Nut Brittle Recipe: Quick and Easy Nut Brittle Recipe

croccante con nocciole

Nut brittle is one of the most famous candies we have in Italy (we call it “croccante” which basically means “crunchy”); you can usually buy it during fairs but you can also make it at home as the ideal accompaniment to the chocolate covered pretzels, the candied orange peel and the dried orange slices.

The method is really simple and it can be used to prepare brittle of any kind: with almond, pine nuts, mixed with dried fruits of various kinds and so on.

I prepare it only using granulated sugar, but it is also possible to make it with honey. What is the difference between the brittle made with sugar and the one made with honey? It is a difference in consistency: the sugar one is harder because the sugar is caramelised and when it is cold it dries (as in caramelized apples, for example). On the contrary, the brittle with honey is softer because honey does not harden as it happens instead to the sugar.

The traditional recipe involves the use of sugar and not honey since honey makes the crunchy look more like a nougat than a real crunchy.

To make the sugar melt completely, we can caramelize it over low heat, stirring it occasionally; to speed up the operation just caramelize it with water, being careful not to overdo it, for which conventionally 150 grams of sugar (2/3 of a cup) is used for 2 tablespoons of water.

As sugar tends to melt at high temperatures, if your house is too hot it is good to put the brittle in an airtight container in the refrigerator so as to avoid losing consistency. In general, it is stored in airtight containers or wrapped in foil and has a maximum duration of one month.

To aromatize the crisp, you can pass on its surface an orange, a lemon or an entire cedar: you have to do it before the brittle is completely cold so that it has time to absorb the aromas. Someone adds a few drops of lemon directly into the sugar during the production of the caramel but the risk is on the one hand that the aroma is not felt and on the other that the sugar can not caramel at all.

In addition to being excellent eaten alone, it can be broken and used for other desserts: mousses, parfaits, and creams, so as to give this type of desserts the crunchiness that otherwise lacks.

So, how do you make nuts brittle? This is the best nut brittle you’ll ever make.

Ingredients for a small brittle

  • 250 grams of peeled hazelnuts (8 ounces)
  • 250 grams of granulated sugar (1 cup)
  • Water (optional)


  1. Toast the hazelnuts in the oven for about 10 minutes. Take them out and set them aside.
  2. Prepare the caramel by melting the sugar over medium-low heat until it becomes amber-colored (to speed up the process add a little water, calculating 2 tablespoons of water for every 150 grams of sugar aka 2 tablespoons of water every 2/3 of a cup)
  3. When the caramel is ready, pour the toasted hazelnuts and mix well.
  4. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spread some seed oil on the surface.
  5. Pour the caramel and hazelnuts, then cover with another sheet of parchment paper, level well with your hands or a kitchen rolling pin.
  6. Remove the parchment paper, allow the caramel to cool completely so that it settles. Once cold, cut the brittle into pieces and serve or wrap it to give it away.

Preparation time: 3 hours