Cook sugar, corn syrup and water (use 1 tablespoon less water on humid days)
in 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved.
Cook without stirring to 260 degrees F on candy thermometer or until small amount
of mixture dropped into very cold water forms a hard ball that holds its shape
but is pliable.
Beat egg whites in medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff
peaks form. (For best results, use electric stand mixer, not a portable handheld
mixer because total beating time is about 6 minutes and mixture is thick.) Continue
beating while pouring hot syrup in a thin stream into egg whites, beating constantly
on medium speed.
Add vanilla. Beat until mixture holds its shape and becomes slightly dull.
(If mixture becomes too stiff for mixer, continue beating with wooden spoon.)
Fold in nuts. Quickly drop mixture from buttered spoon onto waxed paper.
Let stand at room temperature at least 4 hours, but no longer than 12 hours,
until candies feel firm and dry to the touch.
Store in airtight container at room temperature.
Yield: 48 candies (1 per serving).
Divinity is a divine candy. To add your final touch, indulge in one of these
Cherry-Almond: Add 1/2 cup chopped candied cherries; use almond
extract instead of the vanilla extract.
Peppermint: Add 1/2 cup crushed hard peppermint candies and,
if desired,2 or 3 drops of red food color.
Chocolate-Mint: Add 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, 2 drops
green food color and 1/4 teaspoon mint extract.
Making divinity can be a little tricky, but it helps if you start with
the spoonful test. Drop a spoonful of the divinity mixture onto wax paper. If it
stays in a mound, it has been beaten long enough. If the mixture flattens out, beat
another 30 seconds and check again.
If the mixture is too stiff to spoon, beat in a few drops of hot water until
a softer consistency is reached.