What’s a girl to do when she cannot stop at the local mercado or Fiesta Market to purchase her favorite antojitos(snacks)? Why, you , learn to prepare them at home, of course. I am always up for a small cooking challenge and I enjoy learning new things. My go to cookbook for everything that is Mexican sweets is a book by Fany Gerson, who is a native Mexican residing in New York. Her book, My Sweet Mexico, has some of the most traditional and authentic recipes. This recipe for palanquetas is loosely adapted from her recipe. This version has alot less sugar and a few added twist, such as the vanilla, salt and smoked serrano chile powder. This was a test batch and I was afraid the smoked serrano powder would be too spicy! I was wrong, my husband’s co-workers loved it and were asking for more, lol! I guess I will be preparing another batch soon.
Palanquetas de Cacahuate
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons shaved piloncillo or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 full tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups unsalted roasted peanuts
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 teaspoon smoked serrano powder or chipotle powder, optional
1. Line and 8X8 baking dish with wax paper and spray with oil. Set aside.
2. In a medium skillet, add the sugar, piloncillo(brown sugar), syrup, water and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Add in the peanuts and continue cooking until golden brown. In a small bowl, combine the salt, baking soda and chile powder. Set aside.
3. Remove peanuts from heat and quickly stir in the vanilla and baking soda mixture. Transfer to prepared pan and spread out evenly. If you like, you could sprinkle on a little more chile powder and coarse seasalt. Let cool for 20 minutes and then score the pieces with a knife into squares. Let cool completely before removing from pan.
Tips~ If you can find already roasted and unsalted peanuts, you can use them. I roasted a pan of raw peanuts in a 350 degree oven for about 20 to 25 minutes. Turn peanuts twice while they roast.
Tips~ This batch is just right for an 8X8 size pan. If the pan is too big, they will be too thin and break easily. I had a slightly larger pan, but would use an 8X8 for the next time.
The Palanquetas are not as hard as peanut brittle, but softer, like a Pay Day candy bar. The freshly roasted peanuts really helped make this recipe even more tasty.