Cashew and White Chocolate Brittle with Sichuan Peppercorns

This beautiful chocolate-covered brittle is crispy, creamy and packs a surprising punch.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 50 min (includes setting time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 1 1/2 pounds (8 large pieces)
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1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for the baking sheet

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup dark corn syrup

3 cups roasted salted cashews, 1 cup chopped

2 teaspoons baking soda 

2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder

One 11-ounce bag white chocolate chips

1 tablespoon torn dried arbol chiles (from about 5 chiles)

1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns


Special equipment:
a candy thermometer
  1. Butter a baking sheet and set aside. Bring the sugar, dark corn syrup and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until a candy thermometer registers 260 degrees F. Stir in the butter and all the cashews and continue to cook until the cashews are well coated and not clumpy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the baking soda and five-spice powder. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into a thin, even layer. Let cool for 15 minutes, then top with the white chocolate and let sit until the chips are soft and spreadable. Spread into a smooth layer.
  2. Put the chiles and peppercorns into a small skillet over medium heat and toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle evenly over the white chocolate and let set completely, about 3 hours, then break into pieces.