As a child, peanut brittle was a treat we always enjoyed at Christmas. It may have been my maternal grandmother who made it, because I recall sneaking into the tin of brittle over and over at her Christmas Eve party, each year. Prior to the Modern Going Away Party, I had never considered using brittle as part of a dessert table. But, when I received Amy Atlas' book, Sweet Designs: Bake It, Craft It, Style It, I was struck by how she stacked brittle and other candies on cake stands. For this party, I recreated the look.
Brittles are perfect for parties because of their many flavor combinations. Additionally, they can be made ahead of time, so you don't have to prepare them the day of your party. For this party, I chose a more grown-up brittle flavor -- Spicy Cashew Brittle.
Spicy Cashew Brittle (adapted from Martha Stewart)
Coat large baking sheet with cooking spray. Heat sugar and corn syrup over medium heat until boiling. Cook until sugar dissolves and mixture is light brown in color. Stir in cashews, cayenne pepper, and salt. Turn heat to low and cook 8 minutes, careful not to burn cashews. Pour mixture onto pan, let cool and harden before breaking into pieces. Store in an air tight container.