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Corn nuts aren’t actually nuts—they’re corn kernels that have been soaked in water and then roasted and salted. They’re extremely crunchy and make for a delicious brittle. Some corn nuts come flavored (such as ranch or BBQ), so look for the original flavor when you’re shopping. Making the caramel for the brittle might feel intimidating, but it’s easier than it seems. The key is to get your ingredients ready before starting the recipe, so that you can move quickly when it's time to add something in. Cellophane bags are a fun way to package this recipe as a gift. That way you can show off the pretty, textural shards of brittle.

Dawn Perry


Credit: Max Kelly

Recipe Summary test

25 mins
1 hr
About 2½ pounds (4 to 6 gifts)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and ½ cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Bring to a boil and cook, undisturbed, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.

  • Continue to cook, swirling saucepan occasionally, until edges turn golden; swirl pan to incorporate golden sugar into the rest of the mixture. When mixture is evenly amber in color, reduce heat to low and add corn nuts, butter, crushed red pepper, and kosher salt. Cook, stirring, until evenly incorporated. Add baking soda (mixture will bubble up) and stir until evenly combined.

  • Transfer brittle to prepared baking sheet and spread to about one inch thick. Sprinkle with flaky salt, if desired, and set aside until completely cool. Break into pieces. Brittle will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition Facts

227 calories; fat 5.2g; saturated fat 1.9g; cholesterol 6.1mg; carbohydrates 46.1g; fiber 1.2g; sugars 33.8g; protein 1.5g; sodium 256.3mg.