If your kids are feeling restless and you’re looking for a fun activity that will tire everyone out, try spending your Saturday night doing the “taffy pull” like an old-time Atlantic City family. If you know anyone who deserves a “thank you” or could use some cheering up, these adorable saltwater taffies make a great gift. Just put them in a simple drawstring bag with a sweet note and you’re ready to make someone’s day.
- 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
- As far as I can tell, all corn syrup is created equal, so there’s no harm in going for the cheapest brand.
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Several drops of flavoring
- Make sure any flavorings you use are gluten-free by reading the label. It should disclose whether any proteins in the product are wheat-derived.
- Food coloring (if desired)
- You can make your own natural food coloring or use the artificial stuff.
- Large saucepan (at least 3 quarts)
- Wooden spoon
- Candy thermometer
- Wax paper
- Cookie sheet
- Buttered scissors or knife
- Pastry or basting brush
1. Put your sugar, cornstarch, and salt in the saucepan. Give the mixture a good stir.
2. Stir in the water, butter, and glycerine.
3. Put the mixture over medium-high heat and keep stirring. Once the sugar has dissolved, stop stirring and don’t touch the mixture.
4. Keep an eye on the temperature with your candy thermometer while washing down the sides of the pan with the pastry brush. This is important if you want to keep the formation of sugar crystals under control.
5. Grease a cookie sheet and set it aside.
6. Once this marvelously gooey concoction has reached 270° F and you see small, closely-spaced bubbles at the surface, remove it from the heat source.
7. If you’re only making one color/flavor, you can stir them in at this point. Otherwise, wait until step 9.
8. Pour the contents of the saucepan onto the greased cookie sheet. Wait for the syrup to cool to a point where it’s comfortable to touch.
9. Decide how many color/flavor combinations you want to make, then cut your candy slab into the appropriate number of sections. I wouldn’t recommend making more than 3 per batch. Add 7-10 drops of flavoring and 2-3 drops of coloring per section.
10. Now for the “fun” part: grease up your hands and PULL! Keep stretching the taffy into a long rope, folding it back in on itself, and pulling again. Even if you added the coloring and flavoring in the pan, this step is important for making sure the candy is properly aerated.
11. Once you’ve been pulling the taffy for at least 10 minutes, stretch each piece into a 1/2-3/4” thick rope. I think chunkier pieces look better.
12. Use the buttered scissors to cut the taffy into equally-sized pieces.
13. Wrap each piece individually in wax paper.
14. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Was all of that worth the effort? Let me know how your taffy turned out in the comments!
Inspired by Cook Like Your Grandmother