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Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Brittle


Nothing keeps the cold-weather blues away better than a shot of bourbon. So it makes perfect sense to slip a tablespoon of the brown spirit into this sweet, crunchy, vanilla peanut brittle. Sweet, salty and boozy? Top that!

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Rate this recipe 4.5/5 (23 Votes)


  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted salted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


Adapted from


Step 1

Line a rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat or greased parchment paper.

Whisk the bourbon, baking soda, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat the corn syrup with 1 tablespoon water in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan until steaming and just bubbling at the edges, then add the sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.

When the sugar syrup comes to a boil, cover for 3 minutes to dissolve any sugar crystals that might be clinging to the sides of the pan. Uncover and stir in the peanuts.

Continue to boil until the temperature of the sugar syrup reaches 300°F (the hard crack stage) on a candy thermometer. There will be a very slight change in color at this point, where the sugar turns from clear to just barely golden.

Add the butter and reserved baking soda, bourbon, and vanilla extract and stir vigorously. The brittle will foam up and turn golden.

With the help of a spatula, pour the brittle onto the prepared baking sheet. Work quickly to spread it as evenly as possible. Be extremely careful when working with molten sugar!

Allow the brittle to cool and harden completely, about a half hour, before breaking into pieces.

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