Old Fashioned Church Cookbook Divinity
I used to make divinity with my grandmother, I loved being in the kitchen with her. I was always fascinated by her candy thermometer, how did it keep from melting in that pot of bubbling goo? Most of all I was fascinated by the end result-delicious divinity.
Too often, divinity is made only at Christmas time. That’s a shame, these delicious little nougat pillows are a treat that should be shared year round. We always added little taste treats to our recipe. Chocolate chips were my favorite and my grandfather loved candied cherries. Everyone loved it when we added pecans.
The basic divinity recipe is very simple. Egg whites, sugar and corn syrup are at the core of this treat. Some recipes call for brown sugar, making a different take that is called sea foam.
Sometimes referred to as “Southern Candy”, divinity probably was first baked in the early 1900s. Corn syrup was becoming used as a sweetener in place of sugar and was plentiful. According to some legends that name came from someone biting into this treat and exclaiming “divine”.
For this recipe you will need your stand mixer, a heavy saucepan, a heavy duty baking sheet and a candy thermometer. This is a bit of a sticky process but well worth any stuck fingers.
- 2 large egg whites
- 3 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line three 15x10x1-in. pans with waxed paper.
- In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup; bring to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring, over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 252° (hard-ball stage). Just before the temperature is reached, beat egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
- Slowly add hot sugar mixture in a thin stream over egg whites, beating constantly and scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add vanilla. Beat until candy holds its shape, 5-6 minutes. (Do not over mix or candy will get stiff and crumbly.) Immediately fold in pecans.
- Quickly drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto prepared pans. Let stand at room temperature until dry to the touch. Store the divinity between waxed paper in an airtight container at room temperature.
Don’t use dark corn syrup, the color is wrong for this recipe.
Add any additional ingredients just before you drop the nougat unto the baking sheet.
DON’T OVER MIX! The results will be crumbles of nougat.