Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Candy Man Can

Making divinity is terrifying.
Making divinity is time consuming.
I'm waiting for my candy to hit the hard ball stage......
Getting closer, it is at soft ball.
This is why I usually sit in the floor and read a book.
Real time candy making blogging is not super exciting.
Until you have to pour the boiling hot sugar mixture, that's when it becomes terrifying.
And sometimes when you pour the crazy hot sugar into your mixer, you accidentally make a sugar spider web on your mixer thingy.
Now you're mixing away....  It takes forever.  If you have a hand mixer, it is at this point that you're desperately wishing for a stand mixer.

Okay, so the recipe for divinity.  I promise, it's really not that hard.  I make it for my husband and we take it to share when we go to his family's for Christmas.  I truly love making the "family" recipes.  All those things that you remember your grandma making.  My granny always made candy.  I remember sitting at the breakfast table in her kitchen in a green vinyl covered chair, eating divinity.  I always think she would be proud of my candy making.  I'm pretty sure this is the same recipe she used, it's out of a 1960s Betty Crocker.

2 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup chopped nuts (I never put the nuts in because I think nuts are gross in food)

Mix sugar, corn syrup and water in sauce pan.  Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved (use a whisk, you'll thank me).  Then cook without stirring to 260 degrees (hard ball).  Remove from heat and pour constantly, in a fine stream into the beaten egg whites.  Add vanilla and continue beating until mixture holds its shape and becomes slightly dull.  Fold in nuts.  Drop quickly from the tip of buttered spoon onto waxed paper in individual peaks, or spread in a buttered pan and cut into 1" squares when firm.

I hear it's really good.  I'm not much of a fun of divinity anymore.  Granny let me eat too much, I think.  The cooking and not stirring is the most terrifying.  I'm always sure I"m going to ruin it.  I haven't yet though.  And, not to brag, but I am amazing at separating eggs.  I'm always unnecessarily proud of myself.

So, after the divinity was done I made some Penuche for my mom.  Penuche is like brown sugar fudge.  Again, not really my favorite candy but I make it for my mom.  My granny used to make it for her when she was a kid.  I actually do use Granny's recipe for this.  A few years ago my mom made my sisters and me cookbooks of Granny's recipes.  There are copies of her handwritten recipes.  It's great.  The recipe isn't super clear and I always have to think kind of hard but it usually turns out pretty well.

2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup cream
18 marshmallows (the full size ones)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine brown sugar, butter (use real butter!), and cream (I use heavy whipping cream).  Cook on medium high heat until mixture reaches Soft Ball stage.   (The recipe says until it threads, but I've come to the conclusion that "threads" is about Soft Ball stage).  Remove from heat mix in marshmallows and vanilla.  Stir hard  to combine.  Pour into a greased 8x8" pan to cool.  When cooled, cut into squares.
You really do have to stir hard to get the marshmallows melted and combined.  And here's my Penuche cooling, waiting to be sliced.

What kind of Christmas goodies do you make at your house?

No comments:

Post a Comment