If you don’t want to mess with a candy thermometer, this quick-and-easy bacon peanut brittle is for you.–Morgan Murphy and Editors of Southern Living

Bacon Peanut Brittle FAQs

Can I add chocolate to this brittle?

You certainly can. You’ll notice in the pictures of Morgan Murphy’s gorgeous bacon peanut brittle that one piece seems a little more chocolatey than the others. Once the bacon peanut brittle is cooled, dip one side in chocolate—milk or dark, it’s up to you. You can sprinkle the chocolate with more bacon and peanuts before it cools, as well. You’re welcome.

Can I use salted butter in this recipe?

If that’s all you have on hand, you can. Just leave out the extra kosher salt, otherwise, you’ll find the brittle too salty. Salted butter is less than 2% salt so you should find it all works out just fine.

What’s the best way to store bacon peanut brittle?

The warmer and more humid your climate, the better you’re going to have to wrap it up. You can layer it with parchment paper, then seal it up in an airtight container. It should be good for at least three weeks. Putting it in the fridge will help, too. Nut brittle can also be frozen, well wrapped, for up to three months.

Bacon peanut brittle in shards, in a mug lined with parchment paper.

Bacon Peanut Brittle

5 / 4 votes
A delicious dessert that's perfect for the holidays, bacon peanut brittle can be made ahead, leaving you time to toast with friends and family. It can be wrapped up and given as a gift. And best of all it's original, a conversation-starting recipe that's pretty easy to make. Oh yeah, and it tastes awesome.
David Leite
Servings24 servings
Calories124 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Resting Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the baking sheet and spatula
  • 3/4 cup cooked and crumbled thick-sliced bacon, (from 6 to 8 slices)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Lightly butter the parchment and a spatula.
  • Stir together the sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a 2-quart microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high, stirring after 2 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly and the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes total.
  • Stir in the peanuts and butter. Microwave on high, stopping and stirring every minute, until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes total. (If you don’t microwave it long enough, you’re going to end up with taffy rather than brittle.)
  • Carefully stir in the bacon, baking soda, and vanilla. (The mixture will bubble. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.) Immediately pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading it with the spatula, to a 1/4-inch (6-mm) thickness. Cool completely, about 45 minutes.
  • Break the brittle into 1 1/2- to 2-inch (2.5- to 5-cm) pieces.


Bourbon & Bacon Cookbook

Adapted From

Southern Living Bourbon & Bacon

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 124 kcalCarbohydrates: 16 gProtein: 4 gFat: 6 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 6 mgSodium: 268 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 14 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2014 Morgan Murphy | Southern Living. Photo © 2014 Hélène Dujardin. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

When I was growing up, my mom would make peanut brittle in the microwave all the time. It was always crunchy with a nice, deep, buttery flavor. This peanut brittle matches that memory and then tops it with the addition of bacon. Seriously, how can you go wrong with bacon anything?

Instead of using butter to cover the baking sheet and spatula, I used the bacon drippings. After adding the peanuts and butter, the cooking time took 5 minutes instead of 4 to turn “golden brown.” I will point out that I think it could’ve used another minute, as the golden brown color never really happened, just sort of a light amber color, hardly golden. After cooling for 30 minutes, the center was still a little gooey.

Also, the brittle stuck pretty badly to my nonstick baking sheet. However, the reason for that could have been that I used bacon grease instead of butter to grease the pan. It wasn’t anything my trusty steel spatula couldn’t handle. So far, the bacon peanut brittle has been kept well in the fridge. I’m surprised it’s lasted this long since it’s so good. One little piece won’t hurt you, and another, and another…

“This bacon peanut brittle is so delicious I can hardly stand it!” said one of my tasters. The rest of us second her sentiment. And really, have you ever heard such a glorifying compliment for anything you made in a microwave oven? The bacon elevates the already tasty peanut brittle to a heavenly level you didn’t know it could reach. The ratio of ingredients is spot-on; you’ll get your sugar, salt, and bacon fix in every broken piece of brittle.

No need to go on and on here—I’ll be making this addictive peanut brittle again and again. Just to note, I used lightly salted peanuts and thick-cut bacon, which was a good choice as it made for sturdier pieces when crumbled. When heating the mixture after adding the peanuts and butter, pay close attention to the color after each minute, as every microwave oven performs differently; it took 6 minutes for the sugar mixture to become “golden brown” in my microwave.

Lastly, work very quickly once you add the baking soda as the mixture becomes thick and heavy quickly, making it difficult to spread on the baking pan. The peanut brittle disappeared so fast I couldn’t tell you how long it would keep…sorry!

Candy-making has always been challenging for me. But when I saw the simplicity of this bacon peanut brittle recipe, I couldn’t resist trying it.

When I stirred together the sugar, corn syrup, and salt, the mixture looked a bit dry. After microwaving it for 2 minutes, the brittle mixture was still a bit thick with sugar crystals still visible. I also noticed the mixture hardened quickly on the spatula while I waited for the mixture to microwave for an additional minute. This had me a bit concerned, as I thought the candy might seize too early. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. After the third minute, the mixture emerged from the microwave melted and syrupy. After adding the peanuts and butter, it took the full 4 minutes to reach the golden brown stage. While there was some bubbling up of the candy when I added the bacon, baking soda, and vanilla, it was only a couple of inches high and settled quickly.

My brittle was pretty thick, so I scooped it—not poured it—onto the baking sheet. It took some pressing to get the brittle to spread evenly over the baking sheet. I never did achieve 1/4 inch thickness. My brittle may have looked rustic, but it tasted amazing. I’ve already been asked to make it again. I placed the few pieces left in an airtight container. They were just as wonderful the next day. Both the preparation and cooling times are accurate. From the first step to eating is about 1 hour. Buttered parchment paper on the cookie sheet makes for easy clean-up.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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5 from 4 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    It turned out great! All I had to do was watch the color, then add the remaining ingredients, stir and then pour onto buttered parchment paper!

  2. Recipe sounds great but I don’t have/don’t want a microwave. Can it be made in a regular oven?


    1. Hi Dee, I would not recommend an oven, but you can certainly use a stove top. Have a look at the comments above as I listed some target temps for converting to cooking on a stove.

  3. Any instructions for those of us living without a microwave? What are the temps to look for using stove top & candy thermometer?

    1. Hi Lynn, the author did not give us instructions for a stove top but this is what I would suggest. In step 2, take the mixture to the soft ball stage. In step 3, take the temperature up to the hard crack stage. Please let us know how this turns out, I’m guessing that other readers may have the same dilemma.