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Nougats

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 large egg whites
Instructions

NOTE: This recipe requires a heavy free-standing mixer. Most hand mixers will burn out when thickening the egg white and hot syrup mixture to the consistency of marshmallow creme. Combine sugar, syrup, and water in heavy 3-quart saucepan; mix well. Cook over medium-high heat to boiling, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. This should take 5 to 7 minutes. Carefully clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, to soft-ball stage (238 degrees F). Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over the entire surface. (Watch closely; mixture reaches soft-ball stage in 5 to 6 minutes.) Remove from heat; remove thermometer from saucepan. Immediately beat egg whites in a large mixer bowl with sturdy, freestanding electric mixer (do NOT use a hand mixer) on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually pour hot syrup in thin stream over whites, beating on medium speed. Continue beating after all syrup is added until mixture reaches consistency of marshmallow creme, 5 to 7 minutes. Let stand at room temperature while preparing Part 2. (Or cover with foil or waxed paper and chill in refrigerator; mixture will keep several days.) Part 2: 3 cups sugar 3 cups light corn syrup 1/2 cup butter (NOT margarine), melted 3 cups blanched slivered almonds (12 ounces), toasted 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional) If the candy from Part 1 has been chilled in the refrigerator, let it stand at room temperature while preparing Part 2. Line two 8x8x2-inch baking pans with foil, extending foil over edges; butter the foil. Sprinkle with a small amount of cornstarch; set aside. Combine sugar and syrup in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture boils, about 10 minutes. Continue to cook without stirring until mixture reaches soft-crack stage (272 degrees F), 13 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place the candy from Part 1 in a lightly buttered 4-quart bowl. Pour the hot candy (Part 2) into bowl all at once. Mix with a heavy wooden spoon until blended. Thoroughly stir in melted butter and vanilla. Stir in nuts and salt. Quickly turn nougat mixture into prepared pans. Let stand several hours. Nougat batches may vary in firmness. If a little soft and sticky, chill a few minutes in the refrigerator before cutting. Use the foil extending over the edges to lift the candy out of the pan and onto a cutting board. With a buttered sharp knife, cut candy into four squares, then cut each square into 16 pieces, making 64 pieces in all. Immediately wrap in waxed paper. (If the candy is still a little sticky, rub the cut edges with a little cornstarch, dusting off the excess before wrapping.) Repeat with remaining pan. Store wrapped candy in a covered plastic container in a cool place or in refrigerator or freezer. Makes 128 pieces (4 1/2 to 5 pounds).

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