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Nut brittle, a type of hard candy containing nuts, has many variations around the world. Peanut brittle is the most common type in the United States, while peanuts and sesame seeds feature in some Asian recipes, and in the Middle East, pistachios are popular. Pecans are delicious in the following recipe, but you can make this festive crunchy treat with any kind of nut or nuts you like.

A stack of nut brittle on top of a piece of paper.

This recipe for pecan brittle pairs sweet, hard candy with crunchy nuts and a touch of vanilla. It’s a great recipe for the holidays and you can mix and match different kinds of nuts and flavors.

For more sweet treats, these decadent cream cheese brownies, gooey caramel stuffed chocolate cookies, or delightful chocolate peanut butter kitchen sink cupcakes are calling your name. And how can you say no to eggnog cheesecake?

A stack of caramel and pecan brittle on top of a piece of paper, showcasing the irresistible nutty crunchiness.

Why You’ll Love It

Easy:  Homemade pecan brittle is straightforward to make. Once the hard candy mixture is combined, you just need to add the nuts and flavors and let it cool down until it’s hard, crunchy and you can’t resist munching on a piece!
Tasty: This crunchy treat is always popular because it tastes so good. With this recipe, you can enjoy the sweet hard candy which is flavored subtly with vanilla, as well as the delicious pecans. Yum!
Versatile: Not only does pecan brittle make a tasty snack on its own but there are other recipes you can use it in. Break off some pieces and add to a sundae or use to decorate cupcakes or a cheesecake.

A piece of nut brittle on a piece of paper.

Ingredients for this Pecan Brittle Recipe

You’ll need white and brown sugar, along with corn syrup, salt, chopped pecans, butter, vanilla extract, and baking soda to make this delicious treat.

A bowl of nut brittle ingredients.

How to Make Easy Nut Brittle

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Make the hard candy:  Heat both kinds of sugar with the light corn syrup, water, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan on the stove, and cook this sugar mixture until the sugar dissolves.
Add the pecans: Stir in the nuts with a wooden spoon and cook sugar mixture, stirring often, until a candy thermometer tells you the mixture has reached 300 degrees F (hard crack stage).
Add the remaining ingredients: Now you can mix in the butter, vanilla extract and baking soda.
Pour out the mixture: Pour the hot mixture on to a silicone baking mat lined large baking sheet pan and spread it out evenly.
The finishing touches: Leave the pecan brittle to cool completely and set, and then you can break it into pieces to serve.

Close up of pecan nut brittle.

Substitutions and Variations

Since any nuts suit this recipe, you can take your pick from any of them – peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, or even mixed nuts would work.

A plate of pecans covered in caramel sauce, perfect for nut brittle lovers.

You can also sub a different extract for the vanilla to add a different flavor to the brittle recipe, or add a pinch of spices – pumpkin pie spice, allspice, cinnamon, or anything else you like.

A stack of caramel pecan brittle on a white plate.

Some people like a touch of salt along with the sweetness, so you might like to sprinkle a little salt over the brittle before you let it cool completely – this is really good if you use caramel extract instead of the vanilla.

A piece of nut brittle on a plate.

How to Serve this Pecan Brittle Recipe

Enjoy this pecan brittle as it is or use it in other recipes such as to decorate cakes, cupcakes, sundaes, or other desserts.

A piece of nut brittle on a piece of wax paper.

If you’re making it for the holiday season, serve it with other appealing snacks such as white chocolate bark or something festive such as brie cranberry bites.

And if pecans are your favorite type of nut or one of them at least, you might like to try other pecan recipes such as pecan pie or a savory dish like Brussels sprouts with pecans or garlic roasted carrots.

Nut brittle with caramel and pecans.

How to Store Pecan Brittle

Store: This brittle recipe keeps for a while and, if kept in an airtight container at room temperature (preferably somewhere dry, dark and cool), it should last for up to a month. Refrigerating it or keeping it somewhere humid means it will lose some of its crunch so avoid this.
Freeze: Brittle can be frozen but bear in mind moisture is its enemy and will make it sticky. So it’s a good idea to freeze it in an airtight container or Ziploc freezer bag, maybe even double-bagging it. Parchment paper between the pieces will stop the brittle from sticking together in one clump. Your pecan brittle recipe should be fine for up to 2 months and you just can thaw it on the countertop.

Brittle with Pecans FAQs

Can I make it without a candy thermometer?

I always recommend using one when candy making. Nut brittle is all about cooking sugar syrup to the perfect temperature to get that crunchy, caramel-y goodness. If you don’t have a thermometer, you’re basically guessing and hoping for the best. With a candy thermometer, you can be sure that you’re hitting that sweet spot and getting the perfect nut brittle every time.

Do you need a peanut brittle hammer to serve this?

Although it’s not hard to snap the brittle into pieces, you might want to get fancy and serve it with a cute food hammer such as this one which is also handy for cracking nuts. And while you’re shopping, you might also want to invest in a candy thermometer (here) so you can see when the hard candy mixture reaches 300 degrees F.

Why do you add baking soda to this pecan brittle recipe?

Baking soda is a regular feature in baked goods recipes to help them rise, but a pecan or peanut brittle recipe doesn’t need to rise like break or a cake, so you might be wondering why it’s in there. If you don’t add baking soda to produce carbon dioxide, your brittle won’t be “brittle”! Instead it will be soft like caramel and you won’t be able to snap it cleanly into pieces. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet as soon as you’ve stirred in the baking soda.

Pecan Nut Brittle Recipe

5 from 25 votes

Pecan Brittle

By: Bella Bucchiotti
This recipe for nut brittle is really easy to follow and the resulting candy is truly delicious! It makes a tasty gift for the holidays!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ Cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ Cup corn syrup, light
  • Cup water
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ Cups pecans, chopped
  • ¼ Cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda

Instructions 

  • Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat. Set aside
  • Add granulated sugar, light brown sugar, corn syrup, water, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan.
  • Over low-medium heat, stir the mixture until the sugars are dissolved.
  • Add in the pecans and mix well.
  • Keep cooking until the temperature reaches 300 degrees F. Stir FREQUENTLY.
  • Remove the saucepan from the stove once the mixture has reached the temperature.
  • Quickly add in the butter, vanilla, and baking soda. Stir well.
  • Pour the mixture on the prepared cookie sheet and spread evenly.
  • Let it cool completely.
  • Once the mixture is cooled, break it into pieces.

Nutrition

Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 88mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 188IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

This recipe for pecan brittle is really easy to follow and the resulting candy is truly delicious. You can play around with the type of nuts and the extract flavor you use to personalize the brittle. You might also like to make an extra batch because it makes a lovely gift when wrapped in cellophane and decorated with a cute ribbon.

Other Recipes to Try

Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends too!