-2 1/2 cups sugar
-1/2 cup light corn syrup
-2 egg whites
-About 40 pecan halves
In a heavy 2 quart saucepan mix sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water. Cook and stir over medium high heat to boiling. Clip candy thermometer to pan. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, to 260 degrees (hard ball stage, takes 10 to 15 min.) Remove from heat. Remove thermometer.
In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a sturdy, stand mixer on medium speed till stiff peaks form. Gradually pour hot mixture in a thin stream over whites, beating on high about 3 minutes; scrape bowl. Add vanilla. Continue beating on high just till candy starts to lose its gloss. When beaters are lifted, mixture should fall in a ribbon that mounds on itself. (This final beating time varies for me based on the humidity. Can take 8 minutes or more.) You want the mixture to look flat not shiny.
Drop a spoonful of candy mixture on waxed papter. If it stays mounded, it has been beated sufficiently. If it flatens out, beat one minute more, check again. Drop mixture from a teaspoon onto waxed paper. If mixture becomes too stiff/dry to spoon, add a few drops of hot water and mix for a few seconds. Top with pecan halves. Makes about 40 pieces.
*You can also stir in chopped pecans instead of using halves, but I like to preserve the pristine white of the candy.