugar and peanuts mixture will continue to climb so keep watching that thermometer. Once the temperature reaches 270 degrees, add the butter.
After adding that butter keep stirring and don’t stop. I know you were begging to stir this mixture in the beginning and now is your chance. Keep it going for a few more degrees.
Remove from heat
Once that delectable mixture reaches 290 degrees, remove it from the heat.
Have your vanilla and baking soda pre-measured so that when you reach this point in the process you can quickly add them. After adding these two ingredients, stir vigorously to bring it all together.
Pour and cool
As soon as you remove your liquid peanut brittle from the heat, your mixture will begin to set. So, make sure you have that pan prepared at the beginning. See why I told you to do that part first?
Pour the hot mixture onto the prepared pan and let it sit until completely cooled. Letting the brittle cool may be the hardest part but it’s worth it. When your peanut brittle is cooled to room temperature, break it into small pieces and enjoy!
Tips for success
- Use a thermometer clip – Many candy thermometers come with a clip to hook it to the side of your pot. This is very handy with those temperatures you need to watch, and trying to hold the spoon and the thermometer can get tricky. But make sure the tip of the thermometer isn’t touching the bottom or side of the pan, you only want it to touch the mixture to gauge that temperature.
- Prepare everything up front – This yummy recipe has many things that need to happen at a specific time. So, for best results, I recommend measuring every ingredient and preparing your baking sheet before you do any cooking. This will save you any potential stress.
- Relax – Sometimes candy recipes can feel daunting at first, but you’ve got this! This recipe is rather simple and I know you can do it. Take a deep breath, and remember peanut brittle is the end result. It’s worth it.
- Almond brittle – Prefer a different nut? Try almonds. This recipe works just as well with raw almonds as it does with peanuts.
- Pecan brittle – Another super tasty version of this recipe involves pecans. I love using pecans in this recipe instead of peanuts.
- Cinnamon – I love adding a dash of cinnamon to this recipe at the very end to give it bit of a festive kick.
- Chocolate drizzle – Once the brittle is cooled add a light drizzle of melted chocolate. Make it chocolaty, caramel treat.
- Coconut – Add a bit of shredded, unsweetened coconut right at the end of cooking and before you pour onto the pan. This gives your brittle a different kick of texture and flavor.
Storage and Freezing
Storing – You can store this peanut brittle in an airtight container for up to one month at room temperature.
Freezing – You can freeze in an airtight container for up to six months.
Can I make this dairy free?
Yes you can! Just replace the butter in this recipe with vegan butter or coconut oil. It will work just as well as dairy butter. The coconut oil will give your brittle a slightly different flavor, but a coconut kick is tasty!
Can I use other nuts besides peanuts?
Yes! I love making this recipe with other nuts like pecans and almonds. Especially if you’re making this sweet treat for someone with a peanut allergy, this is a great way to go. As long as they don’t have a tree nut allergy.
Ways to enjoy
Pair this recipe with a gluten free charcuterie board and gluten free gingerbread men for a table a goodies that sure to delight your guests. You can also keep this homemade peanut brittle ready to go for any guests you may have over the next few months.
Or serve this fun treat at a plan and wrap holiday party alongside gingerbread martini mocktails to get everyone in the mood for this holiday season. I hope you enjoy this classic peanut brittle recipe all season long.
Need an EASY and delicious breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert?
Take a look at my Sheet Pan Meals and More!
Gluten Free Peanut Brittle
- Prepare a sheet pan covered in foil and spray with a light layer of non-stick spray. Set aside.
- In a 4-6 quart stock pot, combine the sugar, water, corn syrup and salt. Use a long wooden spoon to combine. Place a candy thermometer on the side of the pan.
- Heat over medium heat and do not stir.
- Once the mixture reaches 234 degrees, add in the peanuts. Stir well to combine.
- Continue to stir frequently. The peanuts will scorch if they sit too long without moving.
- Once the mixture reaches 270 degrees, add in the butter. Continue to stir constantly.
- Once the mixture reaches 290 degrees, remove from the heat.
- Work quickly to add in the vanilla and baking soda. Stir vigorously to combine.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. The brittle will begin to set as it cools, so have your items ready to expedite the process.
- Once the brittle is cool, break it into pieces.