Microwave Peanut Brittle

Microwave Peanut BrittlePeanut brittle has always been one of my favorite Holiday treats, but I really hated to make it because it involves technicalities with cooking sugar. I’m not a very patient candy maker and I know that patience is not only a virtue with candy making; it is an absolute. Except in this recipe, which absolutely gets two thumbs up from me because the peanut brittle is made in the microwave.

When I first saw this recipe, I was very skeptical about it. No candy thermometer? Only 7 1/2-8 minutes total cooking time? Cook, stir, cook, stir, cook, stir? I had a Doubting Thomas moment (show me, I don’t believe it) or maybe a faint hint of Missourian (Missouri = the ‘show me’ state). Then I thought, “Oh, heck. Why not? If it fails, I’ll lose some ingredients, but if it works…WOW!”.
It was amazing! Good peanut brittle and no stress. What more could I have asked for?
I found this recipe in 2001 on a website called Peppermint Lane. I wondered if they still existed and guess what…they do. Now, however, they have moved their recipes to their Mountain Breeze website.
Update 11/1/13: I have tried to find the Mountain Breeze website this year, but apparently it no longer exists. If anyone has a new address for them, I’d love to have it. They had such great recipes on their website that it would be a shame for them to have disappeared.

To add to this great microwave recipe, I also have a recipe for super easy microwave caramels, which was given to me by one of my patients.

Important Information:

  1. This recipe is designed for an 1100-1200 watt microwave.
  2. If your microwave is 700-800 watts, then follow the separate instructions at the end of the post.
  3. The peanuts should be dry, raw peanuts (not roasted). I generally use spanish peanuts–they have the red papery skin on them. Look in the baking section of your grocery store. If you can only find baked peanuts, then the peanuts should not be added to the peanut brittle until the second timing period.
  4. The cooking instructions are very, very simple; but read them carefully so that you can add the right ingredients at the correct time.
  5. Do NOT double this recipe. It does not work well in the microwave if doubled.
  6. Allow the bowl to cool before cleaning. Hot bowl + cool water = shattered bowl. This has been proven by one of my daughters.

Microwave Peanut Brittle

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Peanut Brittle, a family favorite at Christmastime, can now be made easily in the microwave!


  • 1 cup raw peanuts (these are dry, raw peanuts--not roasted or baked)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


    For a 1100-1200 watt microwave:
  1. Butter/grease a cookie sheet. Set aside.
  2. In a large glass (no plastic) microwave safe bowl stir together peanuts, sugar, syrup and salt. (If using baked peanuts do not add add at this time.)
  3. Cook 3 minutes on high.
  4. Stir well. If using baked or roasted peanuts, add them now.
  5. Cook 3 minutes on high.
  6. Stir in butter and vanilla.
  7. Cook 1 1/2 minutes longer on high.
  8. Add baking soda and stir quickly until light and foamy.
  9. Immediately pour onto lightly greased cookie sheet.
  10. Cool and break. I 'drop' the pan on the counter top once or twice to break up the brittle. It works great! If there are still large pieces remaining, simply break them by hand. They snap easily.
  11. Instructions for 700-800 watt microwaves:
  12. Follow the cooking instructions as above except that the cooking times will be 4 minutes, 4 minutes, 2 minutes.


This recipe is designed for an 1100-1200 watt microwave.

If your microwave is 700-800 watts, then follow the separate instructions provided with the recipe instructions.

The peanuts should be dry, raw peanuts (not roasted). I generally use spanish peanuts--they have the red papery skin on them. Look in the baking section of your grocery store. If you can only find baked peanuts, then the peanuts should not be added to the peanut brittle until the second timing period.

The cooking instructions are very, very simple; but read them carefully so that you can add the right ingredients at the correct time.

Do not double this recipe. Doubling does not work well.

Allow the bowl to cool before cleaning. The hot bowl will shatter if placed in water, especially cool or cold water.



Microwave Peanut BrittlePut the peanuts in a large, glass, microwavable bowl. NO PLASTIC! This mixture gets too hot for plastic.
Microwave Peanut BrittleAdd the sugar…/
Microwave Peanut BrittleAnd the corn syrup…
Microwave Peanut BrittleAnd the salt.
Microwave Peanut BrittleMicrowave Peanut Brittle
Now stir it until the ingredients are well blended. Put the bowl in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high.
Microwave Peanut BrittleAfter 3 minutes in the microwave, the mixture will look something like this. Stir.
Microwave Peanut BrittleAfter another 3 minutes the mixture will be even more bubbly. Remember, this is really hot, so use something to protect your hands. Add the butter and the vanilla. Stir well. Return to the microwave and cook for 1 1/2 minutes.
Microwave Peanut BrittleThe mixture is even HOTTER, so again, be careful. However, now is the time the real fun begins. Have everything ready to go: make sure your buttered cookie sheet is close to your work area. Get your stirring spoon and your baking soda…
Microwave Peanut BrittleAdd the baking soda…
Microwave Peanut BrittleAnd begin stirring quickly. The mixture will immediately begin to get foamy…
Microwave Peanut BrittleKeeping stirring quickly until everything is well blended and foamy. This process only takes a few seconds.
Microwave Peanut BrittleBecause the mixture is hot and is still cooking, you will see it also deepen in color. It is important to get it out of the bowl and onto the buttered cookie sheet quickly.
Microwave Peanut BrittleNow spread the mixture around on the cookie sheet. Work quickly. The candy will be thick and will begin to harden as soon as it hits the pan. (Make sure your hands are protected. I wear oven mitts or use potholders.)
Microwave Peanut BrittleOnce the candy is cool enough to handle, break it into pieces. I usually lift the pan a few inches above the countertop and drop it to start the breaking process. The candy is quite easy to break, so it doesn’t require a heavy hand. Store in a dry place. I usually either keep it in a tin or a plastic food storage bag.
Microwave Peanut BrittleA note about the bowl:  The bowl gets very hot.  After you pour the candy out of it, set the bowl aside to cool. DO NOT put the hot bowl in water, especially cool water. The bowl will break. Just ask Tricia. After the bowl has cooled, it is safe to wash. I generally let it soak for a few minutes. The candy comes off (dissolves) fairly easily.
Microwave Peanut BrittleThis peanut brittle makes a great gift, if you can get it out of the house before the fam eats it.  Oh, and you might find yourself nibbling on it, too.

You may also like:

Microwave Caramels
Microwave Caramels
Cinnamony Sweet Cereal Crunch
Cinnamony Sweet Cereal Crunch
Trash Snack Mix
Trash Snack Mix
All content including photos copyright 2010 by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’


  1. says

    Hey Girlfriend, opened up your blog with eagerness, pulled out all the ingredients…(just happened to have raw peanuts because we have an Ann’s House of Nuts outlet a couple miles from my house & I bought a big bag for $1!!), and I made your microwave peanut brittle. So easy! My brittle sayed very blonde and the peanuts could have cooked a little longer, but it is yummy & the sister missionaries liked it too! I have a 1200 watt microwave so I’m thinking perhaps the altitude factored in? I might have to practice with another batch :o) So, I’m thinking the nuts balance the carbs…!

    • Sheila Upshaw says

      Annie…I’m in Denver and dying for microwave peanut brittle……how should I adjust the time in microwave for great brittle? THANKS!

      • says

        Hi Sheila. I want you for you to be able to make great microwave peanut brittle, too, and I wish that I had an exact cooking time formula for you. Microwave cooking times are decreased at high altitudes.

        I live at approximately 4300 ft and I know that Denver is at 5000 ft; we both live in a dry climate. It seems that your cooking times might be pretty close to what mine are. My current microwave is 1100 watts and I have had to shave the total cooking time by about 2-2 1/2 minutes over what it used to be with an 800-watt microwave. My current cooking formula is 4-2-1 1/2. That is to say: cook 4 minutes, stir; cook 2 minutes, stir in butter & vanilla; cook 1 1/2-2 minutes, stir in baking soda and finish the recipe as written. (The original recipe was 4-4-2 in an 800 watt microwave.)

        Peanut brittle needs to be brought to 300-310 degrees F, or to the hard crack stage, at sea level. The altitude adjustment is minus 1 degree for each 500 feet above sea level. So, for Denver, the hard crack stage is 290-300 degrees F. The first time that you make this peanut brittle recipe, I would suggest using a candy thermometer to check the temperature each time you take the brittle out of the microwave. Doing this will help you understand how the recipe is working in your microwave. Add or subtract times as necessary. After you get the “formula” for how this recipe works at your house, ditch the candy thermometer and have fun making peanut brittle!

        Please let me know how things work for you with this recipe. I know that it can be intimidating the first time that you make it. When I first tried the recipe I did not believe that it would work, but it did! I know that it is going to work for you, too. ~Terri

  2. says

    Jenny–A few weeks ago Tricia was complaining that she was not getting updates, so she took a look at my blog settings. She tinkered with them and then she started getting updates. Maybe you could try deleting me from your reader and then re-adding me to see if that corrects the problem. Otherwise, I am at a loss. I know it’s frustrating sorry. Annie said that for a while she had problems doing a copy and paste from my blog, but then things worked themselves out. Strange. I wonder if me changing the looks of the blog had anything to do with it?

    Annie–any nut worth its weight knows how to balance carbs…and you are the nuttiest nut I know, so you ought to be great at it! Just kidding.

    The original recipe called for a 4-4-2 timing, which worked great until I got an 1100 watt microwave. I had to lower the cooking times to 4-2-2 to keep things from burning. Then, this last time I made the brittle, I had to lower the cooking time again to a 4-2-1 1/2.

    When you remake this recipe, try the original 4-4-2 times and see if that works better for you. I’ll send you some $ to help cover your experimentation. If it is an altitude problem then I can post altitude directions sighting your directions.

    One question…did the brittle get hard like it was supposed to do or was it a little soft?

    I have been making this recipe for 9 years and have used 4 different microwaves. The 4-4-2 cooking time worked until I got the 1100 watt microwave and then I had to cook everything for less time, using the 4-2-2. This latest batch, which was made in my LG 1100 watt microwave, needed to be fine tuned even more, down to a 4-2-1 1/2.

    Bottom line–if the nuts were not done, it could also be that the nuts were fresher than mine and had more moisture. Try the 4-4-2 timing.

  3. Anonymous says

    Thanks so much this worked like a charm! Who knew it was so easy and the smell is heavenly- Merry Christmas~~

  4. says

    The comment I wrote a couple of weeks ago disapeared into cyber-space. Wanted you to know I’ve made this 4 times now. Cannot believe how easy it is and it turns out perfectly each time. I’ve played around with the time in 15 second increments to make sure the peanuts get thoroughly cooked but each batch was fine and quickly devoured. It was so fast & easy to make & take to people’s homes. The dietician says that if I do need a small candy fix that Peanut Brittle is okay because the peanuts help offset the carbs. YEAH! How much is a small fix?

  5. says

    A small fix is 10% of each batch you make. Therefore, the size of the small fix remains constant, but you could have several small fixes each day. It’s all dependent on you, my dear, and how much peanut brittle you make on any given day.

  6. says

    Had some of my friend’s peanut brittle made this way and it was heaven, but get this… She added 1 teaspoon of cayenne to hers and OMG, so amazing! Just a bit of ‘kick’, but still sweet and nommy!

  7. says

    Erin–thanks for dropping by. I’ll bet that the cayenne was delicious! I’ll have to give that a try sometime to shake things up a little. I keep sneaking hot things into my family’s food and then forget to tell them. I think they might lynch me when I put the cayenne in the peanut brittle.

  8. Anonymous says

    Loved this recipe..followed exactly…only thing I do different is I use non stick aluminum foil sprayed with pam…and put in oven at 250 while making brittle…easy to manuver and comes out really thin…

  9. Bonnie says

    Help! I have been making peanut brittle in Micro for years. Then had to get a new microwave & it is a 1250 watt. I can’t figure out the right time combination. Anyone out there have a recipe that will work for a 1250 watt micro??!!??! My husband will be very disappointed if I can’t make his favorite Christmas candy. Thanks!


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