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Helpful Hints

By Heloise

This article was published July 16, 2014 at 1:54 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: Can you please reprint your Heloise peanut brittle recipe? I haven't made it in years, and I cannot find the recipe.

-- Ellen S. in Indiana

DEAR READER: This recipe is so easy and quick, because you make it in the microwave. Gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups of raw (skin on) peanuts
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda

Place aluminum foil over a cookie sheet (with sides) and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine sugar, corn syrup, peanuts and salt. Mix together. Place in the microwave (wattages vary, so you may need to adjust the times) and heat on High for 8 minutes, stirring well halfway through cooking.

Stir in the vanilla and butter, and microwave another 2 minutes on High. Carefully take the bowl out, because it will be very hot!

Add the baking soda and stir until the mixture becomes foamy and light. Be careful not to over stir.

Quickly pour the mixture onto the cookie sheet using a metal knife. You may need help with this.

Evenly spread the mixture to about 1/4-inch thickness. Let it cool, then break into pieces and store the peanut brittle in an airtight container or a plastic, zip-top bag.

DEAR HELOISE: As I was growing up, my grandmother said that you could use self-rising flour in baking instead of plain flour, baking powder and salt. Is this regardless of the measurements for the baking powder and salt?

-- Renee P. in North Carolina

DEAR READER: No, you need to be aware of the measurements, which are the following: 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon table salt. These measurements are what change plain flour to self-rising flour.

DEAR HELOISE: I always use the wrappers from sticks of butter to grease casserole dishes or baking sheets. When I have wrappers but no cooking immediately planned for which they will be used, I store the wrappers in the freezer. The freezer keeps the wrappers fresh and ready to use.

-- Kelly T. in Illinois

DEAR HELOISE: We cook our bacon outside in an electric skillet to keep odor and splatters out of the house. We cook at least a pound at a time, and we put what we don't use in a plastic freezer bag. It keeps great in the freezer, and whenever you want a couple of pieces, you pop them into the microwave for 10 seconds.

-- Craig and

Patti J. in Michigan

DEAR HELOISE: When I stem strawberries, I use the long, skinny potato peeler. This way, I get the stem plus the pithy center and save all the shoulder fruit of the strawberry.

-- Sue, via email

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Food on 07/16/2014

Print Headline: Helpful Hints


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