Making divinity has been a Christmas tradition in the Sandberg home for as long as Steve can remember. I’ve been a part of the tradition for the last several years and it’s been a lot of fun. Last Sunday was our divinity night and it was as much fun as ever. The first batch failed, just as it does every year. Everyone pitches in, just like every other year. And we all got sick from eating too much divinity in one season, just as we do every year.
Divinity are little fluffy pillows of pure heaven. They’re made of sugar, meringue, and flavoring. It sounds simple enough, but everything has to be just right or the whole thing flops. That’s why our first batch usually fails, it takes us one try to remember exactly what we’re doing.
You start by heating some sugar on the stove until it is very hot. Then you whip some egg whites.
Then you very slowly and very carefully add the hot sugar to the whipped egg whites. Whip them for several minutes, add some flavoring, and voila! Next, you spoon the divinity onto waxed paper and wait for it to set up for a few minutes.
They may not look like much but they are so yummy and very addicting. And I think they actually are better the next day. Give them a try this holiday season, or start another food tradition of your own.
From Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorites
Makes approximately 40 pieces
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 or 2 drops food coloring (optional)
1/2 chopped candied fruit and/or nuts (optional)
In a heavy saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Reduce heat to medium; continue cooking, without stirring, until the thermometer registers 260 degrees, hard-ball stage (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.
When sugar mixture is ready, remove saucepan from heat and remove thermometer. Gradually pour hot mixture in a thin stream over egg whites, beating on high speed about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add vanilla and food coloring (if using). Continue beating on high speed until candy starts to lose its gloss (5-6 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, the mixture has been beaten suffifiently. If mixture flattens, beat 1/2 to 1 minute more. If mixture is too stiff to spoon, beat in a few drops of hot water until candy is a softer consistency. Immediately stir in fruit and/or nuts. Quickly drop onto waxed papter. Store tightly covered.