Old Fashioned Divinity Candy

Divinity candy is a meringue-based, fluffy, chewy, smooth, swirled nougat-like confection that originated in the early 1900s (along with the invention of corn syrup).  It is so delicious, and until now, I hadn’t had much luck making it. 

Grandma’s go-to recipe since she was 18 years old

The ingredients are simple.  And actually so are the instructions.  But there are two key steps that if not done right, the candy will be a failure. 

First, we placed two room-temperature egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer, along with a few shakes of cream of tarter for stabilization. 

We beat them on high for a minute or so, just until peaks started to form.  Once peaks formed, we turned the mixer off.

Meanwhile, we added the sugar, corn syrup, salt, water to a medium saucepan and brought to a simmer over medium-high heat.

To avoid crystallization of the sugar, instead of stirring we’d occasionally swirl the pan. 

After about 8-10 minutes had passed, Grandma started checking for the “hard-ball” stage. (She doesn’t use a thermometer!)

To ensure the hard-ball stage had been reached, using a clean spoon we dropped a little of the hot syrup into a glass of tap water.  When we heard a noticeable “crack” sound, we thought it was done.  To confirm this, the cooled syrup in the water broke with a snap when bent between our fingers.    

This is critical step #1: be sure you reach “hard-ball” stage!  If using a thermometer, this should be between 250-266 deg F.

With our syrup now ready, we turned the egg whites back on high and started slowly drizzling the hot syrup into them.  We also added the vanilla here.

Critical step #2: beat the candy until the high gloss turns matte.  This can take a long time, so be patient!

Still glossy – it’s not done yet!

We beat this mixture on high for probably 10-15 minutes. I should have timed it…

Still shiny… not done yet

Watch closely and listen for the machine to hum differently when the more opaque-matte finish has been reached. 

Now it’s matte; done and ready for mix-ins!

Now it’s ready for your mix-ins (if desired).  We added chopped pecans to one batch, dried cherries to another, and dried flaked coconut to yet another.  🙂  

Chopped pecans were added to our first batch

Working quickly, and using several clean spoons, we dropped the candy onto wax paper in bite-size dollops.  (If it gets too stiff to drop during this time, you can add a few drops of hot water to the bowl of candy to loosen it up.)

We allowed it to dry on the countertop for about 10-15 minutes before sampling.  It should be dry to the touch and melt in your mouth.

Our Divinity candy with pecans

Now go dust off your electric mixer and share these sweet treats with your friends & family! 


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