Pep­per­mint Divin­ity,

Southern Living (USA) - - Contents -

Divin­ity re­quires ad­vance plan­ning and dry, sunny weather to turn out well. Once made, the con­fec­tions hold nicely for up to a week, so check the fore­cast and choose your “divin­ity day.”

AC­TIVE 30 MIN. - TO­TAL 1 HOUR, 40 MIN.

| MAKES ABOUT 24 CANDIES|

2 cups gran­u­lated sugar

12 ⁄ cup light corn syrup

14 ⁄ cup wa­ter

14 ⁄ tsp. kosher salt

2 large egg whites, at room

tem­per­a­ture

1 tsp. pure vanilla ex­tract 34 ⁄ cup finely chopped hard pep­per­mint

candies or candy canes, di­vided 1. Stir to­gether sugar, corn syrup, wa­ter, and salt in a heavy, 2-quart saucepan; at­tach a candy ther­mome­ter to side of pan. Place pan over medium-high, and cook, gen­tly stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally with a wooden spoon, un­til sugar dis­solves and mix­ture boils. Once sugar syrup is clear and thick­ened, cook, undis­turbed, un­til ther­mome­ter reaches 255°F (hard-ball stage), about

6 to 8 min­utes. Re­move from heat.

2. Place egg whites in bowl of a stand mixer fit­ted with a whisk at­tach­ment. Beat egg whites on medium speed un­til foamy. In­crease speed to high, and beat un­til egg whites are thick and stiff and able to hold a soft peak.

3. With mixer run­ning on low speed, care­fully pour hot syrup down side of bowl into beaten egg whites, pour­ing slowly and steadily. Use only the syrup that pours eas­ily out of pan into bowl (no need to scrape pan). (Ex­pect steam and the aroma of egg whites cook­ing in the syrup’s heat.)

4. In­crease speed to high, and con­tinue beat­ing un­til syrup is well in­cor­po­rated into egg whites. Stop just long enough to scrape down sides of bowl, and add vanilla. Con­tinue beat­ing on high speed un­til the mix­ture be­gins to lose its gloss and shine and is thick enough to hold its shape rather than pool into a pud­dle, 6 to 10 min­utes. 5. Add 1⁄2 cup chopped pep­per­mint candy, and beat on medium speed just un­til evenly com­bined. Re­move bowl from mixer, and use 2 spoons to quickly scoop out small balls of candy (about 1 ta­ble­spoon each), plac­ing them on pre­pared bak­ing sheets; don’t al­low candies to touch. 6. Gar­nish candies quickly with re­main­ing 1⁄4 cup chopped pep­per­mint. Let divin­ity cool, undis­turbed, un­til set with a matte fin­ish, 1 to 2 hours.

7. Care­fully trans­fer candies to an air­tight con­tainer or candy tin, plac­ing parch­ment pa­per or wax pa­per be­tween lay­ers and han­dling candies gen­tly.

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