Divinity cookies are a classic, timeless, easy recipe for the Christmas season! If you’ve got egg whites and you’re not sure how to use them up, whip up a batch of these delightful no-bake cookies and watch your friends and family swoon.
About the Recipe
Divinity cookies are a traditional and popular Christmas candy recipe in the United States, and a family favorite, especially for the holiday season. And because they’re no bake cookies, you can make them even if you’ve got other cookies in the oven.
Also commonly known as divinity candy, this classic old-fashioned sweet confection has stood the test of time. I’ve loved divinity since I was a kid, when my grandma made divinity squares for Christmas. I looked forward to devouring them every year!
This sweet treat can be described as a type of meringue cookie. It has a very light and airy texture that just melts in your mouth. The unique texture is achieved by whipping all of the ingredients into stiff peaks to create a meringue-like batter.
These delightful cookies have a sweet taste that’s not too overpowering with a slight hint of vanilla.There are different ways you can alter this vintage recipe to your taste.
The best way is to add chopped nuts. I like crunchy pecans or tender chopped walnuts the best but you can experiment with other chopped nuts (tip: for a deeper flavor, toast the nuts in the oven before using them in this recipe). Not only is it a fun way to decorate your cookies, chopped nuts add texture and different flavors, depending on which ones you use.
Mini chocolate chips would be good addition for chocoholics. You can also swap out the vanilla extract for another flavor.
This divinity candy recipe is easy to follow and uses very simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry like sugar, corn syrup, egg whites, and pure vanilla extract.
Making this divinity recipe is not just about enjoying homemade candy, but also participating in a fun tradition to with loved ones during Christmas time. Not only are these cookies the perfect addition to any holiday dessert platter, if you pack them in cute holiday boxes they make delicious and thoughtful gifts.
What You Need to Make Divinity Cookies
- white sugar
- corn syrup
- egg whites
- vanilla extract
- chopped pecans
- pecan halves
*Humidity will effect the results of these cookies. If you live in a highly humid area or if it’s a very rainy day, decrease water by 1 tablespoon.
- Candy thermometer (I use one like this one)
- Stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer (this one is my favorite)
- Baking pan
- Parchment paper or silicone baking mat (I use this one)
How to Make Divinity Cookies
Then add water, corn syrup, and sugar in a saucepan. Mix to combine and set over medium heat.
Use a good candy thermometer to monitor the temperature and keep stirring until the mixture just starts to boil. When it starts to boil, stop stirring. Leave the mixture to boil and do not stir it again but do keep an eye on the thermometer because the mixture should only heat to about 250F (see more below).
In the meantime, whip egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer at medium to high speed until they form stiff peaks. Set them aside until the syrup mixture is prepared.
Apply nonstick spray to two spoons. Set aside.
When the syrup mixture hits 250 F degrees or reaches the hard ball stage, take it off the heat source.
Switch on your mixer with the whipped egg whites and set to medium speed.
Very slowly and carefully, pour the hot syrup into the beaten egg whites in a steady stream. It should take about 5 minutes to pour, so don’t rush it! Make sure the mixer is on while you pour. Don’t stop or start the mixer.
After pouring all of the hot sugar mixture into the whipped egg whites, and making sure it’s well combined, add the vanilla extract. Then increase the speed to medium/high. Continue beating until the mixture loses its shine and the bowl is no longer hot to the touch.
Take the bowl off the stand mixer and add the chopped pecans. Gently fold them into the mixture.
Take a spoonful of the mixture and use the other spoon to transfer and drop little mounds onto the prepared pan. Repeat until you’ve portioned out the entire mixture. You might need to reapply nonstick spray to the spoons.
Add a pecan half on top of each mound and press into place.
Let your batch of divinity cookies sit for approximately 30 minutes to firm up. Enjoy!
How to Store Divinity Cookies
Store cookies in an airtight container lined with wax or parchment paper. Use wax or parchment paper between layers of cookies to keep them from sticking to each other. You can store cookies at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Tips & Variations
- Humidity: Make sure your kitchen is at the right temperature because humidity can affect the results. If it’s a rainy day or a particularly humid day, decrease water by 1 tablespoon for the best results.
- Egg yolk: Make sure there are no egg yolks in the whites. Otherwise they won’t whip up properly.
- Storage: These cookies should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Use wax or parchment paper to keep cookies from sticking to each other or the container.
- Nuts: Experiment with different nuts like walnuts, almonds, or pistachios for varied flavors. For more flavor, roast nuts in the oven at 350F for 5-8 minutes. Let cool before using them in the recipe.
- Chocolate: If nuts aren’t your thing, you can add chocolate chips instead (mini or regular). Once cooled, you can also try dipping them in melted chocolate for an extra layer of sweetness.
- Extracts: Aside from vanilla extract, you can add or substitute for other flavors like almond, mint, orange, etc.
Divinity Cookies FAQ
What is divinity candy made of?
Divinity is a meringue-based candy made of egg whites, corn syrup, and sugar.
What’s the difference between meringue and divinity?
Meringue is typically made by whipping egg whites with sugar. Divinity incorporates a hot sugar syrup into the stiff egg whites.
Why did my divinity go flat?
If your divinity went flat, it could be for different reasons such as not whipping the egg whites enough, adding the hot syrup too quickly, making divinity on a humid or rainy day or having egg yolk in the egg whites.
Make sure you whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Take your time to add the syrup gradually. If it’s because of the humidity, consider making them a drier day to achieve the desired fluffy texture.