Country Rebel Recipes
Peanut brittle, spice drops, peppermint sticks, and divinity….few candies evoke Christmas memories for us like these. Long before Williams Sonoma’s Peppermint Bark and Brown & Haley’s Almond Roca topped the holiday candy game, our grandmothers (and their mothers and grandmothers before them) were hand-crafting candy with skill and precision that many of today’s amateur candy makers only dream about.
One of our favorite old-fashioned candies is divinity. The nougat-like treat is made with only a few simple ingredients, but delivers a one-of-a-kind taste that will have you making it year after year.
A mixture of sugar, corn syrup, water and a dash of salt is cooked to hard ball stage then slowly poured into a bowl of stiff egg whites. The mixture is beaten until thick and dull before optional mix-ins are added. Our preference is chopped pecans, but the possibilities are endless! Crushed peppermints, walnuts, chopped maraschino cherries and coconut also make great additions to divinity!
The most common mistake people make when making divinity is that they get impatient and stop beating the candy too soon. It’s crucial that the candy is whipped until it holds it’s shape, otherwise it will spread when spooned onto the parchment and the candy won’t have it’s signature melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Grab yourself a candy thermometer and your favorite mix-ins and give this Old-Fashioned Divinity a try using the recipe below!
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
pinch of salt
2 egg whites
1 cup chopped pecans (or mix-in of your choice)
In a large saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar, water, corn syrup and salt. Continue to stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Once it begins to boil, do not stir. Continue to cook the syrup until it reaches 260 degrees F on a candy thermometer (this will take roughly 10 minutes).
While sugar syrup is cooking, place eggs whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
When the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature, slowly pour it into the egg whites with the mixer on high speed. Continue to beat on high speed until the mixture is no longer shiny and it holds its shape. Add pecans and beat just until combined.
Working quickly, use two spoons or a small cookie scoop to scoop the candy onto parchment or waxed paper. The candy will set up as it cools so it’s important to work as fast as possible during this stage! Allow the candy to cool completely at room temperature then enjoy! Store any leftovers in an air-tight container.