We’ve always loved the “burnt” candy-coated peanuts that you buy in the store.  We wanted to make our own, and we knew that homemade would be better.  Besides, we could experiment with different flavors.  We never could get them to look just like the stores’, but they taste better.

Here’s how to do it

  1. Make a sugar syrup on the stovetop with granulated sugar and water.  Be sure to add salt; these are snack peanuts after all.  And it takes a lot of candy to coat those nuts.  Use 1/2 cup sugar for each one cup of nuts.
  2. Since you’ll be cooking the peanuts, use raw Spanish peanuts not roasted peanuts.  Add the peanuts before you start cooking.  We tried to add the peanuts after cooking.  It doesn’t work.  The peanuts lower the temperature too quickly and the candy doesn’t adhere well to the nuts.
  3. Cook the sugar syrup with the nuts until the liquid is almost gone.  You don’t need to use a thermometer but if you do, cook the sugar to 220 to 225 degrees.  Stir the mixture often.
  4. As soon as the sugar is cooked, the liquid is almost gone, and the peanuts coated, use a spatula to spread the candied peanuts on a large, well-greased baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper or foil.
  5. Bake the peanuts for about 20 to 25 minutes at 300 degrees.  Do not stir.  The sugar coating should be a light brownish red.  Don’t cook it so long that it turns dark brown.
  6. Let the peanuts cool completely on the pan.  They will become crisp only after they have cooled.  Lift the paper or foil off the pan.  Break apart any large clusters.  Store in a covered container.

Candy-Coated Peanuts

Ingredients

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

  1. Mix the sugar, salt, and water together in a saucepan on the stovetop.   Stir to dissolve.  Add the nuts.
  2. Cook the sugar mixture, stirring often, until the liquid is almost gone or until the syrup is 220 to 225 degrees.
  3. As soon as the sugar is cooked, the liquid is almost gone, use a spatula to spread the candied peanuts on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
  4. Bake the peanuts for about 20 to 25 minutes at 300 degrees.  Do not stir.  The sugar coating should be a light brownish red.  Don’t cook it so long that it turns dark brown.
  5. Let the peanuts cool completely on the pan.  They will become crisp only after they have cooled.  Lift the paper or foil off the pan.  Break apart any large clusters.  Store in a covered container.

Variations

Vanilla Candy-Coated Peanuts

  • Add 1 teaspoon vanilla at the end of the cooking.

Spiced Candy-Coated Peanuts

  • Add 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and one teaspoon good quality cinnamon.

Baker’s note:  Check on your nuts a couple times while baking.  Do not let the sugar turn dark brown.

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