My Aunt Ruth was a nurse who never married or adopted any kids, but really enjoyed being around them. Ruth had a wacky sense of humor (she eventually became a professional clown) and was notoriously late to dinner parties. We kids were always glad when she showed up, late or not, because she was the life of the party, bringing presents, sweets and a ready ear for any corny jokes we could conjure. The first time I tasted melt-in-my-mouth divinity, it came with Ruth.
Makes 3 dozen pieces
- 3 cups brown sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- On stove top, place sugar and water over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Heat to boiling and cook without stirring to 255 degrees, hard ball stage. Periodically, wipe any accumulated crystals from sides of pan by wrapping a damp dishtowel around the tines of a fork.
- While waiting for the sugar to heat to temperature, whip egg whites to stiff peaks with salt in bowl of electric mixer.
- Once sugar reaches 255 degrees, pour syrup in a thin stream over stiff-beaten egg whites and salt, in mixer bowl. Continue beating as syrup is added, and afterward until the mixture thickens and will hold shape. Add vanilla. Mix in nuts.
- Drop teaspoonfuls of candy onto waxed paper sheets and let set for several hours until hard.