Coffee Macadamia Nut Brittle

2013-11-28 08.01.01Why make peanut brittle when you can rock it with coffee and macadamia nuts? What a great way to celebrate Hawaii by using two ingredients from the aina (land).

We have five macadamia or mac nut trees on the farm. It’s funny that I’m mentioning that, because today we actually planted a sixth tree.

A long time ago, I remember a friend talking about mac nuts and how hard their shells were and that you had to use a hammer to open them. This vision remained with me a long time before I actually got to experience a mac nut.

Lucky for us, there are mac nut crackers out there and welding a hammer and rock are not exactly the best type of equipment for the job.

So after the nuts are picked up off the ground and dried to remove the outer husk, the nuts are placed in a mac nut cracker to extract the round, cream colored nut.

I’ve made this brittle with raw and with roasted nuts. Both seem to be quite good. The high temperature of the process actually does a good job of cooking the raw nuts.

Coffee Macadamia Nut Brittle:


  • 2 cups macadamia nuts (raw or roasted)
  • 2 cup Maui sugar
  • 1 cup organic brown rice syrup (non-GMO)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tbs of butter
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 1 tbs soda

Measure out all your ingredients so you have it handy. Making candy is a sticky business (tee hee). Oil two cookie sheet type pans with oil–I used mac nut oil from Localvore in Pahoa, HI.

Combine sugar, syrup and water in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil at 260 degrees. Your sugar should be dissolved at this point. Add mac nuts and butter and bring temperature up to 310 degrees stirring with a wooden spoon constantly.

Remove from heat and add vanilla, coffee and soda. The soda will make the candy start to foam. Stir very quickly and pour immediately on the cookie sheets in two big portions. Use the wooden spoon to smooth out the candy and also try tilting the pans to get the layer of brittle thinner.

Once cool it will readily crack.

Hint: The brittle is just that, brittle not chewy. If your brittle didn’t turn out right it will stick to your teeth which means that you didn’t heat it to the proper temperature to make hard candy. You can salvage it by putting it back into the pot and reheating again.

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