Quick Bites from Pender

Homemade Gifts: Saltwater Taffy Recipe

In Recipes on December 21, 2009 at 8:19 pm

taffy-tin

I always start with the best of intentions, and usually, an under-estimation of the amount of time the task that I’m about to start will take.  This year I decided to make saltwater taffy as hostess gifts.  In my defense, I had no idea that everyone on Pender would be in such a celebratory mood this year!  We have been to 8 holiday parties in the past 11 days.  Thanks for the invites all, but let`s get serious.

Needless to say, that is a lot of saltwater taffy — and I didn’t even come close to making enough.  I managed a 3 batches though, which we’ll be taking with us when we go to visit family and friends on the mainland.

cornstarch-tub

This stuff is hard work —  I pulled each batch for about 10 minutes — it was real workout for the last half, as the candy cooled.  It was during this point in the 2nd batch that I knew my arms didn’t have the stamina to make enough to fill the 10 jars I had bought.  What had I been thinking?  What was I going to do instead?

making-salt-water-taffy

rich shades become pastels

It all worked out in the end — booze makes a perfectly acceptable hostess gift,  I do have some candy to give away, and my rotator cuffs survived to knead, pull or roll another day.

salt-water-taffy-ropes

getting to the end of my ropes

Saltwater Taffy

Yield:  50 – 1” pieces

Sugar 500 ml (2 C)
Cornstarch 30 ml (2 T)
Light Corn Syrup 250 ml (1 C)
Water 180 ml (¾ C)
Glycerin (optional) 10 ml (2 t)
Butter 30 ml (2 T)
Salt 5 ml (1 t)
Vanilla, Mint, Lemon, etc. extract 5 ml (1 t)
Food Colouring (optional) 3+ drops

C=cup                   T=tablespoon

t=teaspoon        TT=to taste

In a 3 or 4 litre/quart saucepan, mix the sugar and cornstarch.  Add the next 5 ingredients, and stir gently over medium-high heat.  Once the mixture begins to boil, stop mixing and do not mix again.  Use a pastry brush wetted with warm water to wash any sugar crystals from the sides of the pan.

Continue to cook, undisturbed, until the mixture reaches 270˚F on a candy thermometer.  This is known as the soft crack stage.  Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the flavouring and colouring.

Pour the molten candy onto a greased baking pan (with sides) sitting on a cooling rack.  Allow the candy to cool until you can comfortably handle it with greased hands (about 10 minutes).

Pull the taffy for about 10 minutes.  As you pull, you will notice the candy getting lighter in colour, as more and more air is incorporated.  Roll smaller pieces of the batch into ½“ diameter ropes.  Allow to cool for 30 minutes.

You can choose to twist 2 ropes together to combine colours and flavours before cutting into 1” pieces, or cut the single strands into individual pieces on their own.  Wrap in wax paper.

Tips:

  • Glycerin gives the taffy a soft, creamy consistency.  It is an animal by-product, so vegetarians should omit it from the recipe.
  • I used 4 drops of colouring for each batch that I made.  As you can see from the photos, the finished candy was pretty light.  Next time, I will try 5 or 6 drops for each batch.
  • A single sugar crystal clinging to the side of the pan can cause the mixture to recrystallize, which is why it’s important to wash down the sides of the pan.
  • I flavoured the “red” batch with vanilla and the green with peppermint for a Christmassy vanilla-mint combo.

taffy-rope-spiral

Saltwater Taffy

Yield:  50 – 1” pieces

Sugar

500 ml (2 C)

Cornstarch

30 ml (2 T)

Light Corn Syrup

250 ml (1 C)

Water

180 ml (¾ C)

Glycerin (optional)

10 ml (2 t)

Butter

30 ml (2 T)

Salt

5 ml (1 t)

Vanilla, Mint, Lemon, etc. extract

5 ml (1 t)

Food Colouring (optional)

3+ drops

C=cup                   T=tablespoon

t=teaspoon        TT=to taste

In a 3 or 4 litre/quart saucepan, mix the sugar and cornstarch.  Add the next 5 ingredients, and stir gently over medium-high heat.  Once the mixture begins to boil, stop mixing and do not mix again.  Use a pastry brush wetted with warm water to wash any sugar crystals from the sides of the pan.

Continue to cook, undisturbed, until the mixture reaches 270˚F on a candy thermometer.  This is known as the soft crack stage.  Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the flavouring and colouring.

Pour the molten candy onto a greased baking pan (with sides) sitting on a cooling rack.  Allow the candy to cool until you can comfortably handle it with greased hands (about 10 minutes).

Pull the taffy for about 10 minutes.  As you pull, you will notice the candy getting lighter in colour, as more and more air is incorporated.  Roll smaller pieces of the batch into ½“ diameter ropes.  Allow to cool for 30 minutes.

You can choose to twist 2 ropes together to combine colours and flavours before cutting into 1” pieces, or cut the single strands into individual pieces on their own.  Wrap in wax paper.

Tips:

· Glycerin gives the taffy a soft, creamy consistency.  It is an animal by-product, so vegetarians should omit it from the recipe.

· I used 4 drops of colouring for each batch that I made.  As you can see from the photos, the finished candy was pretty light.  Next time, I will try 5 or 6 drops for each batch.

· A single sugar crystal clinging to the side of the pan can cause the mixture to recrystallize, which is why it’s important to wash down the sides of the pan.

· I flavoured the “red” batch with vanilla and the green with peppermint for a Christmassy vanilla-mint combo.

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  1. Your idea it’s written before Web 2.0 hype. Well done.

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