Two of my favorite cookbooks are The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook and The Lady and Sons Just Desserts. I have made quite a few things from both. Two of my favorites are her Gooey Butter Cakes (pumpkin being my favorite flavor) and Shrimp Gumbo Casserole. I've also made a few of her candy recipes. Last year I made Mama's Divinity and this year I'm going to try Pralines.
4 cups sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
3/4 cup cold water
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 cups chopped pecans
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stir only until sugar has dissolved. Do not stir after this point. Cook syrup mixture until it reaches 250 degrees F on a candy thermometer, bringing it to a hard ball stage.
While the syrup is cooking, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Once the sugar mixture reaches 250 degrees F, carefully pour a slow steady stream of syrup into the stiffly beaten egg whites, beating constantly at high speed. Add the vanilla and continue to beat until mixture holds its shape, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in pecans.
Using 2 spoons, drop the divinity onto waxed paper, using 1 spoon to push the candy off the other. This may take a little practice because the technique is to twirl the pushing spoon, making the candy look like the top of a soft serve ice cream. If the candy becomes too stiff, add a few drops of hot water. You will need to work fast when making this type of candy. After you spoon the cooked sugar and nuts onto the waxed paper, you're done. Cool the candies on racks completely. You can store them in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
Butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Place the sugar, salt, and corn syrup, milk, and butter in saucepan. Over medium heat, stir mixture constantly with a wooden spoon until sugars have dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Continue to cook to a soft ball stage, approximately 236 degrees F on a candy thermometer. If you do a cold water test, the ball of candy will flatten when you take it out of the water. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Add the vanilla and nuts, and beat with a spoon by hand for approximately 2 minutes or until candy is slightly thick and begins to lose its gloss. Quickly drop heaping tablespoons onto waxed paper. If the candy becomes stiff, add a few drops of hot water.