Pecan Brittle

Pecan brittle is a delicious and crispy candy enjoyed for generations. This buttery, nutty candy is great for homemade gifts from the kitchen.

pecan brittle pieces scattered on parchment.

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Why Homemade Pecan Brittle Is So Good? 

For many people, brittle has a strong connection to the holidays. Whether it’s Christmases spent with the grandparents or the family’s annual vacation to a seaside town, the snack brings back a flood of happy memories.

Share the experience of making homemade brittle with the ones you love any time of the year with this classic recipe for Pecan Brittle.

Why You Should Try This Pecan Brittle Recipe 

Pecan Brittle may not be something you often, if ever, make, but hopefully, this recipe will change that. Pecan Brittle is not only simple to prepare and delicious to eat, but it’s incredibly versatile and makes a wonderful handmade gift that the person you give it to will really appreciate.

This recipe is an extra buttery version that doesn’t use any vanilla extract or cinnamon and allows the natural flavor of the nuts to shine through. 

Ingredients For Pecan Brittle

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Sugar
  • Light Corn Syrup
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Pecan pieces
  • Baking soda
  • Butter Flavoring

This recipe uses a liquid butter flavor like Watkins Butter Extract and not powdered butter flavoring. 

pecan brittle ingredients on a tray.

Equipment You Will Need

There are only a few must-have items to make homemade Pecan Brittle. The most essential piece of equipment is a clip-on thermometer. While you can use a deep-fry thermometer, one specifically designed for candy-making with the seven stages of candy-making clearly marked on the side is ideal. 

In addition to a candy thermometer, you’ll need a wooden spoon. Wood is an excellent material for candy making because it won’t melt or conduct heat. 

A silicone mat works best as the liner for the cookie sheet, but it is not a requirement. You can lightly grease the cookie sheet with butter or cooking spray if you don’t have a silicone baking mat. 

How To Make This Pecan Brittle Recipe 

To prepare this recipe for Pecan Brittle:

  1. Place a silicone baking mat on a cookie sheet or grease the cookie sheet to prevent sticking.
  2. Place a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a lid over medium heat. Wider saucepans without a non-stick coating work best.
  3. Carefully add the sugar, light corn syrup, water, butter, salt, and butter flavoring to the saucepan. Stir with a wooden spoon. Avoid getting any ingredients on the sides of the saucepan because they can easily burn.
pecan brittle ingredients in a pan.
  1. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cover the saucepan. Cook for about a minute. Covering the saucepan creates steam that will help to rinse any ingredients off the sides of the saucepan.
  2. Remove the lid and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan.
  3. Stir the sugar mixture with a wooden spoon until the temperature reaches the soft crack stage (from 270 to 290 degrees Fahrenheit).
  4. Add the pecan pieces to the saucepan and stir them into the sugar mixture. 
cooking pecan brittle in a pan.
  1. Continue heating until the sugar mixture reaches the hard crack stage (from 300 to 310 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Be aware that the sugar mixture will foam slightly. It is this foaming action that creates all the tiny bubbles in the brittle.
  3. Pour the sugar mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it out until it’s about a quarter of an inch thick. Work fast because the brittle will set quickly.
  4. Let the Pecan Brittle cool. Break the brittle into pieces using the back of a metal spoon. 
pecan brittle candy pieces on parchment paper.

How To Store Pecan Brittle 

The best way to keep your Pecan Brittle from getting soft is in an airtight container. Place a layer of wax paper between each layer of brittle to allow air to circulate.

Fun Ways You Can Serve Pecan Brittle

Besides eating Pecan Brittle on its own, it makes a great garnish for other desserts. Try:

  • Crushing a piece of brittle and sprinkling the crumbs over ice cream, custard, or a slice of pumpkin pie. 
  • Sticking a piece of brittle into the whipped cream on top of a slice of pecan pie.
  • Dipping a banana in melted chocolate and rolling it in crushed Pecan Brittle. Eat immediately or freeze for a great summer snack. 

How Long Does It Last?

Pecan Brittle lasts a long time. The main factor determining the length of time you can keep brittle is how well you prevent moisture from getting to it. Depending on the weather, brittle will last up to two months in a sealed container in the pantry. 

closeup of pecan brittle candy pieces.

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pecan brittle pieces scattered on parchment.

Pecan Brittle

Homemade pecan brittle is a buttery, crispy, and delicious candy to make and share with family and friends.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pecan Brittle
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 185kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons butter flavoring
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

  • Place the sugar, corn syrup, water, butter, salt, and butter flavoring in a medium pot and stir to combine.
  • Bring the mixture to simmer over medium heat. Place a lid on the pot for one minute, and then remove the lid. This will steam any sugar crystals that have formed on the sides of the pot and allow them to slide back down into the mixture.
  • Place a candy thermometer into the pot and continue to cook on medium heat, stirring frequently until the candy reaches the soft crack stage.
  • Add the pecans, stir to combine, and continue to cook until mixture reaches the hard crack stage.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add the baking soda (the mixture will foam). Make sure you blend baking soda into candy completely.
  • Pour the mixture onto a nonstick cookie sheet or lightly buttered baking sheet.
  • Working quickly, spread the mixture out until it is 1/4 inch thick (or thinner). The candy will start to harden quickly.
  • When the candy has cooled and set, break it into pieces and store it in airtight container.

Equipment

Candy Thermometer

Nutrition

Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 321mg | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Calcium: 3mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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