We’re back in the kitchen today with one of our Diamond Culinary Ambassadors, Annalise from Completely Delicious. She’s sharing one of her family’s holiday traditions. We would love to hear yours! Whether it’s ice skating in the park or baking your great grandmother’s sugar cookies, share it in the comments below.
Holiday traditions are a huge part of what makes this season so special. Decorating the tree, parties with friends and family, gift exchanges, and of course, making and sharing treats! I have so many baking and candy traditions that I have a hard time getting to them all before the new year.
But no matter how busy the season gets we always make time for Divinity. It’s been a tradition in my husband’s family all of his life and one that I’m happy to add to my own. If you’ve never heard of divinity, no worries, because neither had I. It’s a nougat-like candy made primarily from sugar, corn syrup and whipped egg whites.
The candy was first created in the United States in the early 1900’s as a way to use corn syrup, which was a new ingredient at the time. It’s also thought to be a southern treat as it typically uses pecans, though we usually use walnuts. Feel free to use any chopped Diamond of California nuts for a fun twist on the original. For even more flavor, toast the nuts before adding them to the divinity.
I know this treat may not look like anything special, but after just one taste you’ll see where it gets its name. It’s divine! Sweet little pillows of heaven. And I can guarantee that the whole batch of divinity candy will disappear in record time.
Yield: approximately 40 pieces
- 2 1/2 cups (500 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (155 grams) light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
- 2 large eggs whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 drops food coloring (optional)
- 1/2 cup (55 grams) Diamond of California Chopped Walnuts
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Once the mixture starts to boil, stop stirring and insert a candy thermometer. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking, without stirring, until the thermometer registers 260 degrees F (“hard-ball” stage), about 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium high speed until stiff peaks form. The goal is to reach stiff peaks as the sugar reaches hard ball stage. I usually start beating the egg whites when the sugar reaches 230 degrees F.
- When sugar mixture is ready, remove saucepan from heat and remove thermometer. Gradually pour hot mixture in a thin stream over egg whites while continuing to beat the whites on high speed. Add vanilla and food coloring (if using). Continue beating on high speed until candy starts to lose its gloss, 3-4 minutes. When beaters are lifted, mixture should fall in a ribbon that mounds on itself. Test mixture by dropping candy by a spoonful onto waxed paper. If it stays mounded, it’s ready. If mixture flattens, beat 1/2 to 1 minute more. If mixture is too stiff to spoon or has started to look a little grainy, beat in a few drops of hot water until candy is a softer consistency.
- Immediately stir in walnuts. Quickly drop onto waxed paper, candy will harden within just a few minutes.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature, candy will keep for at least a week.