My Latest Addiction
Home made salt water taffy!
As a young girl, I often made homemade rock candy. I also made fondant and tried to make some sort of chew candy, but I was a noob in the kitchen with little more than an old beat up Betty Crocker cookbook. (This was waaaaay before the internet.)
I’ve made several batches of this delicious salt water taffy in the past few days and will try it again tonight, adding a scoop of peanut butter. Even the timing of one minute can be the difference between soft, chewy taffy and jawbreaker-like solidity, so best to not exceed 245 F degrees.
For anyone interested, here’s how to make it:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon real butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla favoring
I’m no Martha Stewart and I prefer to cook like my grandmother, Jewel- rugged-style and pretty much eyeballing everything rather than measuring. For this type of thing, you have to measure it, however. It couldn’t possibly be easier:
Mix everything up in a pan. Stir somewhat consistently until it reaches 255 F. I didn’t have a candy thermometer so Josh stuck his voltage tester in it and viola! If you don’t happen to have a hot guy in the kitchen with greasy power tools, you can also do the cold water test. Drop 1/4 of a teaspoon in a cup of cold water. If it “balls up” easily- you’re good to go. I also gauge it by the “pull” it has when you stir it. After stirring it over medium heat for 8 minutes or so, it thickens up and begins to have a pull to it- you can use that method also.
At 220 F- you’re going to get a runny taffy that never really firms up. At 245 F, you’ll get a firm taffy that’s just about right. At 260 F and on up, you may need to see the dentist if you try to chew it. If you want a buttered Werther’s type of candy, jack it up to 275 F or more. Trial and error is the best way to learn but really, 245 F is usually what I aim for.
When it’s ready to take off the stove, pour it into a buttered dish (or bowl) and let it cool down long enough to be able to handle. Once cooled, the real work begins. The taffy needs pulling and stretched for about 10-15 minutes. It’ll begin to change colours from a honey brown to a light tan and then to a bone white when it’s finished.
Roll it into a log and use kitchen scissors to cut it into bite sized pieces. The sweetness of the sugary vanilla mixed with bite of the sea salt is pure HEAVEN. Twist each piece up into wax paper and you’re good to go.