Sweets Week: Retro Raspberry Divinity & a sweet little giveaway for bakers

Divinity - Pans & Cups

That’s right, folks – this ain’t no modern homemade marshmallow trend. We’re kickin’ it old school with divinity, baby! This raspberry version is sure to soothe your savage sugar craving. It’s retro. It’s fluffy. And it’s pretty in pink.

Valentines’ Day may be for lovers, but let’s not forget that it’s also an excuse to celebrate SUGAR. Candy, chocolates, cupcakes, creme brulee… you name it, we’ll eat it. So join my blogging friends and I as we stop lookin’ for love in all the wrong places and start rummaging through the pantry for something sweet.

It’s Sweets Week, and we’re celebrating with sweets for your sweetie pies.

When I was a kid, my mother made divinity every Christmas. I remember little balls of white fluffy confection laced with chopped pecans like it was yesterday. While most kids were getting their divinity fix from a Stuckey’s Pecan Log, our Mom was shaming other mothers by making it at home. Mom rocked the 70’s.

The Pecan Log from Stuckey's - a blast from some poor kid's past. Photo via http://brucemctague.com/pecan-logs

The Pecan Log from Stuckey’s – a blast from some poor kid’s past. Photo credit to http://brucemctague.com/pecan-logs

But this ain’t my Mama’s divinity. This version is cooler. It’s hipper. And did I mention it’s PINK? That hue is due to yet another childhood favorite – Jello. That’s right. Good old-fashioned Jello. Raspberry to be exact, although I’ve also made this with cherry and I’m pretty sure it would rock in blackberry, too.

Here’s what you’ll need:
3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup light (clear) corn syrup
3/4 cup water
3 egg whites
1 small (3-oz.) pkg. Jello (raspberry is shown)
3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Start by lightly oiling an 11″ x 7″ pan, or you can use 4 miniature loaf pans like me. I sprayed them with regular Pam cooking spray, then wiped them gently with a paper towel so they were lightly oiled.

Next, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a medium or large saucepan (you’ll need 4-5″ of headroom, because this will come to a furious boil and rise in the pan). Set it over medium-high heat and whisk it occasionally until it reaches 260F on a candy thermometer.

Divinity - Boiling the Syrup

When the sugar syrup reaches around 200F, start your egg whites. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip your egg whites until soft peaks begin to form.

Divinity - Whipping Egg Whites

Lower the speed and sprinkle in the Jello powder, whisking until combined.

Divinity - Adding Jello to Egg Whites

Turn the speed up to high and continue to beat until the Jello powder is incorporated and the egg whites hold their peaks.

Divinity - Egg Whites & Jello

Once the syrup mixture reaches 260F, turn the mixer to medium-low and slowly pour a thin stream of syrup into the egg whites until all of the syrup has gradually been added. DO NOT STOP THE MIXER WHILE ADDING THE HOT SYRUP MIXTURE OR YOU WILL SCRAMBLE YOUR EGG WHITES! Sorry for the drama, but it’s a divinity no-no to stop the mixer & scramble the eggs.

Divinity - Whipping in the Syrup

Once all of the syrup has been added, turn the mixer up to high and let it run for 6-8 minutes, or until the candy mixture begins to get very thick. I just set the timer and went for the full 8 minutes. Better safe than sorry, I always say.

Divinity - Ready to Spread

Turn off the mixer and remove the beater. At this point, the divinity will be thick and glossy. Using a spatula, fold in the pecans and vanilla extract by hand.

Divinity - Stir in Nuts & Vanilla

Pour the candy mixture into the prepared pan(s) and smooth evenly. If yours sets up as quickly as mine did, you may need to lightly spray your spatula or hands with additional cooking spray to keep the candy from sticking to it.

Now the hard part – set your pan(s) on a kitchen towel somewhere out of the way and let it sit for at least 6-8 hours to completely firm up. I put mine on our formal dining room table because we haven’t used it for a meal since 1992.

Once it’s set, cut into 1″ squares with a lightly oiled knife; a serrated bread knife works best. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Divinity - Final Cut

Fun Facts About Divinity:
1. Humidity and Divinity are not friends; they do not play well together.
2. Divinity should never be refrigerated; apparently it doesn’t like cold, either.
3. Most candy, divinity included, should not be made on a rainy day (see #1).
4. Unless they are ‘of a certain age’ your friends may not recognize divinity.
5. Just tell those friends you made ‘marshmallows with nuts’ – it’s simpler.

Recipe Credit: This appeared in Womans Day Magazine when Ronald Reagan was president. I tore it out & saved it when I was but a wee child. {cough}

Now on to the giveaway! One lucky reader will win the following baking booty in honor of Sweets Week:

Sweets Week Giveaway Bar - Vertical

This prize package includes: one copy of the Good Housekeeping Best Loved Desserts cookbook with more than 250 glorious recipes, two adorable ceramic mini-crocks in cherry red, two packages of treat wrappers by Martha Stewart, my favorite bowl-scraping silicone spatula in Valentine’s red, a sweetheart print quilted apron, and a matching kitchen towel in raspberry.

Note: My friend Katie, The Hill Country Cook, introduced me to these sweet little single-serving ceramic crocks. You’re going to love them!

To enter, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this post telling me your favorite sweet treat. This giveaway will run from 8:00am CST on Sunday, February 10th through 12:00 Noon CST on Saturday, February 16, 2013. One winner will be selected at random and notified by e-mail. If the reader selected does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn. Participation is limited to US residents only.



Sweets Week is for sugar lovers, so drop in & check out these Sweetie Pies:

Retro Raspberry Divinity – Jeanne @ Inside NanaBread’s Head (that’s me!)
Red Velvet Vanilla Marble Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Buttercream Frosting – Kirsten @ Comfortably Domestic

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies – Beka @ Kvetchin’ Kitchen
Mini Meringue Strawberry Pie – Katie @ The Hill Country Cook

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti – Madeline @ Munching in the Mitten
Samoa Crack Dip – Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama

Avocado Peppermint Chocolate Mousse – Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain
Cherry Garcia Chocolate Bark – Megan @ Wanna Be A Country Cleaver

S’Mores on a Stick – Kat @ Tenaciously Yours
White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting – Mads @ La Petite Pancake

‘Pucker Up’ Lemon Marshmallows – Allison @ Decadent Philistines Save the World
Mini Chocolate Mousse Pies – Kirsten @ Comfortably Domestic

Berry Smoothie Ice Cream Pie & a Giveaway – Anne @ From My Sweet Heart

Divinity - Cake Stand


Filed under Blogger Collaborations, Food & Recipes

81 responses to “Sweets Week: Retro Raspberry Divinity & a sweet little giveaway for bakers

  1. Oh Jeanne….your divinity is simply divine! I mean, who doesn’t love PINK food?! I love how they look in those pretty little papers. You know, I’m all for new food trends and trying new things…..but my heart is pure vintage and retro…(and my bones, too!). My favorite candy? Gotta be honest and go with the peanut butter cups. But if you send me a batch of these to taste….I’m sure I’ll be changing my mind! ; – }

  2. Cyndi

    Mmmmm, tasty! Divinity is delicious but nothing can beat dark chocolate covered cherries with pecans & coconut, silly girl!

  3. Kimberly P.

    I really like a decadent flourless chocolate cake with raspberry coulis. That’s when I’m feeling ambitious in my own kitchen. For a quick fix, I’d take some See’s Candy Key Lime truffles any day!

  4. Mmm…these are beautiful and look great! It seems similar to a treat my best friend’s mom used to make during the holidays. Is the texture similar to a meringue cookie?

  5. Linda

    Oh geez, I cannot pick only one-anything you make is my favorite!

  6. Pat Tidwell

    My favorite sweet treat is cheesecake! I don’t get it that often, because it takes too long to make, so I guess that’s why it’s my favorite!

  7. Big Sis

    Very cute and Sweet and Girlie!! But my favorite dessert would have to anything with chocolate. :)

    • Yeah, I’m tickled pink with that color. It’s such a pretty, girly shade. I do love dark chocolate, but the older I get the more my tastes go to all things fruity when it comes to sweets. Pies & cobblers are definitely my thing now.

  8. Pingback: Sweets for Your Sweetie: Red Velvet and Vanilla Marble Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Buttercream « Comfortably Domestic

  9. jacquie

    i have never had divinity. what does it taste like? what it’s texture?

    i currently like dark chocolate and after years of perferring milk like it better now. also fruit crisps with some ice cream – yummmy.

    • Hi, Jacquie! Well, let’s see… divinity is a cousin of marshmallows, but it’s not quite as soft and squishy. It’s hard to compare it to anything else, because there truly is nothing else like it. If you like homemade marshmallows, I think you would like it. It has most of the same ingredients, just in different amounts. It’s drier than a marshmallow, but melts in your mouth. Does that make sense? I’m with you on fruit with ice cream – all the way.

  10. Cindy

    My favorite dessert is…anything chocolate…or anything made by you, my ever-so-talented friend!

    • Chocolate appears to be in the lead for favorite sweets, which confirms why Valentines’ Day is a big chocolate gifting day. And to think – I always thought that was just marketing hype. Like diamonds. For the record, I like both so you’ll get no complaints from me.

  11. Oh my! I love homemade marshmallows and you Retro Raspberry Divinity are just beautiful and perfectly pink! I can’t wait to try them. What a wonderful giveaway. :) I love the prize pack and those ceramic mini-crocks in cherry red are just adorable. Can’t wait to make some treats in them.

    My favorite sweet treats are French Macarons. Beautiful and sweet indulgence. :) Thank you for hosting such a fun giveaway.

  12. Wait. So divinity is essentially marshmallow fluff with jell-o added? Here I was intimidated by the sheer name of it–how could I possibly make something called divinity? Since you got me making marshmallow cream to put in hot cocoa (awesome, by the way,) I’m going to follow your lead with divinity. I think I’ll try raspberry with your suggestion of mini chocolate chips for a little nut-free fun. My boys are going to love this!

    • There are a few minor differences, like no cream of tartar in divinity. Basically they are cousins. Close enough to be related, but not close enough to be the same. I can’t wait to hear how it turns out with chocolate added. I’m betting it’s going to be awesome.

  13. Pingback: Sweets for Your Sweetie Pies

  14. I LOVE divinity and this will be the perfect valentine’s day treat for my lactose intolerant daughter.

  15. I so much want to run into the kitchen and whip up a batch of this raspberry divinity. It looks so Valentine’s Day-ish and I’m a huge fan of anything retro! I’m going to try making this soon. Wish me luck because I get a little crazy when I’m using a candy thermometer :) I’ll let you know if it’s a huge success or failure…

  16. Angela

    I don’t know what excites me more…the divinity or the Stuckey’s product…but seriously, the best thing about divinity is that if you put a morsel in your mouth then drink coke, it will fizz like crazy! Kid games my brother and I played at grandmas house……

  17. I love a good toffee, but anything that someone makes for me is extra special.

    • I love a good toffee, too. I have a great recipe for toffee. I should put that up on the blog sometime. Thanks for the reminder!

      • OH SURE!! BamaBoy and I had to trade recipes and basically twist your arm for the toffee recipe, but now your going to broadcast it!!! Over my dead body, lady!! And I mean that in the kindest way. ; )

      • I must be getting old because I don’t remember any arm twisting in this transaction. It was a simple recipe swap – your corn casserole for my toffee. Fair & square. ;-P

  18. bakeaholicmama

    Oh I love that you took as back to some old school sweets. I have not had divinity since I was little!

  19. laurengrier

    Okay. First of all, I am so excited to try this recipe because it does well in zero humidity! Second, I may have to fly you out to Denver to help me pull it off! This looks AH-mazing, Jeanne!

    • Sometimes I’m jealous of people who live in zero humdity environments. Then I visit those places and I get lizard skin and I long for home or lotion. As much as we curse the humdity in Houston, we can’t seem to cope without it. If you try the divinity, let me know how it turns out!

  20. Pat Luther

    I have to say my favorite is Key Lime Pie. Real Key Lime not that green stuff people try to pass off as Key Lime!

  21. Amanda

    My favorite sweet is chocolate-covered fruit, preferrably dark chocolate.

  22. Susan Christy

    I love brownies and make them all the time – I don’t know how many different variations I have made over the years. My favorite sweet that I could eat in mass quantities every day of my life would be Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

    • Brownies are my go-to chocolate fix, too. I just love those gooey center pieces. And Reeses PB eggs at Easter – because they’re fatter & have more peanut butter in them. Oh, my! Love those.

  23. Cindy

    I absolutely adore divinity fudge with cranberries !

    • Ooo… cranberries! What a wonderful idea! Now I’ll have to make this again for Christmas and put dried cranberries in it. Pretty sure I’ve seen cranberry Jello, too, to that’s perfect. Thanks for the brainstorm, Cindy!

  24. Deb

    DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookies! YUM! Or Brownies! Or Cheesecake! Or Oreos! Or.. Well I think you get the idea… Heeheehee! This reminds me of my Mom. She made old school divinity too when we were kids! I’m going to have to make this!

    • Wow. Okay, Deb. I can see that we have a chocolate thing going on here (and who doesn’t love cheesecake?). I’m with you, but I have to ask. Do you like the filling in Oreos, or do you scrape it out & throw it away like me? It’s confession time. I’m waiting for ‘No Stuff’ Oreos.

      You should totally make the divinity for old time’s sake. Channel your inner 70’s groovy girl. PS – don’t tell anyone, but I bought a box of blackberry Jello today just in case I can’t stand it and have to make another batch of divinity.

  25. I always remember my grandma making divinity – I haven’t had it in AGES!! And she Never made it with raspberry. You totally got one over on G-ma Carol! Love this in every way Jeanne!

    • Thanks, Megan! I’m thinking my next batch will be made with blackberry JellO. Can’t stop thinking about it. Another reader suggested cranberry, which I’m going to have to put that on my Christmas ‘to do’ list this year. Cranberry JellO, dried cranberries & toasted pecans? Oh, heck yes! PS – Hope G-ma Carol doesn’t come looking for me after your comment. {Sorry, G-ma!}

  26. Lovely and clearly delicious my friend!! Well done. And what an awesome giveaway!! Love it.
    My favorite sweet treat–hmm, I’m all over the place. Chocolate (duh!) and also sweet kid-like candy, (cinnamon bears, swedish fish…things I remember my grandma tucking away for me as a kid.)
    I think this Divinity would hit the spot though.
    XO, Aloha!

  27. JC Marc

    I think this Retro Raspberry Divinity will soon become my favorite treat. I am so making it this weekend. (I also like the idea of the blackberry JellO you mentioned.) But until now, my favorite treat has been chocolate covered raisins (this week, anyway). Last week it was sunflower seeds and oranges. Next week it will be Retro Raspberry Divinity. Week after that it will be Blackberry Divinity!

    • Chocolate covered raisins, Goobers & Junior Mints are my favorite movie theater snacks – even more than popcorn. Yum. If you beat me to the blackberry divinity, let me know how it turned out!

      • JC

        Absolutely! I am a newcomer to your site and I love your creations! Thank you so much for sharing your lovely talents.

  28. Pingback: Sweets Week: S’more on a Stick | Tenaciously Yours,

  29. My favorite sweet treat has suddenly changed – overnight.

    I sent your recipe for the Chocolate Cookies with Toasted Pecans and Cherries to a friend of mine.

    She made them and gave them to me.

    My life changed that day, with each bite of those cookies.

    I have never been the same.

    Nor has my new all-time favorite cookie.

    Gotten here.

    On your site.


    Thank you, for showing me a new cookie… :)

    • Wow! Teresa, that means so much! Thank you for taking the time to share that with me. I’m so happy you love the cookie recipe, and I’m so thankful to your friend for making it happen. -j

  30. Carolsue

    My favorite sweet treat is red velvet anything — cake, cupcakes, etc.

  31. Oh this seems like something my great-grandpa used to make! He called it “edible soap” to mess with us grandkids so that we wouldn’t eat it and he could have more to himself!

    My favorite sweet treat besides a good ol’ vanilla shake would have to be the cinnamon rolls that I make. They are to die for and all of my co-workers and family-in-law request them again and again!

    • Edible Soap – that’s hilarious! Would have worked on me when I was a kid, too. Anything to avoid the soap! I love your picks – vanilla shakes (A+) and cinnamon rolls (A++). Yours must be pretty spectacular.

  32. Pingback: Climbing Grier Mountain » sweets week: avocado peppermint chocolate mousse

  33. I’ve never made divinity! This will have to change.

  34. Pingback: Knock-You-on-Your-Behind-Rich Chocolate Mousse Sweetie Pies « Comfortably Domestic

  35. S. Isaac

    Mint flavored chocolate anything. Or raspberry chocolate anything. Or hazelnut chocolate anything. Cheesecake. Chiffon cakes. Are they going extinct everywhere but in my own kitchen? I lay awake at night and worry about that. Please tell me you make them?

    • Sorry, S – I don’t make chiffon cakes. I’m more of a pie/cobbler girl. I do think you’re right, though. They seem to be going the way of the dinosaur. There aren’t many people who bake cakes from scratch anymore. It’s a shame. I want to bake one now.

  36. Haven’t had Divinity since I was a little kid! It was always made by my Mom at Christmas as a special treat.

    When I want just a little sweet treat, fudge is where it’s at! Just that little square packed with tons of chocolatey flavor puts me right into orbit.

    • Divinity was always a Christmas thing in our house, as well. For The Complete Package (my hubs), it was fudge. His mother always made a giant tin full and his dad ate it each year like it was his job. My annual Christmas candy is homemade toffee. I made it for 24 years running for my father-in-law, before he passed away. It was always ‘our thing’. Now I make it for my son-in-law. Some traditions are worth holding on to.

  37. Pingback: Berry Smoothie Ice Cream Pie & A Give-Away!

  38. Claudia

    6. Unless they are from a certain country, your friends may not recognize divinity.

    Must try though… in the back of my mind, I can hear my dentist clapping his hands in sheer glee already :-)

  39. I’m just now getting around to seeing what everyone made for Sweets Week, which is so terrible because I missed the giveaway! In any case, awesome job on making retro cool again! I remember eating a divinity once or twice as a kid, but I never really knew what it was or what it was called. I thought it was a meringue for a really long time (I was a very confused child). Thank you for bringing clarity. Happy belated Sweets Week!

  40. Pingback: The Hill Country Cook » Mini Meringue Strawberry Pies

  41. Oh my goodness, this looks amazing! I work at the ad agency that handles JELL-O and we’d love to talk to you about this yummy-looking treat. Could you please email me at the address provided? Thanks!

  42. Pingback: Knock-You-on-Your-Behind-Rich Chocolate Mousse Sweetie Pies

  43. Pingback: Sweets for Your Sweetie: Red Velvet and Vanilla Marble Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Buttercream

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