Christmas Candy #1 - Holiday Divinity

It's the weekend before Christmas and all through the house, every creature is stirring...the skillet, that is! It was the weekend of A Couple in the Christmas Candy Kitchen. We're not great bakers, so we rely on the kindness of friends, relatives, neighbors and students for our supply of Christmas cookies. In return, we made a Christmas Candy variety, which we'll also share with you.

Other than some minor adjustments and adaptations, we can't take credit for any of these recipes ourselves. In fact, we don't know where some of them came from - they are just tradition. But we'll share nonetheless in the hopes that people will be forgiving ('tis the season, after all). Special thanks to our weekend visitors Pat and Becky for taste-testing and nut-cracking.

Our first recipe is for Holiday Divinity, which we found in The Christmas Candy Book by Lou Seibert Pappas. Divinity is a sweet, airy egg-white-based candy made with fruit and nuts (we chose Craisins and pistachios for a seasonal color scheme). This (slightly adapted) recipe makes about 4 dozen candies and is a wonderful choice for Christmas sharing.

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup roasted pistachio nutmeats, chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries (Craisins), chopped

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup, and stir to blend. Place over medium heat and bring to a rolling boil. Cover and boil 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover and insert a candy thermometer ni the pan. Cook, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 256 F. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat the whites until they hold firm, upright peaks. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and carefully pour the hot syrup into the egg whites, continuing to beat until the mixture cools to room temperature and is very stiff, 7-10 minutes. Blend in the vanilla extract, then fold in the nuts and craisins. Drop the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet using a melon baller. Let stand until set, about one hour. Carefully remove the candies from the paper. Store in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

My dad used to make divinity every Christmas, never had it with Cranberries though, looks delicious!