1. Put all ingredients except vanilla and nuts into a saucepan (2 - 3 quart with straight sides is best, candy will boil and foam a bit while cooking, and the candy thermometer will attach to a straight-sided pan easier) and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the candy temperature 236 degrees F (soft ball) is reach on a candy thermometer, 15 - 20 minutes. (The candy thermometer must not touch the bottom of the pan.)
2. Remove from the fire and set aside to cool.
3. When candy cools to 150 degrees F, add vanilla and beat candy with wooden spoon until candy becomes creamy and loses it's shiny appearance. A long beating is required.
4. Add nuts, if desired, and pour into a slightly greased 8 x 8 " pan or plate, for thinner candy. For easier removal from pan, line with foil and butter foil,
5. If candy gets too stiff to pour, set back on stove on low heat, and heat, stirring constantly, until pouring consistency is reached.
6. When cold, cut into pieces a little less than an inch square. Store in a tightly covered container.
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