Today is DAY 3 in a series of beer brittles. In case you missed it, Tuesday's post was Pumpkin Beer Brittle with Pepitas and yesterday's post was Chocolate & Salted Peanut Beer Brittle. I wanted to make some candies that can be given away as Christmas gifts, especially for the men out there.
Both of these 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.
Today's recipe is a little different than the previous two. I cooked my brittle a little shorter; you can tell by the candy's finish. It's not glassy and hard, like the previous two. This one has more of a matte finish, which probably has something to do with the coconut mixed in. It's a little softer to bite into as well. My hubby said that he liked both textures and the change of pace.
With that said, this one might not be as durable as the others. Because it's not as hard and caramelized, it might not last as long. If you are giving this flavor as a gift, either cook it longer or give it right away. As is, it won't last for weeks without getting weird.
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 c. slivered almonds
1 c. unsweetened coconut, shredded
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 nuts.
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 nuts and half of the coconut. 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. Sprinkle with additional coconut.
Allow it to harden at room temperature.
These chunks of brittle make great gifts for guys who are difficult to shop for.