We're nearing the end of the Sweet Melissa Baking Book. We only have 6 more recipes left with plans to finish up by the end of August. This week's recipe was peanut praline hosted by Ruby of I Dream of Baking. The group has made Melissa's brittle a couple of times now, but this was my first time along. The peanut praline in the book is basically the peanut brittle crumbled up and served over ice cream. I have never made brittle before from any recipe, so I thought it may serve me well to go back and read the posts from the other recipes. Thank goodness I did! It seems like many had problems with the recipe in the book - chewy and burned were many of the comments. Neither of these are good things for a brittle.
I still wanted to participate, so I decided to look through the recipes that a couple of the ladies in the group had posted. It seems that the Sweet Melissa recipe has a lot more butter and no water compared to the other recipes? In the end, I choose to go with Margot's version that she posted here on her blog in October. The brittle came out just the way a peanut brittle should be without any trouble. I didn't measure my peanuts and think I may have added a few too many (user error on that one). The inclusion of the cayenne pepper gives the candy a bit of a kick as an aftertaste, and while some may prefer the sweet-spicy combo, I think I would leave it out next time.
In her post, Margot added her brittle to ice cream. I had planned to make the brown-sugar vanilla ice cream in the Sweet Melissa book to pair with the peanut praline and thought about copying her idea. In the end, my husband talked me out of mixing it in because the ice cream is SO GOOD plain. This is the second time that we have made it, and I will never make another vanilla ice cream recipe. We served the ice cream and praline with caramel syrup (I like caramel much better than chocolate), and it was awesome! Definitely one to keep in mind for a "fancier" ice cream treat. Thanks Ruby for a great pick and for a recipe I may have never attempted on my own! Check out Ruby's attempt and the other bloggers on the SMS blogroll page!