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- Mix first 4 ingredients in heavy saucepan.
- Cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved.
- Cook,without stirring, until a small amount of the mixture dropped in cold water forms a hard ball (250-f).
- Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry, in large bowl of electric mixer.
- Gradually beat in about one fourth (not more) of the syrup and continue beating until mixture holds its shape.
- Cook remaining syrup until a small amount of mixture separates into hard and brittle threads when dropped in cold water (300-f) gradually beat into first mixture, and continue beating until the mixture begins to hold its shape.
- Add flavoring and food coloring to tint a delicate shade.
- Beat in butter; continue beating until very thick and satiny.
- Stir in nuts and cherries.
- Press into a buttered 8x8x2" pan, smoothing top.
- Let stand until firm.
- Turn out of pan, and cut in 1 1/2" by 1" pieces.
- Wrap each piece individually in waxed paper.
- For best flavor, store several days in a cool place before serving.