Divinity is a soft white candy filled with pecans.
There is hardly a holiday season where I don’t make several batches of divinity candy. Have you ever made it? No one really knows how “divinity” got its name. The most popular theory is simply that when first tasted, someone declared it to be, “Divine!” and the name stuck. Divinity has at times been referred to as a “Southern candy”, most likely because of the frequent use of pecans in the recipe.
- white sugar
- corn syrup
- egg whites
- unsalted butter
- vanilla extract
How to make Divinity:
The complete, printable recipe is at the end of this post.
How do you store divinity?
Let the candy cool to room temperature then place them in an airtight container. I prefer to keep them at room temperature to help them keep their yummy texture. On the counter, these candies will be good for up to one week (or 7 days).
Here are a few tricks to make divinity the best treat every single time:
- Make sure you add the hot syrup in one long, slow pour.
- if you can, freeze the chopped pecans beforehand so it adds that extra crunch
- I prefer to spoon the mixture onto wax paper over parchment paper so that it doesn’t stick as much, but either will work in a pinch
- If you can’t use corn syrup, try using sugar syrup with a dash of vanilla extract
- Make sure you are scraping the sides of the bowl when mixing the large egg whites
- Before adding ingredients to the pan, drop a few drops of hot water onto the large saucepan. For best results, the water should move around like it’s dancing.
- Try to use a heavy-bottomed saucepan for this recipe, since you are cooking a hot mixture that needs to get fairly hot once the sugar dissolves.
- It’s best to make divinity on a dry, clear day. The texture of divinity can be affected by moisture in the air.
This recipe is so simple, yet can present some questions. Here are the most commonly asked questions that I get when I am talking about the process to make your own divinity candy.
What are stiff peaks?
Stiff peaks occur when you whip egg whites using the whisk attachment of your electric mixer (a hand mixer would work just as well). Whip it on medium speed until it becomes the texture of whipped cream and when you hold the whisk upside down, there will be a thin stream of thick cream. Make sure you properly secure the bowl of your stand mixer before beginning- this will prevent a lot of mess later on!
What is the hard ball stage?
In a medium saucepan, you will cook one cup water, corn syrup, sugar, and salt over medium heat until it hits 150 degrees F. Use a candy thermometer to make sure you get it to the right temperature.
What are the best toppings to add to divinity candy?
If you want to add a unique twist to your divinity candy, sprinkle one of these toppings onto your candy as soon as you drop it onto the tray. That way, the topping has time to attach before the candy cools and hardens.
- crushed up candy canes
- sprinkle of brown sugar
- miniature chocolate chips
- melted chocolate drizzled over top with a piping bag
Favorite Candy Recipes:
- 4 cups granulated white sugar
- 1 cup white corn syrup
- 1 cup water
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg whites
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups pecans, chopped and frozen
- In a heavy saucepan, mix the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt. Cook to the hard ball stage using a candy thermometer. (250 to 266°F. The syrup holds its ball shape and deforms only slightly with very firm pressure, but remains sticky).
- Remove the pan from heat and let it sit while you beat the egg whites very stiff and dry with an electric mixer. Beat at medium speed while pouring the hot syrup into the egg whites. The mixture must be poured slowly in a very fine stream. Continue beating and add the butter and vanilla. Beat until the candy will hold its shape, and then add the frozen pecans.
- Spoon a little of the mixture onto wax paper to see if it will hold its shape. If it doesn't, continue to beat by hand until it will drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.
- Let it harden and store in an airtight container.