- 4 cups (1-1/3 pounds) chopped salted peanuts, divided
- 3 cups sugar, divided
- 1-1/3 cups light corn syrup, divided
- 1 cup water, divided
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 cups half-and-half cream, divided
- 1-1/4 cups light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Additional chopped salted peanuts
- Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with foil; spray foil with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 2 cups peanuts; set aside.
- In a small heavy saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 2/3 cup corn syrup and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 250° (hard-ball stage).
- Meanwhile, beat egg whites in a heat-proof large bowl until stiff peaks form. With mixer running on high speed, carefully add hot syrup in a slow steady stream, beating constantly at high speed for 5 minutes or until thickened. Cover and set aside.
- In a large heavy saucepan, combine the remaining sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 290° (soft-crack stage).
- Gradually pour hot syrup into egg white mixture; stir with a wooden spoon. Stir in the butter, vanilla and salt.
- Pour mixture over peanuts in pan; press down evenly with buttered fingers.
- For coating, in a large saucepan, combine the sugar, 1/2 cup cream and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; add remaining cream. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 242° (soft-ball stage).
- Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and salt. Pour over nougat layer in pan. Sprinkle with remaining peanuts, pressing slightly into nougat. Cool for at least 2 hours or until set. Cut into 1-1/2 in. x 1-in. pieces. Roll edges in additional peanuts and shape into logs. Wrap in waxed paper. Store at room temperature. Yield: 4-1/2 pounds.
Originally published as Caramel Nut Logs in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2011, p69
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