Because Crohn's Disease is hard enough - New posts every Sunday!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Granny B's Pecan Brittle

Granny B's Pecan Brittle, SCD Style
My grandma Butler used to make the most phenomenal candies. If you were to ask my mom, she'd say without a doubt that her chocolate turtles (with caramel, not with actual turtles - come now) far outdid any chocolate you could buy from the store. Ask me, I'd say it was her fruit filled chocolates. Well, every year, she'd make each of us a box of hand dipped assorted chocolates for Christmas. And throughout the year, she always had a fresh stash of brittle on hand, just for us kids (of course, my mom would sneak a piece or two along the way). Even well into her 90's she continued to serve us by laboring hours on end making candy, not for her, but for her family and friends to enjoy. She was just an astounding example of service and all around a commendable woman. This recipe is written in her memory.


1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped nuts (pecans are my nut of choice)
4 Tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla
Parchment paper


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place honey in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes until the tops begin to brown. Remove from oven. Once the honey reaches a simmer, increase the heat to medium high and allow it to reach the soft crack stage, around 280ºF. Keep honey on range and add pecans, butter, and vanilla, in that order. Stir until the butter has melted and the nuts are evenly coated. Allow to boil for 1-2 additional min. Remove from heat, pour into a freezer safe container/cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper, and allow to cool. Store brittle in freezer.


*Soft crack stage is a candy term I wasn't aware of until I made brittle for the first time a week ago. So... I guess I'm an expert now? Here are some links to help you out. My mom got me a candy thermometer, which works wonders. They're really cheap, so I'd suggest if you're gonna make this more than once, invest in it.  What you'll notice is a change in color of the foam as the temperature increases. It starts out as a light brown, and as you get closer to soft crack, it changes to a dark, thick brown color. Also, the consistency of the actual honey will change from thick, to really runny, back to incredibly thick and dark in color. Lastly, look at the spoon and see how the honey dries. If it dries like honey normally does, then it's still too cold. If it dries firm and cracks when you pull it off, you're in the right temperature range. Here's a YouTube video from someone smarter than me, demonstrating on sugar. Principle still applies for honey.
*Parchment paper just keeps the brittle from sticking to the pan. You gotta nonstick container? Great! I'm poor so I don't have luxuries like that...
*Original recipe here.

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