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Italian Nougat

Ingredients
  • 1 cup blanched hazelnuts
  • 2 (4 1/2 oz) pkgs blanched whole almonds
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup fresh honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F. degrees. Spread hazelnuts and almonds on cookie sheet. Toast in oven 10 minutes, until golden. In heavy, straight-side, 3-quart saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, honey, salt, and 1/4 cup water. Stir over medium heat, until sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking, without stirring, to 252F. on candy thermometer, or until a small amount in cold water forms a hard ball. Meanwhile, in large bowl of electric mixer, at high speed, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. In thin stream, pour about 1/4 of hot syrup over egg whites, beating constantly, at high speed, 5 minutes until mixture is stiff enough to hold its shape. Cook rest of syrup to 315-318F. on candy thermometer, or until a small amount in cold water forms brittle threads. In thin stream, pour hot syrup over meringue, beating constantly, at high speed, until stiff enough to hold its shape. Add vanilla and butter, beating until thickened again--about 5 minutes. With wooden spoon stir in toasted nuts. Turn mixture into buttered 11x7x1-1/4 inch pan. Smooth top with a spatula. Refrigerate until firm. Loosen edge of candy all around, turn out in large block. With sharp knife, cut into 1-1/2x1-inch pieces. Wrap each in waxed paper. Refrigerate. Yield: Makes 2-1/2 pounds

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