Creams, or fudge, whichever name you prefer.
Most sources say divinity is an early 20th century invention. They’re close, but no cigar. A few different things suggest that the actual origin is the late 19th century.
For example, here’s an ad from the January 28, 1898 Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World:
“Divinity Cream” is the name of a very popular kind of homemade candy that Mrs. Prentis is having a great run on since she started her “Home” store: the candy is liked by everyone who has tried it.
Generally they date this to the 20th because it uses corn syrup, which existed in the 19th, but was mostly marketed in the 20th. But torrone, the Italian confection, uses honey as the invert sugar very successfully, so corn syrup isn’t strictly essential to achieving the texture.
One of the confusing aspects of divinity is that the word is used in a few different ways. In my experience, recipes for divinity fudge and divinity creams are basically interchangeable and the difference is how you shape them. Divinity frosting is another name for seven-minute frosting.
We met Kansas’ own Opal Knight in the post for her chocolate fudge recipe.
From the box of F.J. from Sun City, Arizona. Some cards suggest a family history in Missouri and Kansas.
5-1/2 c. sugar
1-1/2 c. corn syrup
3 egg whites, beaten
1 c. water
nuts and vanilla
Mix sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil until syrup spins thread 3 inches long. Pour 1/2 syrup over beaten egg whites. Cook remaining syrup until it forms a hard ball. Pour over the first mixture. Beat until it holds shape.
Add vanilla and nuts. Pour into buttered pan or drop by spoonfuls. This makes a large amount.
Is there any chance this is the same woman involved in Job’s Daughters in the 70’s?
I should have added, in Kansas.
Yes, My Mom knew Mrs Knight in Salina Kansas.