This recipe turns out great. I've made it several times. I use a digital candy thermometer for accuracy. It must reach 300-degrees F. to be crunchy. Baking soda adds an "easier bite" to the peanut brittle, causing it to break when less force is applied.
It also causes the sugar base around the peanuts to be opaque. It does this by "foaming up" and introducing small bubbles in the sugar syrup. If you desire a clearer almost transparent sugar base around the peanuts and a "harder bite", reduce or omit the baking soda.
If you use roasted peanuts instead of raw, be careful not heat the mixture above 300-degrees F. or the peanuts may taste burned. Roasted peanuts can also be added at the end of cooking to prevent burning. If you use salted peanuts, omit the salt in the recipe.
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