Winter Sunshine – Honey Almond Cherry Nougat

Honey Almond Cherry Nougat_n

Chewy honey-flavored candy flecked with bits of cherries and almonds provides for fun in the kitchen and tasty results.

Locked in the heart of winter, it’s dark most of the day north of the Arctic Circle. Cold, too. And if the dark and cold don’t make you want to stay inside with a good book or movie, the infamous Point Hope wind will. (It’s 9° F and blowing 40 miles an hour for a windchill of about -20° F as I write this – and that’s not particularly cold for this time of year.) Some people suffer from the lack of sunshine up here. Our kitchen is our winter sunshine. It fills our home with warmth, good smells, and lots of entertainment. Today’s entertainment – honey almond cherry nougat.

Honey Almond Cherry Nougat pre-cut_n

Ready to be cut and wrapped into bite-size candies.

These reminded us of the Bit O Honey candies that we both loved as kids – although they were agreeably softer and more complex in flavor.

Honey Almond Cherry Nougat

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1  1/2 cups honey
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 cup chopped dried cherries

Directions

  1. Combine sugar, honey, salt and water in a medium saucepan.
  2. Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Continue cooking without stirring until sugar reaches hard ball stage (250 degrees F).
  4. Place egg whites in a stand mixer bowl. Fit mixer with whisk attachment. Whip egg whites until they are stiff.
  5. While mixer is running, very slowly pour 1/4 of hot sugar mixture into whipped egg whites. Continue mixing until egg whites hold their shape.
  6. Return saucepan to stovetop with the remaining hot sugar mixture and continue cooking until mixture reaches hard crack stage (300 degrees F).
  7. Turn stand mixer on again. Pour remaining sugar mixture into egg mixture in a slow stream. Continue mixing until egg white mixture holds it shape.
  8. Add butter, one tablespoon at a time, and continue mixing. Mixture should look thick and satiny.
  9. Turn off mixer and fold in almonds and cherries.
  10. Pour mixture onto a buttered baking sheet. Let stand until totally cooled.
  11. Turn out cooled mixture onto cutting board. I coated mine with rice flour.
  12. Cut into 1 x 1.5 inch pieces and wrap in waxed paper.

Recipe adapted from foodnetwork.com.