• Prep: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Total: 45 min
  • Serving: 36
My mother absolutely adored this confection, and we looked forward to it every year around the holidays. Best made on a dry day (sugar absorbs humidity, so candy has a difficult time setting up!) with an electric mixer strong enough to handle the thick, gooey mixture.


  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla (not imitation)
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/3 chopped candied cherries (optional)


  1. Line baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper.
  2. In heavy saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring to boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon without splashing side of pan. Boil for 3 minutes, then stop stirring.
  3. If using candy thermometer, carefully clip to side of pan so that bulb is submerged but not touching pan bottom. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, to 260F on candy thermometer (15 to 18 minutes)-- or when small drop of hot mixture dropped into very cold water can be shaped into soft ball that holds its shape when removed from water.
  4. Remove pan from heat and thermometer from saucepan. In large bowl, beat egg whites with clean electric beaters until stiff peaks form.
  5. Slowly drizzle hot syrup mixture over egg whites, beating on high for 3 minutes and scraping sides of bowl.
  6. Add vanilla. Continue beating on high until candy just starts to lose gloss and holds soft peaks (5 to 6 minutes), scraping side of bowl. Stir in nuts.
  7. Working quickly, drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed or parchment baking paper. If mixture is too stiff, add a few drops of very hot water and beat well until it softens.
  8. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.


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