no. 2 Brownoffee Brittle

4 Sep


OR…Brown Butter Ice Cream with Toffee Peanut Brittle.

I discovered Jenna during my Junior year at college in Washington, DC. Unfamiliar with the concept of food blogging, I trolled through months of her posts during my first sitting.  Eventually, I found myself checking the blog daily for updates.  The creativity and honesty was shocking. I’d try to explain how cool blogging was to my roommates and friends, but no one seemed as interested as I was.  Why would you spend time cooking in the communal dorm kitchen when there was free pizza at the cafeteria?


Eventually Lauren figured it out.  I met Lauren during a Freshman Prayer Retreat the first weekend of college.  I was wearing a Keith Urban T-Shirt and trying to make new friends and Lauren, miss cardigan and flats, was searching for ways to deepen her faith.  In six years, not much has changed.  Except now instead of awkward ice breakers and whereyafroms, Lauren and I talk incessantly about  butter, heavy cream, garlic, scones, and anything and everything surrounding food.  Lauren hopped on the blog bandwagon and now we discuss JennaJess and Katy and Abby as if we’ve known them for years.  I knew that for her 25th birthday, I’d need to make Lauren something up to par with the recipes of our “friends.” After her first bite she declared “Jess would love this” and I knew I had a winner…


I started making the Toffee Peanut Brittle at 7 am on Thursday morning because, quite frankly, I’m 50 shades of crazy. I’m pretty sure my housemates want to lock me in a closet.  I was a bit disappointed, initially, thinking I had burnt the peanuts (because I was spending too much time texting Lauren in between stirring) and nearly called the whole thing off.  By the time I came home, the brittle was fine and I powered through the base.  I had begun to grow tired of waiting over night for my bases to cool, so I took a more aggressive approach with this recipe and created an ice bath for the mixture.  In reality, I wanted to wrap this recipe up in a day so that I could eat it whilst my lump was the couch watching Married to Jonas the BBC.

The recipe seems a tad overwhelming, but really, it’s not. One of the funniest parts of making ice cream is that everyone thinks you’re some sort of culinary goddess when in fact you boiled some crap and put it in a machine.  Your secret’s safe with me 😉

Go get em.


Brown Butter Ice Cream with Toffee Peanut Brittle

For the Brittle:

  • 1 c white sugar
  • 1/2 c light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. peanuts (I used unsalted but would switch to salted next time ’round)
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup water <– only thing you’ll see here w/o calories.
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of toffee bits (sold near the chocolate chips at the grocery store)
  • Candy thermometer

1. Get yourself together. Seriously, the recipe moves quite quickly and you’ll want to have everything laid out and measured so that you feel like a wizard while making it.

2. Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.

3. Bring your sugar, corn syrup, salt and water to a boil. Stir in peanuts. Continue to stir frequently until your candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This took about 10-15 minutes which is why I got bored, started texting and nearly ruined everything. But just keep stirring.

4. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and butter.  You’ll feel like you’re making a 7th grade science project because the mixture takes on a life of it’s own at this point.

5. Transfer to the baking sheet and use a fork to spread the brittle to about the width of the sheet.  Sprinkle your toffee evenly before the brittle hardens.

6. After 30 – 60 minutes, break the brittle. Set aside 2/3 c of finely chopped brittle for the mixture.

7. Smack the hands of anyone who picks at it.

For the ice cream:

  • 3/4 stick (6 tbsp. unsalted butter)
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/3 c. white sugar
  • 1/3 c/ dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 c. peanut brittle

1. In a small skillet, melt the butter and stir occasionally for about 5-7 minutes or until the mixture turns a dark amber color. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

2. Bring your heavy cream and milk to a simmer, about 140 degrees on the candy thermometer. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3. Whisk/blend your egg yolks, sugar, and salt for about 2 minutes or until the mixture thickens.

4.  Add the brown butter to the egg mixture and whisk.

5.  Slowly add your cream mixture to the egg mixture taking caution not to scramble the eggs.  To avoid ruining the entire mixture, I use a ladle and ladle one scoop of the cream into the eggs at a time and then whisk to blend.  Speaking from experience, scrambled egg ice cream does not taste good.

6. Heat the entire mixture to 175 degrees, stirring frequently.

7. At this point you can either let the mixture refrigerate over night, or create an ice bath.  I added ice and water to a large bowl and let the base rest in that for about 45 minutes. Once cool, stir in the vanilla extract to intensify the flavor.

8. Once cooled completely, transfer the mixture to your ice cream maker and freeze per your manufacturers instructions.  When there is about 2 minutes left in the cycle, add your toffee peanut brittle.

9. Get a spoon

Spice it up: Instead of peanut brittle you might try cinnamon, caramel or chocolate covered pop corn as mix-ins

Take it down: substitute the whole milk for skim milk and the 6 egg yolks for one whole egg to lighten your base.  Keep in mind that this may result in a more icy-consitency because you are lowering the fat content of the base

Happy Scooping 🙂


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