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Green and Red Chile Hot Peanut Brittle

This is the real old-fashioned peanut brittle, that used to be sold in bulk at the country general store. The chile really peps up the brittle and is delightful. Without the chile, it used to be called shoe box peanut brittle, because the recipe just about filled a small-size shoe box for mailing.

Yield: Approximately 1 ½ pounds

2 cups salted Spanish peanuts
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups light corn syrup
¼ cup butter

Combine the following:

1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cold water
2 Tablespoons ground red or green pure chile powder

1. Place peanuts in shallow pan. Bake at 275F until heated through. Do not roast.

2. Lightly grease sides of saucepan.

3. Add sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water. Cook over low-heat, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. You should not be able to feel sugar grains when you rub the spoon against the sides of the pan

4. Remove from heat and, with a damp towel, wipe any grains from the sides of the pan above the liquid level.

5. Start the syrup boiling and clip the thermometer onto the side of the pan.

6. Cook over low heat, without stirring, until thermometer registers 275 F (syrup forms a soft crack in cold water.)

7. Remove thermometer; lower heat.

8. Add butter and peanuts; cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.

9. Clip candy thermometer back on the side of the pan; cook, stirring constantly to 300 F or (syrup forms hard crack in cold water)

10. Remove from heat; stir in the soda, vanilla, and cold water-chile mixture and continue to stir for 30 seconds. Candy will foam.

11. Pour onto well-oiled baking sheet. Cool until surface is barely warm to the fingers. Then with a spatula turn the mass over and with your hands pull and stretch as thin as possible.

12. Break into irregular eating size pieces and cool. Store in airtight container in layers separated by sheets of waxed paper.

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