Traditional Armenian (and Turkish) Christmas treat. In Armenia they usually leave it white while in Turkey they more often add the food coloring. Also called Lookoom.
3 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons white corn syrup
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon of rose water (or vanilla)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pistachio nuts
red or green food coloring (optional)
Combine granulated sugar with water and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan and boil until it reaches 240 F on a candy thermometer or soft ball stage. Keep hot. In a small bowl, soften the geletin in the lemon juice. Set aside. In another small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 1/2 cup of cold water, the pour it into the hot syrup. Stir gently and simmer slowly until very thick. Remove from heat, add gelatin and lemon juice and stir until gelatin dissolves. Stir in rose water or vanilla, nuts and 2 to 3 drops food coloring if desired. Sprinkle a generous layer of powdered sugar in an 8-inch sqare pan. Pour in mixture and let set in a cool dry place (the refrigerator is too humid) for 3 or 4 hours or until set. Sprinkle with another layer of powdered sugar and cut into 1-inch squares. Dredge each square in powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container.
Adapted from a recipe in the book "Visions of Sugarplums" by Mimi Sheraton.
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