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New Mexico Christmas Peanut Brittle

December 1, 2015

Base Microwave Brittle Recipe By:


“Christmas” refers to this utilizing both red and green New Mexico chile. (Insider tip: when asked “red or green?” for your chile preference in a New Mexican restaurant, reply “Christmas” to get both – enchiladas and huevos rancheros both benefit from this treatment!)

This is also “Christmas” brittle to me ‘cause it’s something I typically make around the holidays to bring a little bit of the Southwestern flavor to my home in the Pacific Northwest…

Note that the base of the brittle is the same for both types — all that changes is the type of chile and nuts.

A Note About the Chile

Being somewhat of a New Mexico chile snob, the type really matters to me. I recommend Hatch red and green chile powder, but Chimayo red works well also. The recipes above call for 1-2 Tbsp. of each chile type, with the greater amount used if using medium chile powder, and the lesser if using the hot variety.



Red Chile Peanut Brittle Green Chile Pistachio Brittle
  • 1 cup roasted, salted peanuts
  • 1-2 Tbsp. pure red chile powder
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup roasted, salted pistachios
  • 1-2 Tbsp. pure green chile powder
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda



Preparation for both types is identical, just vary the chile and nut variety for each batch.

  1. Butter a cookie sheet (or apply a light layer of cooking spray), and put in oven at 225°.
  2. Combine sugar and chile powder, mixing thoroughly in a 2 quart microwave-safe glass bowl or container. Combine mixture with corn syrup.
  3. Microwave sugar mixture on High, 4 minutes.
  4. Stir in nuts and microwave on High, 3½ minutes more
  5. Stir in butter and vanilla, and microwave again, High: 1½ minutes.
  6. Rapidly stir in baking soda until light and foamy.
  7. Pour onto warmed cookie sheet and spread thin. Note: if brittle does not spread thin initially, the cookie sheet can be put back into 225° oven to warm and further spread.
  8. Cool and break into pieces to serve. (I’ll often place the brittle pan into a refrigerator once room temperature to fully cool and harden).





From → Food, New Mexico

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