Every Christmas, my Awmaw and I would make candy. I’m talking SO much candy– peanut brittle, divinity, pralines, bon bons, you name it. If it was sweet and Southern, we made it. It’s hands-down one of my favorite memories of my childhood and when she passed, I knew I had to continue it. I’ve added a few of my favorites (marshmallows in particular), but I’ve kept hers. Of course, my aunt and dad can’t agree on the versions they like best (she likes her brittle with no peanuts, he likes his with extra; she likes her bon bons without chocolate, he thinks they have to have chocolate; it goes on and on) which means I make multiple batches of nearly everything because Awmaw did an excellent job of spoiling every member of our family. Now, though, we have my little peanut allergy baby so last Christmas, I worked on a new recipe for a peanut-free brittle so that it would be safe to make and eat around him– sunflower brittle!
Y’all, I like brittle, but I happen to agree with my aunt– the peanuts are overrated. Sunflower brittle, though, is YUMMY. It’s got all the sweet-and-crunchy goodness of brittle while being safe to send to school with Matthew for a special Christmas treat or even eat around the littlest, who still tends to put everything in his mouth, because it’s peanut-free brittle. Plus, it makes an awesome Christmas gift for teachers or neighbors because it keeps well, so they don’t have to eat it immediately.
This peanut-free Christmas candy is truly a labor of love for my family and I know my Awmaw would be ecstatic that I’m continuing her tradition and making it safe for her pseudo-namesake great-grandbaby. If you’re looking for more Christmas candy options, check out this divinity recipe– a true Southern treat!
Sunflower Brittle Recipe– A Peanut-Free Brittle Recipe
1 c sugar
1 c white karo syrup
1/2 c water
2 c raw sunflower seeds (roasted will work, too)
2 t baking soda
1 t vanilla
1 T butter
- Put sugar, white karo syrup, and water into a heavy pan with a candy thermometer and cook to 230* (soft ball stage).
- At this point, stir in sunflower seeds, stirring constantly until it hits 300* and turns slightly yellow.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda, vanilla, and butter.
- Pour onto two or three buttered cookie sheets.
- Sprinkle with salt (omit this step if you used salted sunflower seeds).
- Butter your fingers and as the candy cools, pull into thinner strips.