Hazelnut Brittle

Growing up, I loved peanut butter…actually, anything peanutty, really. Peanut brittle fell into this category, and honestly, who doesn’t love peanut brittle? Since I’ve grown up, I’ve come to love a variety of other nuts, and one of my favorites (hazelnuts) is in season at the moment, so I thought I’d enjoy my favorite nuts with one of my favorite candies by trying my hand at making a batch of hazelnut brittle to complete my Thanksgiving dinner.

The result was more than I could have hoped for–distinctly hazelnutty, sticky, crunchy, sweet, caramelly, buttery, salty, and lightly tinged with that delicious bourbon aroma. And just look at it. Maybe I’m a sucker for brittles, but I drool like Pavlov’s dog at the sight.

I was largely inspired by a recipe I saw, and honestly, I was really impressed with the results, especially considering how phenomenally simple this was to put together. This is the kind of dessert you could make in a pinch on the weekend and give out as a gift/favor this holiday season…or just keep handy for your own snacking. You or your friends will be very happy, I promise.

Also, since this falls under the candy-making umbrella, its worth mentioning that a candy thermometer is a handy thing to have. If you don’t though, its not the end of the world–just take a moment to familiarize yourself with the various sugar stages as sugar has dramatically different properties at different temperatures which will dictate your success/failure at making any candy (the flavor, texture, and appearance). Its not hard to do, but its something you really need to be aware of. Plus, its fun!

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups hazelnuts
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp bourbon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Begin by toasting the hazelnuts on a baking sheet at 350°F for 10 minutes. Once out of the oven, wrap the nuts in a towel, fold it shut, and rub like crazy to get as much of that papery coating off of the nuts as you can. Transfer the nuts to a bag and smash them into coarse chunks with a mallet.

In a sturdy, heavy-bottomed pan, boil the sugar, water, and corn syrup. Once boiling, add the butter. Never stir this.

Once this mixture reaches the hard ball stage (~260°F), add in the smashed nuts. Resist the urge to stir things.

Warm this up to the hard crack stage (~300°F) and then add in the remaining ingredients. Be careful as things might froth and sputter a bit.

At this point, the brittle is cooked, so carefully pour it out on a parchment lined baking sheet and give it an hour or two to cool down before storing in an airtight container (not in the fridge!).

When you’re ready, break off a chunk and enjoy!

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38 Responses to “Hazelnut Brittle”

  1. the caked crusader Says:

    I love hazelnuts – to me they have such a full rich flavour unrivalled by any other nut!
    Looks like you did a great (and very tasty) job.

    The best bit of anything like this is picking it out of your cavities for hours afterwards – it’s like your mouth’s own pantry!

  2. nina Says:

    Hazelnuts are by far my favorite nut. The brittle must have been heavenly!!!

  3. sunita Says:

    I am not very good at making candy…your brittle looks great :-)

  4. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    I’m sure my dentist will be pleased to hear me say that I’ve given up peanut brittle — and all variations of brittle — for the sake of the very costly dental work I’ve had in the past few years! But it’s still fun to make, and one of my favorite stocking stuffers for the grandkids.

  5. Aparna Says:

    True, who doesn’t love peanut brittle?
    We don’t get hazelnuts in India, but we make our brittle with peanuts, cashewnuts and even sesame seeds using jaggery more often than sugar.

  6. RecipeGirl Says:

    I just picked up some hazelnuts recently and they’ve been staring at me. Good idea!

  7. Taris Janitens Says:

    Have you thought of putting together a cook book??? I love the pictures you include with your posts!! Really professional!! :)

  8. Jude Says:

    Still remember the first time I tried making peanut brittle — didn’t go too well. I was just looking for a hazelnut recipe so this is perfect.

  9. Zenchef Says:

    1/2 teaspoon of bourbon.. you meant 1/2 cup, right? :-)
    This brittle looks fantastic Mike. I’m always on the look-out for nice brittle recipes and this one looks like a keeper. Thanks!

  10. Sandie Says:

    Hazelnut brittle? Why didn’t I think of that? Genius I tell you, sheer genius!

  11. Joan Nova Says:

    I love all nuts! (edible and people) Hazelnuts also happens to be my favorite too. My least favorite is most people’s favorite: cashews (too mushy once you start chewing. The brittle looks great.

  12. Bunny Says:

    This would be nice to make for gifts too, if I don’t eat it all. I’m blaming you Mike if I get big and fat! LOL!!

  13. heather Says:

    ohhh yum! hazelnut brittle sounds just luscious and amazing! i’ll bet it was delicious :)

  14. Heather Says:

    I make this too, and love it. I just pour the candy napalm over a Silpat of hazelnuts, though, to keep it simple. Then I sprinkle Maldon flake sea salt over the top. :)

  15. Choosy Beggar Tina Says:

    Ring a bell and I’ll ask for brittle too!! Your hazelnut brittle looks divine – I bet that bourbon really does give it just that perfect hint of howddyado.

    Oh, and if you put together a cookbook, like Taris and I both think that you should do, please know that you have at least two excited buyers for the first edition!!!

  16. Sam Says:

    Hazlenuts are my favourite of all nuts, this would be great smashed up over some ice cream…

  17. pam Says:

    I am a brittle fanatic too. I should probably never make it, because I’m sure I would eat it all. All by myself.

  18. noble pig Says:

    I just came home from Oregon with locally grown hazelnuts I picked up from a farm stand. THIS is going to be how I use them.

  19. Peter Says:

    Thank you for sharing something easy. Hazelnuts are very in season and the brittle is a nice added surprise to lay out at a table.

  20. joanne at frutto della passione Says:

    Wow, I haven’t had any kind of brittle in years! Great idea with the hazelnuts, I think I would really like that.

  21. grace Says:

    sadly, i could eat buckets of this and not think twice…until a couple hours later when my sugar high wears off. this trumps peanut brittle for me any day. :)

  22. Alexa Says:

    Mike, that looks insanely good… I am a big hazelnut fan and for some reason I never put brittles and hazelnuts together. I’ll be trying this recipe soon. It would make a great holiday gifts as well. Thanks!

  23. ingrid Says:

    I’m guessing this can be made using any type of nut? I don’t have hazelnuts handy but lots of pecans and walnuts. I’m very excited. For the first time last night I used my candy thermometer to cook a sugar mixture for marshmallows. At first it’s a bit scary watching sugar boil away but really very easy! So, I’m sure this will be a piece of cake!

    Thanks and yes, that is drool worthy!
    ~ingrid

  24. Eat Food. You’ll Like It. | Joy The Baker Says:

    […] of Mike’s Table whips up some Hazelnut Brittle.  Um… yes […]

  25. Bellini Valli Says:

    Peanut Brittle always reminds me of Easter. We would always get a big box of our own. Thanks for the walk down memory lane Mike.

  26. Deeba Says:

    YUM YUM Mike…just right for the holiday season. I love anything nutty, & this is more than just right…drooliciously good! Have a warm & joyous Christmas!!

  27. Toni Says:

    I’ve never made candy before, but it doesn’t look that difficult. And hazelnuts? You’ve nailed it with that……Love peanut brittle, but I absolutely adore hazelnuts!!!

  28. Hélène Says:

    I never had brittle before but I’m sure if I had this treat in front of me I would indulge. Looks yummy!

  29. Anali Says:

    Oooh that looks good! I haven’t made any candy in a while.

  30. Susan from Food Blogga Says:

    I can’t remember the last time I had peanut brittle, Mike. Thanks for the deliciously sticky, crunchy reminder.

  31. peabody Says:

    This looks super good. And very Pacific Northwest…we always have hazelnuts.

  32. clumbsycookie Says:

    I’m also nuts from all nuts! But specially hazelnuts! And caramel, oh boy do I love caramel, so this is pretty much perfection for me!

  33. Marie Says:

    Oh, This is soooooo tempting!!

  34. cathy Says:

    I used to make an almond brittle with chocolate on top every holiday. Won a company award once, too. This looks great – may do it with macadamias or pecans (no hazelnuts in Hawaii) and rum….
    I was actually looking at your sweet potato pecan pie but got sidetracked…

  35. Kevin Says:

    Nice looking brittle!

  36. Holly Says:

    Mike!! You’re my hero! This is just awesome and totally making it into my Christmas gift bags in the next few days.

  37. mikky Says:

    wow!!! this is truly amazing… i just love the way you described them… what a treat… :)

  38. Kel Says:

    You MUST stir it ALL the time. It will burn if you “Never stir this.”

    Tried it without stirring, and it burned quickly. Tried it while stirring constantly, and it came out perfect!

    Just tweak that and it’s delicious!

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