Monday, December 17, 2007

(4th Attempt to post) Recipe--divinity

Anyone else having trouble with AOL today?  I'll try posting this entry again, thank goodness I saw AOL was being funky this morning and copied my original post.

Good Morning!  Just 7 days until Christmas Eve!  Weeeeeee!  Ohmahgosh...can you remember how exciting this time of year was when you were a child?  The anticipation was nearly overwhelming.  Did anyone else shake packages to see if they could figure out what was inside?  I so remember being able to tell the difference between the quiet and heavy shake of clothes (which was "blah, boring" as a child but is so great nowadays, lol) and the rattle of toys or other goodies.

I remember the year that my older brother came and told me he had found the stash of Christmas presents my parents were hiding.  Hmm, did I want to go and check it out?  It would so ruin the surprise, but then again...well, I was just a kid.  LOL 

I loved everything about being a kid at Christmas time.  The anticipation, seeing distant family members, the preparations (which weren't nearly what they are as an adult), the Church services, especially the mid-night service.  After mid-night Church service we would come home and be allowed to open one gift from Mom and Dad (Santa had been there of course, he had probably been at Church too). 

It took us kids a couple of years to figure out that every year that Christmas eve gift was always the same thing.  It was always our Christmas pajama's.  LOL  I think it was my older brother that finally put it all together.  Then we would start begging to open just one more.  LOL

On Christmas morning whoever woke up first would go look in the living room and then come and wake up the others.  Then the 3 of us would go to wake up Mom and Dad.  When we got to a certain age...I think it was after my older brother learned how to cook scrambled eggs...my parent pulled this "Oh, we are so hungry.  Your going to have to make us breakfast in bed first." 

Ugh!  Didn't they realize that there was much more important things to do on this morning?  LOL  That was probably the fastest cooked breakfast they were ever served.  I wonder how many times they ate eggs that weren't thoroughly cooked?

Okay, enough of my Christmas stories from my childhood, or as my kids would say "the olden days". 

I remember my mom always had some divinity around at Christmas.  I tried to make it once and it didn't go very well.  I'm going to give it a try again this year though.  I just have to decide which recipe to try.

Basic Divinity --From the Better Homes & Gardens site
about 40 pieces
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
 
Ingredients
2-1/2  cups sugar
1/2  cup light-colored corn syrup
1/2  cup water
2  egg whites
1  teaspoon vanilla
1  or 2 drops food coloring (optional)
1/2  cup chopped candied fruit or nuts
Directions
1. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Reduce heat to medium; continue cooking, without stirring, until the thermometer registers 260 degree F, hard-ball stage (10 to 15 minutes).
2. Remove pan from heat; remove thermometer. In a large mixing bowl beat egg whites with a freestanding electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Gradually pour hot mixture in a thin stream over whites, beating on high speed about 3 minutes; scrape sides of bowl occasionally. Add vanilla and, if desired, food coloring. Continue beating on high just until candy starts to lose its gloss (5 to 6 minutes). When beaters are lifted, mixture should fall in a ribbon that mounds on itself.
3. Drop a spoonful of candy mixture onto waxed paper. If it stays mounded, the mixture has been beaten sufficiently. If mixture flattens, beat 1/2 to 1 minute more; check again. If mixture is too stiff to spoon, beat in a few drops hot water till candy is a softer consistency. Immediately stir in fruit or nuts. Quickly drop remaining mixture onto waxed paper. Store tightly covered. Makes about 40 pieces.
 
Chocolate Mint Divinity--From the Better Homes & Gardens site
81 pieces Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
 View Nutrition Facts Ingredients
2  7-ounce bars milk chocolate
2-1/2  cups sugar
1/2  cup light-colored corn syrup
1/2  cup water
2  egg whites
2  squares (2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2  teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4  cup crushed peppermint candies
 
Directions
1. Line a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter foil; line with chocolate bars. Set pan aside.
2. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook over medium-high heat to boiling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugar. This should take 5 to 7 minutes. Avoid splashing mixture on sides of pan. Carefully clip candy thermometer to pan. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, to 260 degree F, hard-ball stage. Mixture should boil at moderate, steady rate over entire surface. Reaching hard-ball stage should take about 15 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat; remove thermometer. In a large mixer bowl, immediately beat egg whites with a sturdy, freestanding electric mixer until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).
4. Gradually pour hot mixture in a thin stream (slightly less than 1/8inch diameter) over egg whites, beating on high speed and scraping bowl occasionally. This should take about 3 minutes. (Add mixture slowly to ensure proper blending.) Add unsweetened chocolate and peppermint extract. Continue beating on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally, just until candy starts to lose its gloss. When beaters are lifted, mixture should fall in a ribbon, but mound on itself and not disappear into remaining mixture. Final beating should take 5 to 6 minutes.
5. Immediately spread over chocolate bars in prepared pan. Sprinkle with crushed candies. When firm, lift out of pan; cut into 1-inch squares. Store tightly covered. Makes 81 pieces.
 
Make-Ahead Tip: Up to 3 days ahead prepare divinity. Store at room temperature in a tightly covered container.
 
Spumoni Divinity--From the Better Homes & Gardens site
60 pieces Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes 
 Ingredients
2-1/2  cups sugar
1/2  cup light-colored corn syrup
1/2  cup water
2  egg whites
1/2  teaspoon rum flavoring
1/4  cup finely chopped red candied cherries
1/4  cup finely chopped pistachios or almonds
3  or 4 drops green food coloring
 
Directions
1. Line a 10x6x2-inch baking dish with foil, extending foil over edges of dish. Butter the foil; set dish aside.
2. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan combine sugar, light corn syrup, and water. Cook over medium-high heat to boiling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugar. This should take 5 to 7 minutes. Avoid splashing mixture on sides of pan. Carefully clip candy thermometer to side of pan.
3. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until thermometer registers 260 degree F, hard-ball stage should take about 15 minutes.
4. Remove saucepan from heat; remove candy thermometer from saucepan. In a large mixer bowl, immediately begin to beat egg whites with a sturdy, freestanding electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).
5. Gradually pour hot mixture in a thin stream (slightly less than 1/8-inch diameter) over egg whites, beating with an electric mixer on high speed and scraping sides of bowl occasionally. This should take about 3 minutes. (Add mixture slowly to ensure proper blending.)
6. Add rum flavoring. Continue beating with electric mixer on high speed, scraping sides of bowl occasionally, just until candy starts to lose its gloss. When beaters are lifted, mixture should fall in a ribbon, but mound on itself and not disappear into remaining mixture. Final beating should take 5 to 6 minutes.
7. Immediately spread one-third of the candy into the prepared dish. Sprinkle with the chopped candied cherries. Quickly stir finely chopped pistachios or almonds and food coloring into the remaining candy. Immediately spread over cherry layer in baking dish. When candy is firm, use foil to lift it out of dish; cut into 1-inch squares. Store tightly covered. Makes 60 pieces.
 
Make-Ahead Tip: Up to 3 days ahead prepare divinity. Store at room temperature in a tightly covered container.
 
EASY DIVINITY--I don't remember where I got this recipe
Makes 24
 
1 small box commercial white frosting mix
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound box confectioners sugar
1 cup pecan pieces
 
Boil water. Mix in dry frosting mix, corn syrup and vanilla in water. Beat mixture on highest mixer speed for about 5 minutes. (When ready, the mixture forms stiff peaks.) Gradually stir in sugar while mixing on low speed. Blend in pecans. Spoon the mixture by teaspoon onto a cookie tin lined with waxed paper. Allow to sit uncovered. Once the mixture feels firm to touch, turn over, cover tin and allow to stand overnight

Hm, the Spumoni recipe is sounding pretty good.  Depending on how much time I have I may make that one.  It time is limited I'll have to do the Easy recipe.  Although...I bet I could do the Easy one and make it spumoni...hmm, theres an idea.

Well, I have lots to do today.  Another batch of cookies, a few errands, some laundry and the usual house cleaning and whatnot.  Plus I'm not sure what the roads are like at this point.  We got quite a bit of snow this past weekend.  I wouldn't go out if I didn't absolutely have to.  Yikes!  And there sits my pile of Christmas cards on the back corner of my desk!  Oops!  I guess I'll also be running by the post office.

Have a beautiful day!
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1 comment:

ladymagnolia1963 said...

Hi Jill Ü,

Thank you for sharing your wonderful childhood memories of Christmas. My sisters and I had some wonderful Christmas's too Ü.

But I needed to read your journal today to cheer me up Ü. As I have been feeling so depressed lately and just cannot get into the Christmas spirit.

The recipes for Divinity sounds divine Ü. I have never made it before, but maybe this weekend hubby and I can try and make some. I know your batch is going to turn out perfect Ü.

HUGS~Donna