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Combine sugar, syrup, and water. Place over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook without stirring to 265 degrees F, which is hard ball stage.
Add butter; continue cooking to 300 degrees F , which is brittle. Meanwhile, toast coconut lightly in the oven.
Remove syrup from heat; add coconut and nuts if desired. Stir only enough to distribute evenly throughout the mixture. Pour into a thin sheet on lightly oiled slab or inverted tray.
When cool enough to handle, the brittle may be grasped at the edges and stretched into a very thin sheet.
When cold, break into irregular pieces. This recipe makes about 1 pound.
Variation: Omit coconut and quickly stir in 2 squares of melted, unsweetened chocolate and 1 cup chopped nuts.
By Robin from Washington, IA