4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light (not dark) corn syrup
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
3 egg whites (room temperature)
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
food coloring (optional)
Combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in heavy saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture starts to boil. Continue cooking until mixture forms soft ball when tested in cold water (or use a thermometer). In the mean time, beat egg whites until stiff. Then pour 1/2 cup of syrup over whites, beating fast all the time.
Continue to cook remaining syrup while beating egg whites, until syrup reaches the light crack stage when dropped in cold water (this will happen quickly). Pour remaining syrup over egg white mixture, beating all the while. Continue beating until candy begins to hold its shape. Stir in vanilla and nuts and food coloring. Drop by teaspoonful onto waxed paper.
Makes 50-60 pieces.