This delicious and easy candy will spice up your Halloween. The jalapeños aren’t hot (unless you want them to be!) but instead give more of a warm, mellow flavor to this sweet brittle. If you do want to spike the heat—and go for more of a trick—add extra jalapeños right at the end.
¼ cup jalapeño pepper, finely chopped. No seeds, no white part. Chop extra jalapeño to add at the end for more heat
1 cup peanuts. I use lightly-salted, dry roasted peanuts, because that’s what I usually have on hand, but raw nuts are classic
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided. Plus more for buttering the pan.
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon almond extract
Green food coloring (optional) if you want things to look a little creepier for Halloween
½ teaspoon baking soda
How to Make It:
Butter a 15 x 10-inch jellyroll pan. I have a silpat, so I use that instead for zero stick/cleanup problems. They’re a bit expensive, but truly worth it. Here it is on Amazon if you’re interested: Silpat Premium Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat, Half Sheet Size, 11-5/8″ x 16-1/2″. Put the silpat on a cookie sheet.
In a skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the jalapeños and the nuts and cook over low heat until the peppers are soft.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and corn syrup. Bring it to a boil over medium heat. This looks bizarre. It will liquefy, don’t worry. Meanwhile, have all your other ingredients at hand and ready to go.
When the sugar mixture is boiling, add the jalapeños and the nuts. Stir well and cook until the mixture reaches 290 F on a candy thermometer. This is the soft crack stage. Trust me, it is good to have a candy thermometer.
Remove from heat.
Stir in the butter, almond, and vanilla extract, a few drops of green food coloring if you’re using it, and any extra jalapeño, if you’re adding any. Stir until everything is mixed in.
Sprinkle the baking soda over the top of your cooked mixture and stir until the mixture is foamy. Immediately pour it onto your buttered pan or onto your silpat. Use the back of a spoon to spread it out into a thin layer. Work fast, but be careful! The stuff is like napalm at this point!
Let it cool on the pan until it is brittle and cool enough to handle, then break it into pieces. Store in an airtight container.