A Holiday Gift

Chef Deborah Snow, who created this brittle, loves her restaurant home, the warm and colorful Blue Heron.

Chef Deborah Snow, who created this brittle, loves her restaurant home, the warm and colorful Blue Heron.

My sister-in-law Leigh and I are busy making confections for holiday gifts. We were looking for something slightly different from our usual penuche and decided on this recipe, which comes from Deborah Snow, the chef at the Blue Heron in Sunderland, Massachusetts.

I hadn’t made brittle in a couple of decades so it was lots of fun to make—and of course we HAD to taste a little before packaging the rest to give away.

Deborah makes her brittle look extremely elegant (see photo below). Ours was a little less gorgeous; we slightly overcooked the brittle so it didn’t spread very well. But it was utterly delicious.

Another time I think I would probably make the brittle with peanuts (less expensive than the nuts used here) or cashews (since they come already skinned!). The hazelnut-almond combination does work wonderfully for those unconcerned about budgets and schedules, however. The hazelnuts in particular pop beautifully.

For other gift-able confections (including fudge, chocolate-covered strawberries, and chocolate bark), try my blog’s “candy and fudge” category.

Happy/merry to you and yours…..

brittle for gifting web


Blue Heron Brittle


1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts (for notes on toasting see this helpful page!)
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds (I used blanched slivered almonds)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda


Line a heavy large baking sheet with a silicone baking sheet.

Stir the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high, and boil without stirring until a candy thermometer registers 260 degrees, about 20 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Mix in the nuts, butter, and salt (the mixture will be thick and nutty), and cook until the thermometer registers 295 degrees, stirring constantly, about 15 minutes.

Quickly stir in the baking soda. (This makes the brittle easier to chew.)

Immediately pour the candy onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading it as thinly as possible. Let it stand until hard; then break the brittle into pieces.

Makes at least 7 to 8 cups of brittle.

Merry Christmas to all!

Merry Christmas to all!

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6 Responses to “A Holiday Gift”

  1. tut-tut says:

    I’m a barker, myself, but I may become a brittler!

  2. Adelaide says:

    A Merry Christmas to you, too.

    This year, my gift from the kitchen, is homemade genola.

    icy morning
    the crunch crunch crunch
    of grenola


  3. Alice says:

    I just printed this out to take down to my daughter Liza’s — we’ll see what a mess my granddaughter Audrey and I can make of Liza’s kitchen!

  4. tinkyweisblat says:

    Tut-tut, I bark as well as brittle. They go well together.

    Adelaide, I’m making a little granola, too. Thanks for the lovely poem!

    And Alice … good luck!

  5. Mattenylou says:

    Tinky- sounds yummy!

    Hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy Birthday, too, (I remembered you shared the day with my Mom and my niece)

    Hope the New Year brings you lots of happiness!


  6. tinkyweisblat says:

    Thank you, Mattenylou; I am happy to have such good company birthdaywise. I wish you the best of new years, too…..

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