Sweet and Salty Cashew Brittle for the Holidays

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cashew brittle

What’s Up, Hungry People?

I hope you’re ready to gear up for the holidays because I’ve got something up my sleeve that’s guaranteed to make your spirits merry and bright. Let’s talk about a twist on a classic – sea salt cashew brittle. That’s right, we’re ditching the peanuts for something a tad more sophisticated.

The Sweet Appeal of Brittle

Something about peanut brittle always makes me feel festive, and with the jingle bells practically around the corner, I’ve been chomping at the bit for some kitchen fun. What’s the twist, you ask? Well, with no more gifts to wrestle with, my kitchen’s been calling my name to craft some cashew brittle.

Nutty Flexibility

Peanut brittle, with its snap-happy candy goodness, is a holiday staple. But why stop at peanuts? I say, go nuts! Cashews bring a buttery charm, but if you’re feeling adventurous, toss in almonds, pistachios, or play mad scientist and whip up your own nutty concoction. It’s like picking the dream team for your snack time – any lineup works as long as there’s sugar involved, right?

Here’s What You Need

  • Butter: Adds richness and flavor, also helps to bind the brittle together.
  • Whole Cashews: Provide crunch and nutty taste; the star of our brittle.
  • Sugar: The primary sweetener that creates the brittle’s candy base.
  • Corn Syrup: Prevents sugar crystallization for a smooth texture.
  • Sea Salt: Enhances flavor and adds a savory contrast to the sweetness.
melting cashew brittle

Peanut brittle is made of hard sugar candy that shatters easily. I prefer cashews over regular old peanuts, but you can use most nuts from almonds to pistachios – or even mix and match your favorites! You really can’t go wrong with nuts and sugar.

candy thermometer temp for sugar

Candy Thermometer to the Rescue

Here’s the skinny on getting that crackle perfect: it’s all about the sugar hitting that sweet spot of 310°F. Without my trusty candy thermometer, I’d be lost at sea—and so would my brittle. Trust me, this gadget is worth its weight in gold, or, well, sugar.

spreading out cashew sugar

The Salted Spread

Now, grab your silicone mat or parchment paper and show that sticky, melted sugar who’s boss. Flatten it out like you’re the sugar whisperer, and sprinkle that sea salt like it’s stardust.

Then just let the sugar dry until it’s…BRITTLE! I lifted my brittle off the baking sheet it dried on then dropped it onto my counter with a loud *smack!* and it instantly shattered. You might need to break up any huge pieces, but for the most part, the pieces should be bite sized.

salted cashew brittle

After all that, take a moment to bask in the glory of your kitchen prowess. Not only did you just whip up a batch of something spectacular, but you also got a mini arm workout. I won’t tell if you sneak a few pieces before sharing. *Wink, wink.*

Sea Salt Cashew Brittle Tips

  • Managing the Heat: Start melting the sugar mixture on medium heat to prevent burning. As it begins to liquify, you can increase the heat to reach the brittle stage faster.
  • Stirring the Mixture: Keep stirring the mixture constantly, even after the cashews are added. This not only prevents burning but ensures an even distribution of heat, so all the sugar cooks at the same pace.
  • Testing Candy Temperature: If you don’t have a candy thermometer, test the sugar’s readiness by dropping a bit into cold water. If it forms hard, brittle threads, it’s done.
  • Adding the Cashews: Put the cashews in just before the mixture reaches the brittle stage to prevent them from burning. Cashews cook quickly and can become bitter if overcooked.
  • Spreading the Mixture: Pour and spread the mixture swiftly after reaching the right temperature as it will start to set immediately after being removed from the heat.
  • Sprinkling Sea Salt: Do the sprinkling immediately after spreading the mixture. If you wait too long, the salt won’t stick.
  • Cooling Down: Let the brittle cool at room temperature in a cool, dry place. Avoid the fridge as moisture can seep in and soften the brittle.
  • Breaking into Pieces: For less mess and more controlled breakage, use a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat tenderizer to crack the brittle.
cashew brittle recipe

Have a Happy Holiday!

Making sea salt cashew brittle might just become your new holiday tradition – it’s easy, it’s fun, and let’s be honest, it’s a great way to impress the in-laws. Plus, you get to smash something into pieces with zero guilt involved. While waiting for the sugar to cool, you can catch up on some holiday tunes or, you know, start that book you’ve been meaning to read since last Christmas.

Once it’s all set and broken into those perfectly imperfect pieces, tuck some away for later (your secret stash), and box up the rest for the crowd of Hungry People waiting at your door.

So, crank up the holiday cheer, get those cashews ready, and remember – the more brittle, the merrier.

peanut cashew brittle

Easy Homemade Sea Salt Cashew Candy

The Starving Chef
Satisfy your sweet tooth with homemade sea salt cashew brittle – it's a crunchy, nutty, sweet, and savory treat.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Holidays
Servings 8


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups whole cashews
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons sea salt


  • Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a silicone mat or parchment paper, or grease it with extra butter. Set this aside.
  • In a large pot over high heat, combine the butter, sugar, and corn syrup. Stir this mixture frequently as it heats to prevent the sugar from burning.
  • Once the mixture has fully melted and starts to bubble, stir in the cashews. Keep stirring the mixture constantly until it reaches 310°F (154°C).
  • After reaching the required temperature, pour the hot candy mixture onto your prepared baking sheet. While the mixture is still hot and pliable, evenly sprinkle the sea salt over the top.
  • Allow the brittle to cool completely. When it's set, break the sheet of brittle into bite-sized pieces by gently dropping it or cracking it with a utensil.
  • Do not chill the candy or else it may "sweat." Wrap giftable amounts in parchment and place into a plastic box or tin with a lid. Serve and enjoy!


Adjust the amount of sea salt as necessary, depending on your preference for a saltier or less salty brittle.
Keyword cashews, dessert, sugar
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