How To Make Easy Butter Pecan Brittle

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Here is an easy recipe for butter pecan brittle! Making candy should be easy and I’m going to add a slightly healthier twist to it! 

how to make pecan brittle

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Did you know that our wedding favors were Southern Pecan Pralines made from the BEST little kitchen in Alabama? 

I loved the salty & sweet flavor combination that is uniquely found only in the deep South. Since we can’t readily order pralines from Punta Clara, I wanted to try and recreate something similar– but only a butter pecan brittle version.

 

 

 

 

Butter Pecan Brittle Recipe

Butter Pecan Brittle is one of those treats that once you have it, you’ll want to know how to make your own! Luckily, it’s pretty simple to make. This recipe is such a great change-up from the usual or expected brownies or cake.

When it comes to candy making, so many people are leery– but I promise, it’s easy and super impressive for potlucks.

 

 

 

There are only a few items that you need to make the pecan brittle recipe. Invest in a good candy thermometer. I’m on my third candy thermometer and the one I have now is holding up really well. Keep that thing protected! 

Second, you need two baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and third, a large non-stick pot. Using a non-stick pan seems to keep everything from burning while cooking and makes cleanup easier.

When the recipe calls for you to not stir, it’s serious business. DO NOT stir!  When the recipe tells you to stir, you better stir with your wooden spoon like there is nothing else to do. It never fails, when it’s time to stir, someone has to use the potty, my husband is asking for something, and I receive a text message.

Roasted Pecans

 

Pecan Brittle Recipe Ingredients

–Freshly Toasted Pecans
–White Sugar (I use half Splenda– keep reading)
–Light Corn Syrup
–Water
–Unsalted Butter
–Baking Soda
–Pure Vanilla Extract
–Sea Salt for sprinkling, (I go a little heavy)

 

 

Here is an easy recipe for butter pecan brittle! I sneak in some sugar substitute to make it a little more guilt-free! Click here for the easy recipe!

 

What Is The Difference Between a Southern Pecan Praline and Pecan Brittle?

Pecan Pralines are soft in texture while Brittle is extremely hard and cracks in your mouth. Pralines are made with brown sugar and heavy whipping creams while Brittle uses white sugar and corn syrup. You’ll find that Pecan Pralines are cooked on the stop to a lower temperature and then dropped by heaping a spoonful onto a sheet pan for cooling. Brittle is cooked on the stove to 305 degrees which causes the brittle effect. 

 

 

Pecan Brittle Recipe Pro-Tips

  • I will repeat this several times, a great candy thermometer and a non-stick 3.5-quart pot are your best friends for making this nut brittle turn out so well!
  • Be prepared to never stop stirring once the pot heats up to 230 degrees all the way to 305 degrees
  • The pot is HOT! Be careful when spreading the brittle onto the countertop
  • Phone a friend– it’s easiest to have one person pour the brittle and have another smooth out the brittle using a wooden spoon at the same time. Have the person smoothing be the one who sprinkles the sea salt over the brittle.
  • Do not double this recipe. I’ve tried doubling multiple times to save myself time but I’ve never been successful. There is too much candy to stir and the way it cooks just doesn’t give the “right” consistency. Now I will double my pecans in the toasting step to save time and use later for a second batch.

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I Substitute Other Nuts? Yes! While I haven’t tried it personally, you should be able to substitute cashews to make cashew brittle.
  • Can I use Splenda? Yes! I always sub out 1 cup of sugar for 1 cup of Splenda. It makes a slight bit healthier with no effect on the candy making. Note: I’ve never used 2 cups of Splenda to completely replace the sugar yet.
  • Why is my Pecan Brittle Chewy? If your brittle didn’t reach 305 degrees, which is the hard crack phase, your candy will not harden. It’s imperative to use a candy thermometer throughout the entire cooking process

 

Other Desserts I Think You’ll Enjoy:

 

 

Storage Suggestions:

Once cooled, store brittle in a closed container.  If making ahead a few days, keep your brittle stored in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. Let it warm up to room temperature before serving.  

Butter Pecan Brittle is a great gift idea for someone who is hard to shop for or may not need more “things” in their home. If you do give it as a gift, I like to break up the brittle into large pieces and place them in a cute gift box. There is something luxurious about receiving homemade goods presented well!

 

Tools Used to Make Butter Pecan Brittle

 

Easy Butter Pecan Brittle Recipe

Easy Butter Pecan Brittle Recipe

Yield: 20 pieces
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This super easy butter pecan brittle recipe is perfect for any special holiday!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of pecans
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Sea Salt for sprinkling, (I go a little heavy)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line 1 baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread pecans on a baking sheet lined with parchment and toast in the oven for 5 minutes, until the pecans are fragrant and snap when broken. Set aside.
  4. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a non-stick 3.5 quart or larger saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clear. Depending on your stove top, this may take 10 minutes or more.
  5. Put a candy thermometer in the pan, increase the heat to medium-high and cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 230 degrees F on the candy thermometer.
  6. Once this happens, add the butter and toasted pecans.
  7. Stir the mixture constantly until it reaches 305 degrees F. It will bubble and be incredibly hot, so be careful. When it reaches the desired temperature, it should be caramel colored and fragrant. You will stir for several minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will bubble, so it is again important to use caution. If the mixture hardens too quickly, put it over either the still-warm burner or low heat until it comes back together.
  9. Pour the mixture onto parchment paper. Smooth out with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle Sea Salt over the brittle.
  10. Allow the brittle to cool for at least 30 minutes before breaking into bite-sized pieces

Notes

Adapted from Pies and Plots

To make this healthier, substitute 1 cup of Splenda sugar substitute in place of 1 cup of granulated sugar. Keep the other cup of sugar to maintain 2 cups of sugar/Splenda.

For best results, stir in baking soda & vanilla when the pan is on a trivet next to your parchment paper. This will make the pour easiest.

For best results, use a 3.5-quart non-stick saucepan.

When you make this recipe, please tag me @ourhomemadeeasy and leave a review!

 

 

 

 

 

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23 Comments

  1. I am starving at the moment and this looks way too good making me drool on the keyboards. Yum! Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. Sorry to be late commenting #sharewithme

  2. Just wondering if I can substitute the splenda with granulated sugar bringing granulated sugar to 2 cups or if I can substitute splenda with maple syrup.
    Look forward to your reply.

    Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah! I ran out of Splenda before Thanksgiving. So I used 2 cups of white sugar and it worked out well. As for Maple syrup, I’ve never tried substituting it in candy. Thank you for stopping by! -Brit

  3. Hi I just finished making my pecan brittle and it was easy and fun to make . Now the flavor is something else quite tasty thanks for the great recipe. Kathy Norwood

  4. I want to try this, but the 1/2 cup of butter seems excessive. Could I use 2 Tbsp. instead. Since I fix food for 2 diabetics, using Splenda sound great.

  5. This is fabulous recipe! Easier and much better tasting than PD’s. Made my 4th batch for holiday gift giving and for me. Lol

  6. I made this last night and it tastes awesome, if I do say so myself! It was a bit thick because I made it alone. I hope everyone can chew it! I wouldn’t know, since I don’t have teeth I can chew this with anymore!😏

  7. I made this with Almonds and pecans and it smells wonderful! I can’t wait to try it! Very easy recipe. I made peanut brittle long long time ago and it was awful. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I’ve made this recipe many times over for our house and as holiday gifts. It’s so hard to stop eating the brittle! And I agree … beyond better and easier than PD!!!

  9. Have you used this recipe for candied nuts? Have you used no sugar, using only a sugar replacement like King Arthur’s or Truvia stevia? Any ideas for a corn syrup replacement?

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