From Farm to Table
By Vera Stewart | Photography by Chris Hall & Amy J. Owen
A trip to Sylvania, Ga., this fall was quite a treat for this peanut lover! When the Georgia Peanut Commission reached out regarding this opportunity, I can’t remember if I was more excited about riding on a tractor or learning more about the $600 million industry in our state. We were welcomed to Boyd Farms by Ben Boyd, a fourth generation farmer of peanuts, cotton and soybeans. I think I met my kindred spirit when he told me that his grandmother was a welder and took the farm over at 16. She knew the meaning of passion for her business and hard work! After smelling the dirt, understanding the harvesting process, and knowing that those peanuts were going to turn into Snickers bars, I thought of an old recipe I had not pulled out in years: microwave peanut brittle.
The hestitancy for most people in making peanut brittle has always been the difficult process. Some say it was invented by accident. The story goes that a Southern lady was attempting to make taffy and she added baking soda instead of cream of tartar and the “brittle” candy resulted. The next time, she added peanuts and BAM: peanut brittle! People have never been able to resist peanut brittle … you just can’t eat one piece. The trademark can, invented by Samuel Sorenson Adams in 1915, held the wire, snakeskin covered sheath that popped out of the can when the lid was removed. I can tell you without question that if you try this recipe and put it in cans for Christmas gifts this year, you just might get the same screams that folks belted out years ago.
Microwave Peanut Brittle
Serves 10 | Prep Time: 10 min. | Cook Time: 10 min.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light Karo syrup
1 cup salted peanuts
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
1. Lightly butter a cookie sheet (9” x 12”).
2. Mix thoroughly the sugar and corn syrup in a 2-quart glass bowl and microwave on high for 3.5 minutes, being careful when removing as the bowl will be hot.
3. Stir in peanuts and return to the microwave on high for 3 minutes.
4. Stir in butter and vanilla and microwave for 1 minute.
5. Add the baking soda and stir quickly until light and fluffy and immediately pour onto the cookie sheet and spread thinly, to the edges of the pan. Cool completely.
6. Break into pieces.
7. Dip in light and dark chocolate for an added twist. Store in an air-tight container.
Appears in the November/December 2021 issue of Augusta Magazine.