With this coming weekend's Christmas holiday, I'm sure the vast majority of folks are readying their last minute items. From buying and wrapping gifts to packing for upcoming travel or preparing for the arrival of your guests, there's so much to take care of that we all could use a little extra time.

If one of the items on your to do list includes making a dessert or snack to bring to a gathering, we've got a great and super quick recipe for a bit of homemade peanut brittle...with a spicy kick.

I actually first read about this recipe in People magazine a little while ago. The recipe is a favorite of chef Gesine Bullock-Prado and her sister, Sandra Bullock (yes, that Sandra Bullock). It actually comes from Gesine's cookbook, Sugar Baby. If this recipe is any indication, the whole book is absolutely worth a look. So without further adue, here's the recipe.

Kitchen Tools:

  • Large pot 
  • Wooden spoon 
  • Baking sheet 
  • Spatula 
  • Candy thermometer (but I even used a meat thermometer once)


  • Non-stick cooking spray 
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup 
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 3 cups salted dry-roasted peanuts


Spray your spatula and a large baking sheet with the non-stick spray and set aside for later.

With your burner set to medium-high heat, in your large pot combine the sugar, corn syrup, unsalted butter, salt, and pepper. Mix all of the ingredients as they come to temperature and sugar fully dissolves.

Bring the contents of your pot to a consistent and gentle boil. Once boiling, insert your candy thermometer and allow the pot to boil until it reaches 300 degrees. Do not stir the mixture during this time.

It will take a little while to reach 300 degrees, but pay close attention as you'll want to remove it from the heat promptly when it reaches full temperature. Burned sugar = no fun.

Remove the pot from the heat and immediately sprinkle the baking soda over the mixture. The syrup mixture is very hot, so be careful in these steps as it will bubble vigorously. Using the wooden spoon, stir the peanuts into the mixture until they are evenly distributed.

Carefully pour the mixture into your baking sheet, and using your spatula spread the brittle out evenly over the surface of the pan. Let it cool for about 10 minutes.

Once cooled, break the brittle into pieces that suit your preference and enjoy.

Your first bite should be sweet but will be followed closely by a spicy zip. It's been an absolute hit with our friends, family, and neighbors, so I hope you enjoy it too. (In fact, the batch I made to give to friends and family this year unfortunately "disappeared" in a strange twist of fate. Just don't ask me to get on the scale.) If you do like it, here's a link to the cookbook for the original recipe and many more.

As seen on...

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special
Comments 1


Cooki Turner
5/23/2013 at 7:42 PM
Recipe directions forget about when to add the cayenne. Don't you combine this at the very beginning also.
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