Black Walnut Divinity

Makes about 18 pieces.

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 large eggs whites, room temperature
Pinch of salt
1 cup black (or English) walnuts or
    pecans, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Generously grease a 12-inch plate. Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in a small pan and bring to a boil. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Continue boiling until syrup makes a firm ball (249 degrees F).

While syrup is cooking, beat the egg whites with the salt until they form soft peaks. When the syrup is the right temperature, pour about half of it into the whites, beating constantly. Return the remaining syrup to the heat and cook until it reaches the hard-ball stage — 260 degrees F.

Pour, in a steady stream, into the egg-white mixture, beating constantly. Continue to beat for a few minutes, then fold in the nuts and vanilla extract. Pour onto the prepared plate and allow to cool. Cut into squares while lukewarm.

When completely cool, wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap so that it will not harden.