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December 19, 2008 5:53 PM   Subscribe

What should I do with five pounds of failed peanut brittle?

I couldn't find our candy thermometer, and in a not-uncharacteristic moment of laziness I tried to wing it by dropping the liquid mixture into refrigerated water and observing the results. The tendency to crystallize, I had read on the internet, would indicate the mixture of corn syrup, sugar and water had reached the critical 300-degree temperature.

Needless to say, I wound up with three cookie sheets of not bad-tasting but texturally inedible toffee. I can't melt it back down and cook it further, because I've already mixed in baking soda, which makes this hideous brew foam up and catch on fire. So I've heard.

It seems like a shame to waste it, though. It's about $15 worth of tasty, if a bit resinous, calories. It has a little red chile mixed in for extra flavor. I can't really give it as a gift, as was intended, and I can't eat all that sugar and butter myself, but hate to waste it.

A useful solution, I was thinking, would be to feed it to birds. Do urban birds like or need sugar? Will that much sugar do them harm?

Any other ideas? Kids in the 'hood? Homeless shelter? Random homeless person on the street?

posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! to Food & Drink (10 answers total)
Best answer: Don't feed it to birds. what I would do, if it were mine, would be to freeze it, crack it into little bits and then mix it in with ice cream to be served at some dinner type event. No sense tossing it out. Alternately maybe you could melt it down and sitr in a ton of popcordn and make popcorn balls. The baking soda just makes the stuff foamy, if I remember correctly, I haven't heard the fire thing Then again IANAF, so maybe ask someone who is?
posted by jessamyn at 5:58 PM on December 19, 2008 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Hey, the icecream topping idea is great!

I actually tried to reheat some of it, and the baking soda caused it to suddenly foam up and burn and fill the house with smoke.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 6:05 PM on December 19, 2008

Jessamyn beat me! Yes, seconding ice cream deliciousness.
posted by iamkimiam at 6:09 PM on December 19, 2008

Best answer: Puree and simmer it. Add sesame oil, cumin and cardamom, and thin with milk as needed.

Because it's so sweet, add hot and acid -- chiles and lime juice or vinegar. Some salt

Ladle over cooced noodles. Garnish with chopped cucumber, celery and cilantro, and call it Asian.
posted by Brzht at 6:13 PM on December 19, 2008

I was going to suggest cookies with toffee bits instead of chocolate chips, but that might also be a fire hazard.
For what it's worth, the cool water trick works, but it definitely takes some practice to recognize what it's supposed to look like for different types of candy.
posted by little e at 6:16 PM on December 19, 2008

M.C. Lo-Carb!
(anti) eponysterical.

The ice cream topping idea sounds good idea, but Brzht's idea could work. Try on a small scale first, though.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:19 PM on December 19, 2008

I think you missed Jessamyn's point, you don't want to top your ice cream, you want to break the stuff into small pieces and stir it into the ice cream. If you can do this while making the ice cream from scratch then all the better.

In New Zealand the second most popular ice cream flavour (after vanilla, before chocolate) is called Hokey Pokey, which is basically plain ice cream mixed with chunks of what I've been assured is peanut brittle sans peanuts. This is essentially what you should make. It's delicious.

You probably want your brittle to be in rather small pieces since it's not going to melt or break when you bite it but other than that the error in brittle manufacture won't effect the end ice cream product.
posted by shelleycat at 6:29 PM on December 19, 2008

These chocolate-toffee cookies are absolutely incredible. If the texture of the brittle is acceptable when it's chopped up into tiny pieces, they could be substituted for the Heath bars.
posted by doift at 9:15 PM on December 19, 2008

Response by poster: It's in the freezer, and now we can have an ice-cream mix-in party for 100 people! I never would have thought of that. Thanks, AskMe!
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 10:06 PM on December 19, 2008

If you want to give making peanut brittle another go, I highly recommend the microwave method -- really easy and pretty fast and no candy thermometer needed.

I am not sure which recipe we used (made it at a friend's house), but they can't be that different.
posted by nnk at 10:19 AM on December 20, 2008

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