“Brittle”, a flat hardened sugar candy, is thought to be one of the first candies ever made. Peanut brittle made with corn syrups & nuts began appearing in cookbooks around the 19th century.
Because we find peanut brittle recipes most commonly in American cookbooks, it is generally recognized as an American recipe, but it’s safe to assume that brittles, like pralines, have been made in all countries-or any country where sweet liquids such as molasses, honey, sugar or a variety of other sweets were available-for hundreds of years.
Some believe that peanut brittle originated in the American South, and there is good evidence to support that. The fact that Civil War soldiers survived on peanuts because of its protein content, coupled with the Southern peanut farming boom in the 1900’s, points to the strong likelihood that the region did indeed invent the snack.