Desperate Housewives: Mrs. McCluskey’s Peanut Brittle

A review of Mrs. McCluskey’s Peanut Brittle from The Desperate Housewives Cookbook

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Mrs. McCluskey’s Peanut Brittle

karen_mccluskeyThis peanut brittle didn’t end up looking quite like I thought I would…it was a little more white and cloudy than expected, but it still tasted good so oh well!  I think I may have used the wrong burner for this, and cooked it at a higher temperature than I should have.

Mrs. McCluskey is usually portrayed as a nosy and cranky neighbor, but when we do see her softer side it’s usually when she’s around the Scavo boys.  In the first season, after Lynette drags the boys over to McCluskey’s house to apologize for stealing from her, she offers them peanut brittle as she tells them the sad story of how her son died at age 12 due to illness.  That moment of humanity is brief, as she quickly changes back into her usual persona and tells them to get the hell out of her house.

To start the brittle, sugar, corn syrup and water are brought to a boil over medium heat on the stove.  Once you reach the temperature quoted, butter is added and the mixture if left to boil again until the temperature goes back up.  It’s supposed to turn brown here apparently, before you add in the butter, but mine was still white.20190622_113930

At this point, it’s removed from the heat, baking powder and nuts are mixed in, and the whole thing is poured onto a greased baking sheet to cool.  You’ll need to work fast here, because it cools VERY quickly!

The mistake I made, I think, is that I cooked it on our large burner instead of the regular ones.  It likely needed to cook longer than it did in order to get that brown color, but instead it heated up really quickly and hit the target temperature too early.  Lesson learned!


Once it’s cool, just break into pieces and enjoy!

Taste: 8/10

It tasted like you’d expect peanut brittle to taste like, despite its odd coloring.  I think if I cooked it “correctly” it would probably still taste more or less the same, but the texture might be different.  Mine was super hard and crunchy at first to the point where I thought I’d break a tooth, and then when I tried it a couple of hours later it was softer.

Difficulty: Average / Difficult20190622_131301

When working with candy, you need to keep a very close eye on it the entire time – on how it’s behaving in the pot, the temperature, making sure you stir the right amount, etc.  You will also need to be as prepared as possible ahead of time so you can move quickly (i.e. make sure everything is measured already, and that you have all items needed by your side).

Cost: Cheap

All you need is vegetable oil, sugar, light corn syrup, butter, baking powder, and dry-roasted peanuts.


Cook over a regular burner for best results, and NOT the high/large burner or the simmer burner.  And make sure you read ahead in the recipe and have all items/ingredients ready to go when called for.

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