It’s a Christmas miracle!

The holidays call for fun food gifts, and homemade candy is always a good present, since it lasts a bit longer than baked goods. But confectionary work is often complicated, fussy, and can feel like you need a science degree to get it right. I frankly usually leave it to the pros. But I make this microwave nut brittle all year long, because it doesn't require any special equipment, whips up in a flash, and is exceptionally delicious! And it all comes together in your microwave.

If you want to double the recipe you can, but you'll need to cook a bit longer. Since it's so easy to do, I usually just make batches as I need them. I change up the mix-ins depending on my mood: Classic peanut never goes amiss, but pistachios are pretty, and hazelnuts are extra elegant.

Credit: Getty / cheche22

Microwave Brittle

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup light corn syrup

Generous pinch salt

1 cup roasted salted nuts of your choice (or honey-roasted)

1 teaspoon butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Line a sheet pan with a silicone mat or parchment paper and give a light spray with nonstick spray.

2. Mix the sugar, corn syrup, and salt together in a large microwave-safe glass bowl. Put into microwave, uncovered, and cook on high for 4 minutes. Remove from the microwave carefully and stir in the nuts. Return to the microwave and cook an additional 3 minutes. Add the butter and stir well to combine, then return to the microwave for 1 more minute. The mixture should be nicely caramelized; if it looks a little blonde to you, microwave in 1-minute increments until you like the color. Each microwave is different, so keep an eye on the timing.

3. Stir in the vanilla and baking soda gently. The mixture will foam up as soon as it is combined, and once it is mixed, pour carefully onto the prepared baking sheet and let settle into a level sheet on its own or by tilting the pan. Do not spread with a spatula—you want to keep that foamy texture. If you want to add any flaky sea salt, now is the time.

4. Let cool at room temp for an hour then break into pieces and store in an airtight container. 

5. Feeling fancy? Dip in melted chocolate, then let cool/harden and store. 

Pro tip: If you're worried about nut allergies, substitute pretzel bits of fried chow mein noodles for crunch.