Selling baked goods around your neighborhood is a simple way to pick up some extra cash. Peanut brittle is a specialty food that is easy to prepare and store, and it is especially desirable around the holidays. If you would like to set up shop at home, stock up on a few supplies and open your very own peanut brittle bakery.
Find a winning recipe. If you have never made peanut brittle before, there are recipes for peanut brittle available both online and in cookbooks. Award-winning chef and TV personality Alton Brown shares his peanut brittle recipe online at the Food Network's website (see Resources). Martha Stewart includes a recipe on her website for her favorite peanut brittle (see Resources), as well as another recipe in "Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook," available in bookstores. Make several batches of different types of peanut brittle and decide which recipe you like best.
Purchase ingredients according to your recipe. Although each peanut brittle recipe is different, most recipes contain peanuts, baking soda, butter and corn syrup or sugar, so you will need to purchase large quantities of these, as well as any other ingredient your brittle may use, such as cinnamon or cayenne pepper. Raw peanuts are perishable and should be kept in the freezer, especially if they are purchased in bulk. They will last approximately three months in the freezer. Make only as much brittle as you can sell in about one week; peanut brittle stays fresh for about two weeks.
Pack your peanut brittle in gift tins or resealable plastic containers. Layer waxed paper in between the peanut brittle to keep the candy from sticking, and keep peanut brittle at room temperature to keep moisture from forming inside the container. Keep test batches of peanut brittle in several different containers for two weeks to determine which batches stay the freshest. Purchase these containers in bulk to save money.
Set up shop online. Sign up for a free website account at Geocities and use PayPal to receive payments for your peanut brittle. Use a Geocities template to type in the necessary information about your peanut brittle and add pictures. Then, sign up for a Paypal merchant account; paste the HTML code provided on the PayPal site into your Geocities template. Geocities will give you your own web address where shoppers can buy your peanut brittle. Include this information on any fliers you pass out, and either hand-deliver or ship the peanut brittle to your customers. Pack peanut brittle containers carefully in bubble wrap and ship the day the batch is made. Print "Fragile" on the outside of the packaging; because peanut brittle is cooked and does not need to be refrigerated, you do not have to write that the food is perishable.
Pass out fliers and samples to potential customers. During the holidays, the idea of purchasing a fresh, homemade gift or snack may be appealing to your customers, so place fliers in neighbors' mailboxes and at local businesses, and bring batches of peanut brittle to work and offer taste tests while keeping several tins of sealed peanut brittle at your desk in case anyone would like to purchase more brittle on the spot for a snack.
Pay taxes and register your business, if necessary. The Small Business Association requires that any small business making income reports its earnings (see Resources). The requirements will depend on the state you live in and how much money you earn selling peanut brittle.
Advertise your peanut brittle in town circulars or on grocery store bulletin boards.
Do not send children door to door to sell peanut brittle.