In a non-stick saucepan, heat and stir 2 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/4 cups corn syrup, 1 cup water, and 1 tablespoon salt over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Cook sugar mixture over high heat to a hard crack stage at 290 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a candy thermometer to measure the heat level.
Add 1/2 cup of each of the following nuts: pecans, cashews, macadamias and almonds with 4 tablespoons butter. Cook to 300 degrees Fahrenheit stirring all the time to keep the nuts from burning. Remove from heat at 300 degrees and stir in 3 teaspoons baking soda while beating to a froth for 30 seconds.
Immediately pour onto four well-buttered 15 1/2 by 10 by 1-inch pans. Spread with a spatula as thin as possible. As the brittle cools, use gloves to hand-stretch the brittle in order to create a better texture. This treat will last for two months if kept in air-tight plastic bags or containers.
In 1990, Paula Deen opened The Lady and Sons, a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with a Southern flair. She continues her food enterprise into 2015 by operating the restaurant, as well as selling a series of cookbooks and hosting two shows on the Food Network.Learn more about Desserts