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Peanut brittle and peanut butter fudge. Courtesy of Hutchinson’s Candy.




Go nuts
Peanut brittle, homemade nutty treats and more

12/08/16
By Matt Ingersoll listings@hippopress.com



 If your sweet tooth craves candy of a more nut-based variety during the holiday season, New Hampshire has a lot to offer in the way, from peanut brittle to nut-and-chocolate combos to simple roasted nuts.

 
Brittle by brittle
There are few places in the Granite State where you can find peanut brittle handmade and prepared the way Hutchinson’s Candy in Londonderry does it. In fact, co-owner Jim Beaumont said the old-fashioned way of manufacturing the nutty treat – in a copper kettle over an open fire – has become something of a “lost art” in the United States.
“Peanut brittle has to be done well by hand,” Beaumont said. “It’s very time-consuming and manual-intensive, but anybody who has ever tried our peanut brittle knows that we take the time to do it right and to make sure it comes out consistently.”
Jim and his wife, Pam Beaumont, bought Hutchinson’s Candy in August 2015 after nearly 30 years of combined experience in IT, but the company has been making candy since 1904.
Hutchinson’s specializes in several types of nut-based candies including peanut brittle, cranberry almond popcorn, chocolate-covered walnuts and pecan penuche.
“Our peanut brittle is made up of white sugar, corn syrup and water, and we add butter and other ingredients,” he said. “It requires two people to spread it, cut it and bag it. … We’ve sort of learned the art of breaking it up in just the right proportions. We like to have a couple of large pieces and some small pieces, and the bags are all labeled and sealed by hand as well. So it’s a pretty time-consuming process, but we love to do it.”
He said Hutchinson’s has recently begun experimenting with preparing peanut brittle to serve as an ice cream topping.
 
Nuts, and then some
Candy Goyette of Hudson has been making candy for her family for more than 30 years, but it was nine years ago when she started Our Sister’s Nuts, a homestead business offering seven different kinds of nutty treats, where nuts are the star but feature milk and dark chocolate, cinnamon, oatmeal cookies and other goodies.
Goyette buys her nuts and confections from several area businesses, but the recipes are her own. One includes a sweet walnut with an oatmeal cookie wrapped around it, and other mixed nuts she makes with Hershey’s chocolate and Hershey’s cocoa mix. 
She also prepares homemade cinnamon almonds.
“Almonds are very good for you, and cinnamon is good for you too for that matter, but a lot of people don’t eat almonds because sometimes they are very hard,” she said. “But all of my products are baked, and when you bake the almonds, they get softer. They still have a bit of a crunch to them, but it’s not like a raw almond would taste.”
Goyette has a tip for nut-lovers.
“Whenever I sell nuts, I always tell my customers that if you know you’re not going to use all of them right away, that you should freeze them,” she said. “Most of us know the nutritional value of nuts now, and they freeze really well. It’s just like if you open a jar of nuts and forget about it because you may not eat them all the time, you just want to be a bit cautious.”
In Salem, Pearls Candy & Nuts carries dozens of candies but specializes in fresh roasting its own nuts. For nut-based candies, you can find chocolate-covered peanuts that come in milk and dark chocolate, as well as all kinds of turtles, cashews, peanut brittle, and chocolate-covered mixed nuts. 
“We definitely sell a lot of nuts around the holiday season, but [the sales] are kind of steady all the time,” co-owner Rick Pearl said.





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