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.
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 that 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.
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.
What is a Divinity Candy?
Divinity candy is a sweet treat that’s commonly made from corn syrup, egg whites, and sugar. It originated in the US a the beginning of the 20th century. It is also referred to as “Southern candy”.
It is similar to nougat, marshmallows, or fudge. Meringue is also similar but they have small differences. While meringue is cooked at 240 degrees F, divinity candy requires more heat and is cooked at 266 degrees F to hold its structure.
Divinity Candy Ingredients //
- 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
How to Make // The Steps
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.
How to Make Sure Divinity Candy is Done?
When the divinity candy losses its sheen, glossiness, and stickiness it is done. But when if the candy falls back into the bowl in ribbons and merges back into itself it’s not done yet and you need to beat it some more.
Remember to watch the temperature of your divinity candy as it requires specific heat to make. Also once you let it rest and you have done the recipe correctly it will harden slightly but still retain its fluffy texture from the egg whites you used.
Tip & Tricks //
- Let your divinity candy rest for 2 hours minimum or better yet overnight. This will let your candy harden a bit and will help hold its structure making it easier to portion.
- If your divinity candy fails to harden, add 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and beat again. Allow it to rest for about 15 minutes. This will absorb more moisture and will allow your sweet treat to harden.
- If you want your divinity candy to soften up a bit add hot water a tablespoon at a time and beat it again. Repeat the process until you get the desired fluffy consistency.
- 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 it 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.
How to store?
Once you have rested your divinity candy for about 2 hours it will set and reach room temperature. You can portion your candy and store it in an airtight container at room temperature. This will make it last for up to 2 weeks. If you want to keep it in the freezer, you can as well. This will extend its shelf life for about 2 months.
How to Package Them //
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.
Friday 9th of December 2022
This Divinity Candy came to México with the Spanish families in the XVI Century ( in the 1500’s) and afterwards taken to the Southern states of the USA. It’s a candy with Arabic influence.
Monday 12th of December 2022
Thanks Elizabeth, the wikipedia page still has its origin in the US but remember reading somewhere it was a distant cousin to Turkish delights.
Thursday 10th of November 2022
This recipe was great, we all loved this candy 🍭 I Love making candies, this one taste better than Better than any of the others I have make
Friday 11th of November 2022
Thanks for your lovely comment Sandra, it is always so nice to read :)
Saturday 1st of January 2022
I know this site gives quality depending content and other stuff, is there any other site which offers such data in quality?
Saturday 1st of January 2022
Hey there! I'm at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the fantastic work!
Saturday 1st of January 2022
Hello, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.When I look at your blog site in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!Other then that, very good blog!