Vanilla Nougat Candy Bar Bites
- 1⅔ cups sugar
- ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
- ¼ cup finely chopped salted nuts (I used peanuts)
- Lightly coat a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Lightly spray the parchment paper as well.
- In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together sugar, ½ cup water, corn syrup, and salt. Boil over medium-high heat until temperature reaches 238 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip egg whites with the whisk attachment until they hold soft peaks (about 2 minutes). With the mixer running on medium speed, slowly pour half of the hot syrup into the egg whites, adding just 1 to 2 tablespoons to start. This allows the eggs to warm up and prevents them from scrambling. Immediately return the saucepan with the remaining syrup to medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Continue beating egg white mixture until thick (about the consistency of marshmallow cream), then turn off the mixer.
- When the syrup mixture reaches 275, turn mixer back on at medium speed and slowly pour in syrup. Add in vanilla extract and paste. Increase speed to high and beat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until mixture is very thick and beginning to lose its shine. The bowl should be cool except for the very bottom. Scrape mixture into prepared pan and spread it into the corners, using lightly oiled hands. Let set at room temperature until cool, about 2 hours.
- Invert candy onto a cutting surface and remove parchment. Cut into 1-inch squares and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle melted chocolate over the tops of the candies; sprinkle with nuts.
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