Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

brittle is an English term for sugar, and sometimes other ingredients, boiled to the light caramel stage 345.6°F (160°C) and poured over nuts or seeds. The delicious mass is smoothed into a sheet and allowed to set before being broken or cut into pieces. Alternately, it is dropped in small lumps while still warm.

Any nut or seed can be used. Peanuts are a favorite in the United States, almonds or sesame around the Mediterranean, and pistachios in the Middle East. Chinese versions include a sesame brittle flavored with salt and pepper. As with the nuts and seeds, sugar types also vary. They include molasses (especially popular in South America) and jaggery (on the Indian subcontinent); honey is also frequently added to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean brittles.