- 1-1/2 cups hazelnuts
- 1-1/2 cups dried cranberries and/or cherries
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 2/3 cup light-colored corn syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp. vanilla
1. Spread hazelnuts in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown, watching carefully and stirring once or twice so nuts don�t burn. Cool slightly. Place nuts on a clean kitchen towel, fold over towel to cover nuts. Rub vigorously to remove the skins. Coarsely chop hazelnuts. In a medium bowl combine chopped hazelnuts and cranberries. Set aside.
2. Line an 9x5x3-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray or heavy foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter the foil; sprinkle with a small amount of cornstarch. Set pan aside.
3. In a 2-quart saucepan combine the sugar and the 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Add corn syrup, water, and honey; mix well. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugar, 5 to 7 minutes. Avoid splashing mixture on side of pan.* Reduce heat to medium. Carefully clip candy thermometer to saucepan.
4. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until thermometer registers 286 degrees F, soft-crack stage. Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over entire surface, about 25 minutes. Watch closely at the end as temperature will rise quickly. (Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil.)
5. Remove saucepan from heat; remove candy thermometer from saucepan. In a large mixing bowl, immediately beat egg whites with a sturdy, freestanding electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Gradually pour hot mixture in a thin stream over egg whites, beating constantly on high speed and scraping sides of bowl occasionally, about 3 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl again. Add vanilla. Continue beating on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes or until candy begins to lose its gloss. When beaters are lifted, mixture should fall in a ribbon, mounding on itself, then slowly disappear in the remaining mixture. The final beating should take 5 to 6 minutes.6. Immediately stir 2 cups of the fruit and nuts into candy. Quickly turn candy into prepared pan; spread to corners. Sprinkle top with remaining 1 cup fruit and nuts. Lightly press fruit and nuts into warm mixture. While still warm, score into pieces. Let stand about 3 hours or until completely cool. When cool, use foil to lift candy from pan. Cut into pieces using a hot knife. Wrap in plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week or in freezer up to 4 months. To serve, unwrap and place in waxed candy cups or bonbon cups. Makes 35 pieces