Day 11: The Homesick Texan + Peanut Patties

Like many of you, I have been a fan of Lisa Fain (aka the Homesick Texan) for years, so I couldn’t be happier that she is our guest today. Lisa’s blog is one of the first I loved. It is beautifully designed and photographed and her writing endears you to her immediately. I have made many of her recipes over the years and they are always successful.

I was thrilled when I heard that she was publishing a cookbook. We’d become internet buddies over the years and I wanted to help her out in any way I could, so I helped her test recipes. It was fun and  provided me with a little preview of what we all had to look forward to. The finished product is fantastic and receiving lots of well-deserved praise.

One of the best recipes that I tested was for these Peanut Patties, which Lisa generously agreed to share with all of us. These are fantastic little confections that could add some spice to your cookie platter.


Why this cookie?
While peanut patties are a Texan confection enjoyed year round, it’s the rare person that actually makes them at home. Winter is an ideal time to make candy such as these since it’s cold and dry—the perfect environment needed for the peanut patties to set up properly. And while you may be tempted to eat the whole batch, they’re terrific for sharing and make great gifts.

Sweet or salty?

Chocolate or vanilla?

Hot or mild?

What won’t you eat?
I’m an equal opportunity eater, I’ll try everything once. That said, I’m not especially fond of beets though I’m working on that.

Most memorable meal?
For my grandparents’ 50th anniversary, we had a huge potluck at their farm where by the end of the day almost 100 people had stopped by to eat and say howdy. I can’t remember exactly what we ate, but it’s my favorite meal because there was just so much love and joy at the gathering.

Favorite object in your kitchen?
One of my cast-iron skillets, which has been in service for four generations.

What are you scared of in the kitchen?
Not too much scares me though I am very cautious when I light my oven’s pilot light.

Do you prefer to cook alone or with others?
I usually prefer to cook alone, though there are exceptions to this—such as making tamales.

What country would you like to travel to for the food?

If you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be?
In-season and fresh

Favorite thing about winter?

Peanut Patties (recipe from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain)

  •  2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups roasted, salted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne (you can use less if you don’t like spice!)
  • 4 drops red food coloring (optional)

Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a pot, place a candy thermometer and combine the sugar, half-and-half, corn syrup, salt, cinnamon, and peanuts. Cook on medium heat while stirring until the thermometer reads 240°F. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes.

At this point, immediately remove the pot from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, cayenne, and if you are using it, red food coloring. Keep stirring until the candy loses its glossy shine and has cooled down to 140°F, about 5 to 10 minutes. (You might want to have a partner on hand to help if your arm gets tired.)

Once the candy turns opaque, quickly drop 1/2-cup-size spoonfuls onto the sheet and let cool an hour before eating. Will last for 1 week stored in an airtight container.



Previously, on THE 12 DAYS OF COOKIES

Day 1: Maple Pecan Cookies

Day 2: Fig and Date Swirls

Day 3: Evergreen Shortbread

Day 4: Rugelach

Day 5: Gooey Butter Cookies

Day 6: Poppy Seed-Honey Cookies

Day 7: Cherry, Pistachio, Oatmeal Cookies

Day 8: Sticky Pecan Bites

Day 9: Jam Thimbles

Day 10: Almond Cookies


8 comments to “Day 11: The Homesick Texan + Peanut Patties”

  1. They look light and innocent with those wispy fly aways…so unassuming in color with such alluring familiarity in the universal peanut…then BAM! A cayenne wake up call! I had these once and really enjoyed that sweet and salty fest that gets interrupted by a welcomed spicy kick! Can’t wait to try making these on my own!

  2. Not so sure about these but have made my Rugelach pastry ready to be finished off tomorrow. Then on to the pecan bites!

  3. 1/2 cup sized spoonfuls? that sounds big…

  4. You can make them whatever size you want, Liz

  5. Anien van coller says:

    December 17th, 2011 at 3:42 am

    Sorry for my ignorance but what is “half and half”?
    Thank you !

  6. Hi Anien- Sorry, it is unique to the US, here is a good explaination:

  7. I tried to make these but for some reason the candy never turned opaque and I ended up with something that would not harden. Any idea what I did wrong? I followed the instructions to the letter as far as timing, used a thermometer, and even went over time on stirring waiting for the candy to turn opaque. Thanks!

  8. Hey Rachel, My only guess is that your thermometer is off somehow. Or wasn’t immersed enough in liquid? I check my thermometer occasionally by testing it in boiling water, which should read 212°F. Sorry it didn’t work out!

What do you think?