My friend Megan asked me if I could try out a family recipe of hers. She said that it was giving her a hard time and if I could see what I could do with it. I love a challenge, so of course I said that it would be no problem. Yeah. I was wrong. On the fourth try I got it right. Not just right, but perfect. It is exactly what I was after. Slightly crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, full of pecans and vanilla. The texture is like the inside of a Three Muskateers bar. I understand why this candy is named what it is named. It is truly divine.
Divinity Candy is a southern Christmas staple. Grandmothers all over the south are making this confection come December. Candy making is a dying art if you ask me, and I think that making candy from scratch is incredibly satisfying. I love working with sugar, but you need to pay careful attention to it and it is truly scientific. I tried Megan’s recipe the first time and her recipe was lacking a few details. I did a little research and played around with the proportions and made some notes to fill in the blanks. My kitchen journal came in very handy for sure.
Divinity is extremely temperamental. This is not a rainy day project. If there is a lot of humidity, this recipe will not turn out the way that you want it to. You need a candy thermometer for this recipe, you need to reach specific temperatures. Also, you need to have everything ready to go before you start. You can either put the divinity in a pan and cut into pieces after it has cooled and hardened as I have done or you can drop it by the spoonful and leave it free form.
4 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup water
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups chopped pecans
In a medium to large saucepan, stir together the sugar, corn syrup and water. You can stir it together before you put it on the heat, but not while it is on the heat. You are going to cook this mixture over high heat until it reaches 266 degrees on a candy thermometer. This is called the hard ball stage.
Meanwhile. in the bowl of a mixer with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites and the salt until stiff peaks form.
This is what the sugar will look like when it is ready.
If you are going to put the Divinity on a cookie sheet or a pan, make sure that it is covered with parchment and coated with cooking spray. Do not forget this step. I did and I had to make it all over again.
With the mixer running slowly pour the sugar into the egg whites. Make sure it is a thin stream and that you are really careful not to splatter the sugar. The sugar is 266 degrees and will burn you badly.
You are going to beat the mixture for about 5 minutes. It will lose its gloss and it will be straining the mixer when it is getting close.
Add in the vanilla and the nuts.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. If you are dropping them onto the paper, use two spoons. If it starts to harden whip in a little hot water.
Spray an offset spatula with cooking spray and spread it evenly in the pan. Let it cool and harden.
The easiest packaging yet. I found this cute little felt bucket in the dollar bin at Target. I put the Divinity in a clear bag tied it with a ribbon and put it inside the bucket. I thought that the white candy would look so cute with the snowman. And I think that I was right.