Cook first 4 ingredients in a heavy 2-quart saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves and a candy thermometer registers 248° (about 15 minutes). Remove syrup mixture from heat.
Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Pour half of hot syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating constantly at high speed, about 5 minutes.
Cook remaining half of syrup over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer registers 272° (about 4 to 5 minutes). Slowly pour hot syrup and vanilla extract over egg white mixture, beating constantly at high speed until mixture holds its shape (about 6 to 8 minutes). Stir in 1 cup chopped pecans.
Drop mixture quickly by rounded teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased wax paper. Garnish, if desired. Cool.
I use a Iron skillet when making the syrup part. It helps with keep the temp. even and you can cook without carmelising. Also use clear vanilla extract, keeps the pretty white color...Great recipe A stand mixer is a must unless you have help pouring the two mixtures together.
I've never commented on a comment before, but...The brown color: By stirring constantly, you carmelized the sugar, hence the brown color. On the double boiler: water boils at 212. It is impossible to reach 272 over 212 degree heat. Please don't try. Recipe: It's as close to Mom's as I've found, but not as crumbly. I find it difficult to get this to turn out "right" but no one else knows so it's fine. Make every year at Christmas for older son.
Be sure to make divinity on a dry day, and if you use a humidifier, you probably should turn it down a bit. Also, we have always alternated using maraschino cherries on top of half and pecans on the other half. I've never had divinity turn brown, and I've never had to spread and cut it. If yours didn't come out right, I don't think you can blame the recipe.
This is just like the divinity recipe my mother always used to make and passed on to me. We called it Double Divinity. It is the creamiest, lightest, fluffiest divinity to be found. Everyone raves when I make this. Something about the two-stage cooking process, I suppose, that makes this so wonderful.
Evidently this recipe should say "use a double boiler! My divinity is the color of brown sugar, and if I've left it to cook till 272 it would have been black! I used a tri-clad sauce pan, so it was thick enough, and kept it low enough on the heat, and basically stirred constantly! I may try it sometime with a double boiler but definitely not with a saucepan!
Excellent and easy. I made a few tweaks to the recipe:
1. I cooked all of the syrup to 260 or hard crack on a candy thermometer before adding to beaten egg whites.
2. Spooning onto wax paper was hard....I poured it into a tinfoil lined pan sprayed with cooking spray. After it cooled, I cut it into pieces. Because it's a big chunk it takes a little longer to cool.
This is so good! Try it! Definitely use a stand mixer though. :)
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