Spiced Peanut Brittle w/ Cocoa Nibs
Food 'n Film "The Princess Bride" - Peanut Brittle
I remember when we got our first VCR in the late '80s, and I definitely remember our very first VHS. Dad came home with this gray rectangle and on the cover were blue clouds, a castle, and two people...scrawled across the top was the title...."The Princess Bride." Now, there are films we identify with during different stages of our lives, and some that stay with us through out…this is the latter. The great story - Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles... The quotable lines - "Inconceivable!" "As You Wish", "Hello, My Name is Inigo Montoya..." The lovable characters played by some truly great actors, all these things have left their mark. I love this movie, the book, the soundtrack…love it! My sister, my brother and I can all recite the movie dialogue almost word for word and always wait for the song, "Storybook Love" played at the credits. It is a cherished part of our childhood.
It’s funny how our four main characters: Buttercup, Westley, Inigo, Fezzik, have appealed to me in different ways throughout my life.
As a little 6-7 yr old girl the overall movie appealed to me, but oh to be Buttercup! To be honest, I just really liked her dress. I liked it so much I ask my mom to be her for Halloween and she sewed a copy of the wedding gown. I don’t think anyone knew who I was suppose to be but honestly I didn’t care, I was so happy!
As a preteen-teen I swooned over Westley. He was a charming, debonair, swashbuckling farmboy…and I wanted one. My mother use to say to me as a reality check, “ You know we all enjoy this movie but, this is a movie right you aren’t really waiting for Westley to come for you.” I laughed as I answered, “ MY Westley will always come for me.”
During my angry and hopeless phases, I’ve identified with Inigo. Revenge sometimes seems like a great idea, till you see that you might waste your life on it, but then what do you have? And I don’t really think piracy is an option.
And finally Fezzik, the most overlooked character. He is the sweetest, strongest, bravest, and smartest but most people dismiss him and I always wondered why. He’s the glue that keeps them together. Think about it – HE saves Buttercup from the shrieking eels, HE nurses Inigo back to health and helps him find Westley, HE successfully stormed the castle and if HE hadn’t have gotten the horses they wouldn’t have been able to escape. This last task, something so simple yet so important, was overlooked by every other character because they were so focused on themselves.
I was inspired to make this recipe by Fezzik’s line during his and Inigo’s rhyming contest, “Anybody want a peanut?” The Main ingredients represent the main characters: Butter - Buttercup, Raw Cocoa Nibs - Westley (The Man in Black), Spices - Inigo, and of course Peanuts - Fezzik. Hope you enjoy!
PS- Funny Story When I met Kishore he had never seen the movie, so he shocked me by answering an important question with…wait for it…”As you Wish.” MY Westley had indeed come for me.
1 Cup Roasted Peanuts
1/4 Cup Raw Cocoa Nibs
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 cup Light Corn Syrup
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Chili Powder
1/4 cup of Water
Pinch of Sea Salt
Prep Work: Line a Baking tray with Parchment Paper and lightly spray with oil.
*Measure everything out and have it accessible before starting. This goes from good to bad very quickly if you aren't prepared and present.*
1. Combined the peanuts, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, chili powder, and sea salt in a bowl and set aside.
2. Combined sugar, corn syrup, and water in a saucepan. Attach a candy thermometer, and stir sugar mixture constantly until completely dissolved. Bring to a boil.
3. When the sugar mixture has reached a boil, add the butter. Slowly stir occasionally until the temperature reads 280F.
4. Stir in Peanut mixture, and continue cooking until temperature reads 305F. Remove from heat and quickly stir in baking soda.
5. Immediately pour on prepared parchment lined sheet, and spread out.
*You can use a spatula, a sprayed spoon, or my personal favorite an extra sheet of parchment paper and rolling pin to thin out the brittle.*