Just a few ingredients create this fun holiday candy in any color you want!
Every Christmas both Mom and Gram’s recipe to make what they called Divinity Sea Foam. Our house and Gram’s farmhouse were usually a flurry of activity days before the holiday, with everyone making gifts, candy and food for the big family celebration. Sometimes I would stay with Gram on the farm and help her make her Christmas treats.
My other Gram, who lived in an apartment in town during the winter, away from her farm, would come stay with us for many days before Christmas to help out with the exciting preparations, including making divinity candy. It was always fun to have Gram stay with us, what with her giggling and fun ways to prepare food in our little kitchen. She did things differently, and I remember Mom just let her do it her way. Mom always said it was easier that way. I think Gram happily agreed.
Some people just call it Divinity. Some call it seafoam. Whatever you call it, it was a tradition at our house as little child. Gram usually left hers white with some nutmeats stirred in it. Mom would color some red, some green and leave some white for the season.
As a small child it was fun to watch them turn sugar and syrup into a delightful easy to eat candy. Gram made it on her woodstove top while Mom made it on her electric stove where it was much easier to control the temperature. Once the candy was hot enough and had turned snow white, they would work fast to drop the candy on waxed paper. In the end, they had nice little rows of colorful ping pong ball sized candies which would be saved in waxed paper lined tins in the attic where it was cooler. According to Mom it was not good to save it in a warm house because it could get sticky and gooey. As with many other candies, the homemade version of Divinity tastes so better than the purchased. It has much better flavor and texture.
Divinity makes for great gifts, especially since not too many people make their own. They are pretty to wrap in a cute gift box, or even boxes with clear windows. Line the box with parchment paper or some pretty non-stick holiday wrapping paper and layer the candy with paper in between so they don’t stick together.
Gram’s delicious recipe is one that you won’t want to double because of the speed with which you need to work in order to get the candy dropped on the waxed paper before it stiffens. I remember one year Mom made a double batch once and wasn’t able to get all the candy dropped before the rest in the pan got too stiff to work with. I don’t remember what she did, but I’m sure she reheated it or did something to make it edible since she was not about to waste any sugar or corn syrup.
It’s also a recipe that you probably don’t want to make in the summer. “The weather is much too hot and humid,” Gram said, “The candy will never set.” That means it’ll stay gooey and sticky. This is Gram’s recipe, but I have added notes below regarding how I make it just a little different.
Prepare your pans:
Use a medium sauce pan for cooking the sugars.
Use two waxed paper or parchment paper lined cookie sheets to drop the hot candies on.
2 C Sugar
½ C Corn syrup
2 Eggs, whites only
1/8 t Salt
1 t Vanilla extract (I use almond extract)
Single drops of food coloring
1 C Nutmeats, rough chopped (optional – I use Pecans)
Sprinkles of colorful seasonal jimmies (optional)
Cook and drop the candy:
- Place the sugar, corn syrup and water in the saucepan over medium heat and cook until the sugar dissolves.
- In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff.
- Add the salt and stir well.
- Slowly drizzle the warm sugar mixture into the egg whites and beat until stiff.
- If you are coloring your candy more than one color, now is the time to quickly divide the candy into a couple bowls in which to add a drop or two of food coloring - each one a different color. Otherwise, leave the candy white or add one color to the entire bowl. But, stir it in quickly.
- Quickly stir in the vanilla extract and the nuts.
- Quickly drop spoon sized dollops on the waxed paper lined cookie sheets.
- Let cool before eating.
- I don’t put stir in any nuts, but I place a pecan half on top of the candies while they are still warm. Place them flat or stick them in so they look like they are popping out the top. Other nuts work well with this candy, too – walnuts, almonds, slivered almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, etc.
- Before the candies dry, sprinkle them with colored jimmies, mini chocolate chips or other candies you like.
- Turn them into candy bar holders by sticking a half of a mini candy bar (like an Andes Mint for a different flavor) of your choice on top before the divinity candies stiffen.
Storage for enjoy these treats later:
- Store these sugar treats in tins in a cool, dry spot. I’m not sure there are any better ways to store these treats, but I remember we usually stored them in the unheated attic where it was much cooler in the winter. Mom always kept them in a single layer since putting them on top of each other could mash them down, even it you place parchment paper between the layers.
Enjoy Gram’s Divine Divinity and “Bake your own Memories!”