Over the years I've tried to make brittle several times. And every one of those times, it's turned into a gloppy sticky mess that I've had to scrape off the cookie sheet. And every time I've bemoaned to myself that I should have had a candy thermometer.
Finally this year, my husband crossed one of the items off my Christmas wish list and bought me a candy thermometer as a stocking stuffer.
Lo and behold, on my first try using the thermometer, my brittle was a success.
Sorry I ever doubted you Lucy Waverman. Although I must admit your instruction to watch the syrup turn into the colour of a light amber didn't work the first time around, I did some Googling and found out the "hard crack" stage was about 290-300 degrees F and my trusty digital thermometer beeped when it reached that stage.
I also looked at several other brittle recipes, such as this one from Martha Stewart, before I embarked on Brittle Experiment # 4,238.
Be warned, though, candy is quick to burn so it can go quickly from brittle to a hot mess if you don't keep your eye on it.
And don't be like me and stir the syrup out of impatience. Swirl the pan, gently.
And your efforts will be worth it.
I used this brittle as a sophisticated cupcake topper (more on that to come) but you can also break it into smaller pieces and use it between layers of cake, or pulverize it to add crunch to any sweet treat.