Gumdrop Pistachio Nougat
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Gumdrop and Pistachio Nougat

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 7 hr 15 min (includes setting time)
  • Active: 1 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 40 candies
This fruity, chewy citrus nougat is studded with gumdrop gems for a festive appearance. Crunchy roasted pistachios are added to make this an ideal sweet-and-salty candy.



Special equipment:
a candy thermometer
  1. Line an 8-by-11-inch baking pan with plastic wrap and spray the wrap liberally with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper and spray the parchment with cooking spray.
  2. Slice 1/2 cup of the gumdrops in half long ways with a paring knife and lay them flat-side down on the parchment. Roughly chop the remaining gumdrops and set aside.  
  3. Put the egg whites and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Combine 3 1/4 cups of the sugar, the honey, corn syrup and 1/4 cup of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Brush down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to remove sugar crystals and continue to cook, brushing the sides of the pan down occasionally, for 8 minutes. 
  4. Increase the heat to medium-high and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. When the syrup reaches 260 degrees F, about 9 minutes, turn the stand mixer on to medium-high speed and whip the egg whites until foamy, about 1 minute. Sprinkle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and whip the egg whites until they hold firm peaks, about 3 minutes.  
  5. Continue to cook the syrup, swirling the pot occasionally, until the mixture reaches 290 degrees F, 8 to 10 minutes more.  
  6. Replace the stand mixer's whisk attachment with a paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium-low speed, carefully pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the egg whites become stiff and glossy, 8 to 10 minutes. 
  7. Add the vanilla extract and orange zest; mix to combine. Add the 1 cup chopped gumdrops and the pistachios to the nougat mixture and stir to combine. The mixture will be very stiff.  
  8. Spread the nougat into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a small offset spatula sprayed with cooking spray. Spray a piece of parchment paper with nonstick spray and place over the nougat, sprayed-side down. Let sit at room temperature for at least 6 hours or overnight.  
  9. Once the nougat has set, place a piece of parchment paper on top of a cutting board and spray with cooking spray. Lift the nougat out of the pan and flip it over onto the cutting board, then peel off the plastic and parchment. Trim the edges with a large heavy knife sprayed with cooking spray. Cut the nougat into about 40 pieces, each about 1 1 /2 inches square, spraying the knife with cooking spray as needed. 
  10. Wrap the squares individually in parchment paper. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.