Apr 12, 2010

Salted Peanut Cookie Brittle

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Attention: This Salted Peanut Cookie Brittle is straight up crack. It will call you from the counter top all day long, and when you go out, you’ll think about it on your way home, and feel the need to cram a hunk in your face before you even remove your coat. This is that sort of thing. You have been warned.


If you’ve been following along at home, you might remember a Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle recipe I shared a while back. That was also extremely crack-like and dangerous to have all up in my area. This recipe is basically the same thing, except without the chocolate chips, which some of you may balk at. But trust me when I say that even chocolate chips become a moot point when replaced with a ton of crunchy, salty peanuts that populate the most crisp, buttery cookie dough you’ve ever had. The whole thing tastes like sweet, salty, caramely peanut brittle in cookie form. And if you can think of anything that sounds instantly more addictive than that, well, please report to me, because I want some of what you’ve got.


Thought the amounts of the ingredients are the same, the other thing that’s a little different from my other cookie brittle recipe is that the butter and sugar are creamed together in this recipe, rather then just melting the butter and stirring everything together. This makes the brittle even crisper and airier than the chocolate chip one, and I’m thinking of editing that one accordingly because it’s such a fabulous texture. But it’s all still so easy, I dare you to not make this stuff three times in the first week that you try it. There’s no faster way to the most delicious cookie-type thing you’ve ever had. Actually, I almost wish it wasn’t quite so easy to throw together–it would be far less dangerous that way.


This recipe comes from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies (and how, Ms. Maida), with just a few changes, namely the addition of a good dose of salt. Now, I need to tell you that Maida is one of my heroes. Love her, love her books, love everything about her. Also, you will be seeing quite a few Maida recipes in the coming months around here, because I could not stop myself from bookmarking when I settled in with this classic cookbook that is a year older than me. I am officially now in my Maida period. I just thought you should know.

I also think you should know that I would love to share some of my Salted Peanut Cookie Brittle with you (along with the chocolate chip version and hunks of this stupid delicious cake), at the San Francisco location of the National Food Bloggers’ Bake Sale! The bake sale will be taking place Saturday April 17th from 12-3 p.m. at my happy place, Omnivore Books, 3885 Cesar Chavez in San Francisco. If you live in the area, I hope you will stop by, say hi and buy a few goodies to help support a great cause!

That is, if you can manage to leave the house after making a batch of this cookie brittle.

Salted Peanut Cookie Brittle
Adapted from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen pieces

You can either cut the cookies neatly into bars while they are still warm, or if you’re feeling rebellious, you can just wait for the cookie slab to cool completely and then just break it into charmingly irregular pieces. If you don’t have a smaller rimmed sheet pan exactly the size of the 15 1/2 by 10 1/2-inch one called for here (I don’t), then fold aluminum foil into wide, sturdy strips and use them as a damn of sorts to approximate an area of that size on the sheet, give or take a couple inches. Don’t worry about perfection here with smoothing and spreading the dough just so–the more sort of rustic the brittle looks, the better. This stuff tastes best the day after baking and beyond.

1/ 2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into the cup and leveled
4 ounces (1 cup) roasted, salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Position a rack to the center of the oven and preheat it to 375 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl and beat in the salt and vanilla, about 30 seconds more. Reduce the speed to low and gradually stir in the flour, stopping to scrape the bowl as necessary. Stir in half the peanuts.

Turn the dough out onto a rimmed sheet pan, about 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 inches. Lightly flour your hands and pat the dough in a thin layer (don’t worry about making it perfectly even). Sprinkle the rest of the peanuts evenly over the dough. Cover the dough with a sheet of waxed or parchment paper and using a rolling pin or a tall, smooth glass, roll over the paper to smooth the dough and press the peanuts firmly into the dough.

Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, until golden brown, rotating the sheet halfway through baking time. Cool in the pan for five minutes before cutting the warm slab into bars, or wait for it too cool completely and break into pieces like brittle candy. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

  • My first thought upon reading this: where can I get some really delicious salted peanuts? Not even remotely thinking of resisting the tidal pull of this recipe.

  • Sarita–Very wise. Very wise, indeed.

  • my jeans hate you.
    I made all that damn cookie brittle at christmas and decided not to give any away…because my big butt wanted it all to myself!
    so thanks a lot. this looks just bad. and when i say bad, i mean baaaad. ;)

  • I just drooled a little bit. Looks delicious!

  • oh this looks so so good!!!

  • Oh how I wish I could be in SF and taste these! They look insanely amazing. I just spent the weekend eating and eating some more so I'm really forcing myself not to bake these. I may even have to tie my hands behind my back. But even then, I would try baking with my mouth.

  • I think these would be highly addictive. I need to check out that book… or maybe not.

  • A peanut brittle treat without having to boil sugar? Awesome! I am hoping to make it to the bake sale this weekend; I will definitely buy some of this if I do.

  • These look seriously delicious – definitely on my to-do list!

  • These look good, and with my lack of self control I know I probably shouldn't make these unless I need to gain 20 pounds,:)

  • I kid you not, the sight of this caused me to slightly hyperventiate with exitement. :)

  • Margot–I hope you stop by!

  • These are delicious! Just be sure to watch the timer after you rotate the pan. I didn't do that and mine got a little too dark and burnt on the edges. Oops. No matter, my husband's co-workers will eat them up in no time. I don't dare keep these around the house or I'll eat all of them!

  • These were wonderful and so very easy. My daughters helped make (and eat)!

  • It was great to meet you on Saturday Shauna! The cookie brittle I brought home from the bake sale didn't even make it into the house. I ate it in the garage, sitting in the car so my kids wouldn't see it and ask for some. I'm definitely going to try this peanut version.

  • I made these yesterday and didn't really think much of them. Today, however, I can't leave them alone. I have a problem. Thanks for another great recipe!

  • I thought of See's peanut brittle when I read this and I bet it is better than See's :)

  • I both hate you and love you for posting this, and for your description of it. Because it's TRUE!!!!!

    Thankfully I am parceling it out for gifts and leaving not. one. slab. behind. Then I am going to do the Jedi Mind Wipe and forget I ever saw it.

  • I just made these with Gluten Free Flour (w/ added Xantham Gum) and they are PHENOMENAL! Thank you!!!

    • Ahhh, I love it! I’ve never tried to make my cookie brittles GF, but with the texture, I can see how it might be a success. Check the index for a Chocolate Chip version as well!

  • These are amazing. I’ve made them pretty much weekly for the last month and everyone wants them. Yeah, straight up crack. I tell my friends their first fix is free then they have to pay.

  • […] Peanut Cookie Brittle (Adapted from Maida Heatter, via Shauna Sever) […]

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