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Elizabeth LaBau

What's The Difference Between Brittle and Toffee?

By September 25, 2012

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If you thought peanut brittle was the only brittle game in town, think again. This Walnut Brittle share the same delicate, crispity-crunchity texture of peanut brittle, but it has robust chunks of toasted walnuts and a deep, rich taste from the addition of a little molasses.

Okay, so now you know that there's peanut brittle and walnut brittle--and a million other variations we won't even get into right now--but what's the difference between a brittle and a toffee, you ask? I'm not sure if there's a textbook definition (when will the OED get around to compiling an all-candy edition?) but my opinion is that brittles typically are composed mostly of sugar, while toffees usually also contain a fair amount of butter. So toffees are richer, while brittles are more purely sweet and sugary. Brittles are also much thinner that most toffees. This brittle recipe, like so many others, requires you to pull and stretch the still-warm candy to make it extremely thin. The pulling gives it an extra-brittle quality (hence the name), producing a candy that almost seems to shatter when you bite into it.

Get the recipe: Walnut Brittle

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Walnut Brittle Photo ©2010 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.


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