Search This Blog

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Saltwater Taffy

I don't know why I was struck by the sudden urge to make taffy, but I was. And the feeling continued for several weeks.

Taffy is funny stuff. I've never been a huge fan of taffy, but if its offered to me I'll always accept. I think I've bought it a few times, but its never a huge draw. I'm more of a chocolate girl.

I think what made me want to make taffy is the process of pulling the taffy. Having to stretch and fold the taffy over and over was really appealing. Plus, I have enjoyed experimenting with various forms of sugar work (i.e. marshmallows, syrups, etc).

To prep for this taffy-pulling-extravaganza, I found a friend crazy enough to possibly be burned my molten sugar. Ariel was the perfect candidate. Plus, she said we could make it in her kitchen (which is a plus because I've been known to make a mess or two). I also watched the Good Eats episode on taffy, you know, just in case.

Disregard our haggard appearance. We had done hot yoga just hours beforehand.

Saltwater Taffy
yields roughly 1 1/2 pounds
adapted from
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt

Various extracts or flavoring oils (we used peppermint and cherry+lemon)
food coloring, optional

Prepare a shallow heat safe pan by lightly buttering it. If you plan on dividing the candy into multiple batches, prep 2-3 small pans. Have your flavorings and colorings nearby with buttered spatulas ready to stir.

Sift together the cornstarch and sugar and add to a medium thick-bottomed sauce pan (if your pan doesn't have a thick bottom, place another pan underneath. The two layers will help diffuse the heat, making it more uniform. Also, if it overflows, it won't be onto your stove burners... always a plus). Stir in the corn syrup, salt, butter and water. Place over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Once it comes to a boil, cover and cook for three minutes (turn down the temp a little so it doesn't overflow). Remove the lid and then clip on your candy thermometer and cook to 260°F.

Once the syrup hits 260°F, remove from heat and add your flavors/colors and mix well (don't inhale if you're using extracts. Unless you have a cold and are working with peppermint extract... that shit will clean out your sinuses so fast!). Then pour into your prepared pan. If you're doing multiple batches, divide the syrup between the pans and add the flavorings (we used 1-2 Tbsp of extract in each pan, but use less if you are using flavoring oils as they're stronger) and colors and then mix well.

After the flavors were mixed, cooling
Allow the candy to cool until until solid enough to handle and then butter your hands lightly and begin pulling!

You want to stretch out the taffy, bring the ends together to form a loop, stretch and repeat. Over and over. Do this for about 15-20 minutes until the taffy has a creamy, satiny appearance. All this work will incorporate air into the candy, making it soft and chewy. The more pulling the better it will be.

After pulling, roll the taffy into long ropes, and quickly snip with oiled scissors. Keep the pieces separate so they don't stick together. Roll them in squares of waxed paper to store.

Here is the taffy, just before pulling

In the beginning of the pulling process

After pulling, rolled out to cut

All cut up, really to wrap
Ta-Daa! We ended up with "shirley temple" and peppermint flavored taffy

In the end, this taffy tasted great and was pretty easy to make. We didn't pull it long enough, so its pretty hard, but its great for sucking on before it softens up.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the recipe, every time I try to make saltwater taffy it comes out awful. I must skip a step every time. I can't wait to try this with your recipe!