I made several suggestions, including peanut brittle, chocolate peanut clusters and chocolate covered peanuts.
I remembered, however, seeing David Lebovitz’s Candied Peanut blog and thinking that I would like to try making some. Since I hadn’t made the recipe at the time, I didn’t include this as a recommendation to my brother. I did keep thinking though, that I wanted to try making the candied peanuts.
. . . So yesterday when I went to the farmer’s market, I bought a pound of raw in-shell peanuts.
When I started shelling the peanuts, I realized how foolish this was! The hardest part was getting the skins off the nuts. I ended up partially roasting the nuts to make the job easier. After about an hour, the pound of peanuts had reduced to 1 1/2 cups!
Ingredients for Candied Peanuts
Since the recipe that I was using called for 2 cups of raw peanuts and I only had 1 1/2 cups, I reduced the ingredients to 3/4 cup of sugar, and 1/4 cup of water.
Making the Candied Peanuts
The David Lebovitz recipe suggested using a wide, heavy-duty skillet. I ignored this and instead used a large, heavy saucepan. It wasn’t until part-way through the cooking process that I realized why the skillet would have been a better pan.
The reason was that the skillet’s cooking surface is larger, and therefore the cooking time is less. Anyway, I cooked the sugar and water over medium heat for a couple of minutes until the sugar melted and a thin syrup formed.
At that point, I reduced the heat and continued cooking the peanuts. It was at this point, that I realized why the skillet would have been better. The crystallized sugar began melting and caramelizing on the nuts. With the larger cooking surface in the skillet, this would have gone much faster.
I stirred constantly with a silicon spoon to prevent the peanuts and/or the sugar from burning.
After the nuts had cooled, I broke the clumps apart. All I can say is YUM – these candied peanuts are truly addictive! Yum!
Candied Peanuts (Adapted from David Lebotviz's Candied Peanuts Recipe)
- 1 1/2 cups raw shelled peanuts
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Pinch of salt optional
- Combine sugar and water in a heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts and the mixture thickens into a syrup.
- Add the peanuts and continue stirring over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the liquids evaporate and a sandy-textured sugar mixture coats the peanuts.
- Lower the heat, and continue stirring as the excess sugar in the pan begins to melt. Once the syrup begins to form, it will turn from clear to golden to amber. Stir constantly, bring careful that the heat is not so high that the peanuts and/or the syrup begins to burn.
- When the syrup is a medium amber color and the sugary coating on the peanuts has glazed, add the salt if desired. Pour the peanuts onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread into a single layer to cool completely. Break up any clumps. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 2 cups.