If you’ve been following me, it’s no secret that I love the mega gas station chain known as Buc-ee’s. Not only do they have cheap gas (at usually over 100 pumps per station), but they have a supermarket-sized convenience store that has a full-on barbecue station, jerky bar, a fudge-and-nut factory, bakery, more beverages than you can imagine, the cleanest bathrooms ever, amazing souvenirs, and the best snacks! (Phew!)
Speaking of snacks, one of their signatures are Beaver Nuggets: puffed corn coated with a rich glaze that tastes like crunchy pancakes doused in butter and syrup. As of now, you can only get them at a physical Buc-ee’s location and since they aren’t all over the world (and only in a few states of the U.S.), I’m giving you my rendition of this addicting treat that tastes very similar. I call it Badger Brittle and it only takes SIX ingredients and about an hour to make until you’re munching down!
Watch The Video!
Prep Before You Step
Make The Mixture
Whisk! Whisk! Whisk!
Kill The Heat
Coat The Corn Pops (While Still Working Quickly)
Transfer To The Parchment Paper-Lined Baking Sheet
Bake The Badger Brittle
The Cooling Process
Break The Brittle
The Taste Test
- 1 (10-ounce) box of Corn Pops cereal
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
- 1⁄2 cup light corn syrup (I use the Karo brand)
- 1 packed cup light brown sugar (see Jeff's Tips)
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pre-heat the oven to 250°F, line a very large baking sheet (about 15x21 inches) with parchment paper and set that aside. Then, add the Corn Pops to a very large mixing bowl and set that aside as well. (NOTE: Make sure you prep all this now because we will need to work quickly in Steps 3, 4 and 5 and it will be far wiser to just have these things ready to go.)
- Place a nonstick 4.5 - 5-quart sauté pan over medium-high heat. As it's heating, add the butter, sugar, corn syrup and maple syrup. Gently whisk until the butters melted and everything is smooth and well-combined (it's going to smell amazing). As soon as the mixture begins to bubble, whisk constantly (but gently) for 2 more minutes and then kill the heat.
- Move the pan to a trivet on the counter and immediately (but gently) whisk the baking soda into the mixture in the pan for a total of 30 seconds, which will make the buttery sugar liquid become a bit puffy and foamy looking.
- From here, you need to work quickly as the mixture will begin to harden since it's no longer being heated. Immediately pour the mixture from the pan over the Corn Pops in the large mixing bowl and quickly toss to combine — two wooden mixing spoons or salad tossers will do the trick. (NOTE: Don’t take more than 30-60 seconds to do this as the mixture will want to stiffen relatively quickly.)
- As soon as the Corn Pops are coated, place them onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet and, working quickly, smooth them out with the wooden spoons so they're mostly in an even layer. Pop in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 40-45 minutes total (see Jeff's Tips), carefully stirring them up once halfway through at the 20-minute mark. (NOTE: If you taste one halfway through, it’s going to feel as if it has gone soggy. That will change once it’s done baking and it cools.)
- Remove the baked pan of brittle from the oven. Grabbing the two edges of the parchment paper, immediately and carefully transfer all of the nuggets while still on the parchment paper to the countertop. Allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes on the parchment paper. At this point, it will have fully cooled and fused like a crunchy brittle and is ready to break apart and eat. Take a gallon Ziploc bag, breaking the brittle apart into smaller pieces as you store in the bag for up to 2 weeks.
If you can’t find Corn Pops (or if your country doesn't have them), use any variety of a corn puff-type cereal. Feel free to also use the store's value brand. Just make sure to use 10 ounces.
While light and dark brown sugar are pretty interchangeable, I suggest light brown sugar strictly for the color.
Always keep in mind that all ovens vary. My electric oven bakes the brittle perfectly at 40 minutes, but you can just as well go for 45.