Cooking Through A Cookbook

Spicy Brittled Peanuts Review

Recipe 96 from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman


This recipe can be found in Deb Perelman’s “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” on pages 286-287 or on these sites:

Better With Cake

Family Cookbook Project


Here we are in the last chapter of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and I can just taste that finale! What’s a girl to do when this 2014 new years resolution comes to an end?! Pass along your ideas for celebrating!

As of now I’m trying to crank out these last 10ish recipes before the end of the month because my husband and I are going to do Whole30 for the month of May, which may just inspire the next cookbook I cook through…hmmm. As of writing this post I’ve already completed 6 of them and hoping to get the last 4 done this next week though I may have to push one out to later if I can’t taste test. We’ll see how I do!

So this chapter kicks off with what I thought would be a really easy recipe! I mean it’s candied nuts how difficult can this be?!

It was a lot more rigorous than I thought and not so much with the creating of it, rather it was stirring that killed me a little! You had to stir those peanuts for so long that my arm felt like it was going to fall off! And it’s not stirring it like there’s zero resistance…this is the kind of stiring that is all resistance and there’s nothing smooth about it! I had to ask my husband to help me because my arms were done!

I do think I know what happened with the hazelnuts for my crepe cake though! What Deb explains in this recipe and didn’t explain in that recipe is that when you add the ingredients to begin to coach the peanuts that it will crystallize on the peanut… but it will loosen up and become more caramelized as you continue to stir. I just experienced the crystalized coated hazelnuts which made me panic and stop because I was afraid it was going to start burning. What appears to have been the solution is to continue to stir them, trusting that that sugar will melt down and become smooth and carmelized after a little while. But it’s a work out keeping them moving in that pot!

My favorite part of the recipe was Deb’s description about what was going to happen and how to proceed. She said that you’ll see the peanuts crystallizing and possibly curse her name assuming that the recipe is gone wildly wrong. That’s exactly what happened with the hazelnuts so I laughed reading it through with all the hope in the world that it would go much better this time. And it did.

Take a look at these! Those look significantly better than those hazelnuts, if I do say so myself. And they were quite tasty :-) we managed to polish these off in a day or so because I left them on the counter to be snacked on.

While they do have cayenne pepper in them they are not wildly spicy. There’s a good chance if you have anybody in the house that is sensitive to spice, they won’t really taste the heat of it. My husband and I both noted that it was subtle and you didn’t feel the burn on your tongue that usually comes with cayenne pepper. On the other hand, if you like the heat, double or triple that measurement for a spicier finish.

This was a fun one to kick off the appetizer chapter. I forget to mention that before the recipes begin in this chapter, Deb gives some tips on how to throw a dinner party. It’s a fun read and a nice addition to this cookbook. Off we go on this final chapter!

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