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photo of taffyrecipe: Fudge
Saltwater taffy is a candy and an upper-body workout all in one. To give it its light but chewy texture, you’ll be pulling it, and pulling it, and pulling it for up to 15 minutes. Still want to make it? Here’s a recipe! More about taffy.

Makes about 50 1-inch pieces

Recipe Conversions

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CAUTION
When making candy, the syrup gets very hot. Kids, don’t try this without the help of an adult!

 

   
What Do I Need? .
2 cups sugar Tip
Visit the candy links page to find places to buy candy making supplies online, including molds, flavoring, and coloring.
2 tablespoons cornstarch     Why do I add cornstarch?
1 cup light corn syrup    Why do I add corn syrup?
2 teaspoons glycerin (optional)    What is glycerin?
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1 teaspoon flavoring (such as vanilla, lemon, maple, or mint)
3 drops food coloring (optional)
a large (3- to 4-quart) saucepan
 a wooden spoon  
• a candy thermometer  
• a pastry brush  
• waxed paper or plastic wrap  
• a marble slab or cookie sheet  
• greased scissors or butter knife  
   
What Do I Do? Tip
Don’t try to make taffy on a rainy or humid day.
About candy making and the weather.

1. Mix together sugar and cornstarch in the saucepan.

 

2. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the corn syrup, glycerin, water, butter, and salt. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.

3. Continue stirring until mixture begins to boil, then let cook, undisturbed, until it reaches about 270° F or the soft-crack stage. Wash down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in warm water while the syrup cooks.

Why do I need to stop stirring after the syrup begins to boil?
What is the soft-crack stage and how can I tell when I’ve reached it?
Why do I wash down the sides of the pan?

Did You Know?
Molasses taffy was one of the first kinds of homemade candy in the United States. (A recipe for molasses taffy)

3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add food coloring and flavoring. Stir gently, then pour onto a greased marble slab or into a shallow greased cookie sheet to cool.

 

4. When the taffy is cool enough to handle, grease your hands with oil or butter and pull the taffy until it's light in color and has a satiny gloss. You can have a friend help with this step, which should take about 10 minutes.

Why do I need to pull the taffy?

5. Roll the pulled taffy into a long rope, about 1/2 inch in diameter, and cut it with greased scissors or a butter knife into 1-inch-long pieces. Let the pieces sit for about half an hour before wrapping them in wax paper or plastic wrap and twisting the ends of the wrapper.

What Else Can I Try? .

• Try leaving out the corn syrup and see what happens! When we tried this, we ended up with a crystallized candy with a melt-in-your-mouth texture very similar to after-dinner mints.

• Try not pulling some of the taffy—what is the texture of the resulting candy?

• Try adding 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda before pouring out the syrup. This will create many tiny bubbles that should result in a lighter, chewier texture.

• Try twisting together taffy ropes of different colors or flavors for fun new combinations.

 

Share & Discuss
Share your taffy experiment results.
   
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