I made this for my birthday party last year, but I don’t think I ever posted the recipe (or the one for vegan chocolate-raspberry-whiskey cake… massive oversight). I made it again for a party at my friend James’ place a few weeks ago, and remembered to take photos this time. I recommend using a candy thermometer, but you can also keep a bowl of ice water next to the stove to check for various stages of cracking (I’ve never had much luck with that method).
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 cup butter
3 cups roughly chopped cashews
1 teaspoon baking soda
Smear a thin layer of butter onto a large baking sheet, preferably one with edges.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large, heavy pot. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, add butter. Start stirring frequently when the mixture gets to 230ºF (thread stage). Add the cashews at 280º (soft crack stage) and stir constantly until 300º (hard crack stage). Remove from the heat and quickly stir in baking soda.
Spread out on the baking sheet, pulling the edges so the mixture gets as thin as possible. Cool for ten minutes and then flip over. After half an hour or so the brittle should be cool enough to crack into pieces. I broke mine up by sticking the tip of a big knife into weak spots to make random-sized chunks, but you could also heat the knife and cut more even pieces.
You can store this stuff in tupperware or a ziploc bag for a month or so, but you’ll probably eat all of it well before then. You can make it with whatever nuts you like. I’d like to make a version with hot crushed pepper next time, because sweets are always better when they are also spicy.