Makes 48 pieces. Recipe, provided by Corinne Cook, is from the late Daisy Gardiner.
3 cups sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup cold water
2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (or as many as you like)
1. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, stir sugar, corn syrup and water together until mixture comes to a boil and sugar is dissolved. At that point clip the candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan, making sure the bulb does not rest on the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture reaches 235 degrees on candy thermometer.
2. Meanwhile, with standing electric mixer (not a hand mixer), begin beating egg whites until stiff peaks form. When syrup reaches desired temperature (235 degrees), continue beating while slowly pouring HALF of the syrup into the beaten egg whites. Pour only a thin stream at a time. Syrup will not blend if you add the syrup too fast.
3. Place remaining half of the syrup mixture back on the heat and cook until it gets to 275 degrees. At this point the syrup, when dropped in a glass of cold water, forms a hard ball and will make a cracking sound when it hits the side of the glass. Gradually add remainder of syrup to egg mixture while continuing to beat.
4. Add vanilla and beat until mixture is thickened and just begins to lose its gloss. At that point stop beating and quickly add nuts. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper or parchment paper.
5. If mixture gets too thick before you finish spooning it out, you can add a few drops of hot water to thin it.