Chocolate & Salted Peanut Beer Brittle

Today is DAY 2 in a series of beer brittle.  In case you missed it, yesterday's post was Pumpkin Beer Brittle with Pepitas.  I wanted to make some candies that can be given away as Christmas gifts, especially for the men out there.  They are just too hard to shop for!  These brittle can be made well ahead of time and stored in an air-tight container (in a cool place, not necessarily the fridge).  A garage would be a good place to keep your brittle until you're ready to give them away.

Today's recipe a little sweeter; chocolate and peanuts are one of the best combinations out there.  Topped with a sprinkling of coarse sea salt, this brittle has the perfect balance of both salty and sweet.  I used an Imperial Stout in this brittle and it worked very well.

I took this brittle to my salon; the ladies are my wonderful taste-testers!  They said that they immensely enjoyed them - if they are lying, I apologize ;-)

Like the pumpkin brittle from yesterday, you can see that the brittle is glassy and quite hard.  This is the effect that you are looking for.  Tomorrow's brittle is a little on the softer side and you will be able to see the difference in the color and texture.  If your brittle is not shiny like this, you haven't cooked it long enough.  It takes some practice, but once you do it right, you'll be good to go!

Ingredients:
Adapted from The Food Network

1 1/2 c. organic cane sugar
6 oz. dark beer, like a stout
1 1/2 T pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. dark chocolate chips (vegan)
1 1/2 c. roasted peanuts, unsalted
coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions:
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 peanuts.

 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 peanuts.  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 on your chocolate chips and sea salt.

Allow it to harden at room temperature.

These chunks of brittle make great gifts for guys who are difficult to shop for.

Cheers!
-Aileen

This post is part of A Vegan Holiday, a collaboration among vegan and veg-friendly bloggers. Follow along on social media with #AVeganHoliday. Want to learn more or become a contributor? Find out more here or here