Fluffy, creamy, and rich as sin, divinity fudge (or simply “divinity” in some states) is one of the South’s most distinctive candies and a staple at formal Christmas dinner buffets and cocktail parties. The basic recipe rarely varies from state to state, though I have had divinity fudge that included chocolate, coconut, and any number of flavorings. Traditionally, it is made with only granulated sugar, but I personally prefer a blend of granulated and light brown sugar for added depth and flavor. It’s said that one test of a good Southern cook is his or her ability to turn out perfect divinity, and, yes, the technique can be a bit tricky till you get the hang of it.
In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer till stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, combine the two sugars, water, corn syrup, and salt and bring to a boil, stirring till the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to moderately low and continue cooking till the syrup reaches 255°F on a candy thermometer, or till it spins a long thread when dribbled from a fork or spoon. Remove immediately from the heat and pour in a slow stream over the egg whites, beating constantly with an electric mixer on high speed. Add the vanilla and continue beating till the fudge begins to thicken and hold its shape.
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