Almond Nougat Candy

1 1/2 cup light corn syrup 
2 cup sugar 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 cup water 
2 egg whites 
1/2 teaspoon almond extract 
1 red or green food coloring 
1/4 cup soft butter or margarine 
1 cup toasted chopped almonds 
1/4 cup chopped candied cherries 

 Mix first 4 ingredients in heavy saucepan. Cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Cook, without stirring, until a small amount of the mixture dropped in cold water forms a hard ball (250-F). Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry, in large bowl of electric mixer. Gradually beat in about one fourth (not more) of the syrup, and continue beating until mixture holds its shape. Cook remaining syrup until a small amount of mixture separates into hard and brittle threads when dropped in cold water (300-F). Gradually beat into first mixture, and continue beating until the mixture begins to hold its shape. Add flavoring and food coloring to tint a delicate shade. Beat in butter; continue beating until very thick and satiny. Stir in nuts and cherries. Press into a buttered 8x8x2" pan, smoothing top. Let stand until firm. Turn out of pan, and cut in 1 1/2" by 1" pieces. Wrap each piece individually in waxed paper. 
Store several days in a cool place before serving.

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