Okay, I lied.
I told you that my series on beer brittle was my last before the holidays. But here's another one. And I have another one planned for New Year's. Oh well. I had the best intentions.
My previous brittle posts have some valuable information when it comes to making brittle, so be sure to peruse them. I don't want to sound like a broken record. But if I could tell you a few things about making brittle, it would be:
1. Get a nice, heavy bottomed pan. I have one of those Martha Stewart Dutch Oven types and I really like it. It's great for making soups and brittle.
2. Invest in a candy thermometer. I was cocky and I thought I could manage without it...but I couldn't, haha. I suppose once you get really good at it, you can visually identify the stages, but I'm not there!
3. Cook it, and then cook it some more. You might think it's done, but it's probably not. It should be teetering on a fine line between done and almost burned.
The stout used in this brittle is special. While we were in Pittsburgh visiting our family, we stopped at Copper Kettle Brewing and brewed our own beer. They have a program where you can schedule an appointment, learn about brewing beer, and select one to make. It's cool!
I used our stout and mixed in some dried cranberries and steel cut oats. With that said, I don't recommend the dried fruit. Because of the temperature of the brittle, it kind of melts and gets stuck together. This brittle has a good, hearty flavor and would taste great with chocolate chips on top!
Adapted from The Food Network
1 1/2 c. organic cane sugar
6 oz. dark beer, like a porter (I used a vanilla porter)
1 1/2 T pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. steel cut oats
1/2 c. chocolate chips, for sprinkling or drizzling
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray it lightly with olive oil or coconut oil. Set aside.
Using a large, heavy-bottomed pan, attach your candy thermometer to it. Over medium-high heat, combine your sugar, beer, syrup, and vanilla. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Your thermometer should read at least 220 degrees before you even consider mixing in the oats.
Before your eyes, you should see the mixture change from a watery mix, to a bubbly boil, to a dense, viscous liquid. Stir with a wooden spoon regularly. This process should take no less than 30 minutes.
When it's ready, add in your oats. Stir a few more times (if the mixture will allow). Remove the brittle from the heat and pour it onto the prepared cookie sheet. Spread the brittle out and smooth it as evenly as possible. For this one, I used a towel to press it down.
Allow it to harden at room temperature. Drizzle the chocolate on top.
These chunks of brittle make great gifts for guys who are difficult to shop for.