---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.01
  
       Title: Basic Divinity
  Categories: Candies
       Yield: 6 servings
  
       2 c  White Sugar; Granulated             1 ts Vanilla Extract
     1/2 c  Light Corn Syrup                    1 c  Nuts; Chopped, OR
     1/2 c  Water                               1 c  Cherries; Chopped, OR
       1 pn Salt (1/8 tsp)                      1 c  Orange Peels; Chopped, Etc.
       2 ea Egg Whites; Lg                 
  
   ~------------------------------OPTIONALS ---------------------------------
   NOTE:  TO PREWARM A CANDY THERMOMETER, SIMPLE PLACE IT AN A SMALL SAUCE
   PAN OF COLD WATER AND BRING IT TO A BOIL.  LET IT SIMMER UNTIL YOU NEED
   THE THERMOMETER.
   STEP 1:  Prewarm the thermometer; separate the eggs allowing the whites to
   come to room temperature in a large bowl of an electric mixer.  (Return
   the egg yolks to the refrigerator covering with plastic wrap or water for
   another recipe.)  Fill a glass with ice cubes and water.  To make dropped
   divinities, you will need 2 cookie sheets, topped with greased wax paper.
   For squares, use a greased and wax paper-lined 8 X 8-inch pan.  Measure
   the sugar, corn syrup, ice water and salt and dump into a heavy 2-quart
   saucepan with a tight fitting lid.
   STEP 2:  Dissolve the sugar, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon over
   low heat.  Syrup will become clear, gritty sounds will cease, and the
   spoon will glide smoothly over the bottom of the pan.  Increase the heat
   to medium and bring to a boil.
   STEP 3:  (OPTIONAL):  Cover pan with a square of wax paper and lid,
   pushing down firmly.  Steam for 2 to 3 minutes to dissolve the sugar
   crystals.  (Listen to make sure the pot doesn't boil over.  To
   double-check, remove lid, leaving the wax paper in place.)
   STEP 4:  Wash down any crystals clinging to the sides with a brush dipped
   in hot water from the thermometer bath.  Introduce the prewarmed
   thermometer.  No need to stir.
   STEP 5:  Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry.  If your mixer is a
   heavy duty one, you can wait until the bubbles in the syrup become very
   large and airy before beating the egg whites.  Otherwise, do it now when
   the thermometer registers 240 Degrees F. (115.5 C.).
   STEP 6:  Test the syrup when the thermometer registers 246 degrees F. (119
   C.).  Continue testing until it reach the firm-ball stage, 246 to 260
   degrees F. (119 to 126.5 C.).  Syrup will be hard to scrape up in ice
   water.  It will have to be forced into a ball, but once formed, it should
   hold its shape but give under pressure.  Return the thermometer to the hot
   water bath to soak clean.
   STEP 7:  Dribble the syrup into the egg whites in a slow, steady stream,
   beating at slow speed.  Tilt the syrup pan to get the last drop but do not
   scrape the pan.  Once the syrup is completely incorporated, change to a
   flat whip if you have one.
   STEP 8:  Have patience and continue beating.  The amount of time you spend
   mixing depends on the power of your mixer.  If you have a heavy duty or
   commercial one, you can go to full speed and make the divinity in less
   than 5 minutes.  With less powerful ones, it can take up to 20 minutes.
   The important thing is to beat at the highest speed of your mixer.  Also
   if it is a hot and humid day, it will take longer also.
   STEP 9:  Test the divinity.  The first and most important test occurs when
   you lift the beaters.  If the candy falls back in ribbons that immediately
   merge back into the batter, it isn't done.  Eventually, a stationary
   column will form between the beaters and the bowl.  Candy will lose its
   sheen/gloss and stop being sticky; a teaspoonful dropped onto wax paper
   will hold its shape, even a peak.  If you machine is laboring and the
   candy is not quite there yet, you have two choices: Pour anyway and put
   into a frost free freezer to set up....or finish by hand.
   STEP 10:  Fold in the flavorings and nuts and/or other optional items
   using the mixer or if very thick, a wooden spoon.
   STEP 11:  Drop or spread the divinity either on wax paper-covered cookie
   sheets or the buttered pan.  Dripping it by teaspoon is harder work for
   you but it ripens quicker and is ready to eat sooner.  A neat trick is to
   put the candy into a pastry bag and pipe onto the wax paper.  If you
   spread it in the pan, you will have to wait up to 24 hours before it is
   ready.  But you maybe one of those that think it is better when it is 24
   hours old.  Score and cut into squares.  Store in an airtight container at
   room temperature or in a refrigerator.
   Makes 1 pound but looks like more.  Recipe CANNOT be doubled; it can be
   frozen but not for extended periods of time.
  
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