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Homemade Salt Water Taffy

Homemade Salt Water Taffy

I got myself into a bit of a sticky situation. In more ways than one.

First of all let’s not even mention the fact that this is October’s kitchen challenge, and it is now January. Yes, I know. I’m a total slacker.

October was crazy busy. And so was November, for that matter. I had wanted to make a video for this post, and I kept putting it off until I knew I had a good chunk of time to film it. Plus it had to be a dry day (bah humbug humidity). I intentionally set aside a full day around Christmas to film, only to come down with a serious case of Ms. Cranky Pants that morning, and scrapped my plans for the sake of my husband (apparently I’m not very nice when I’m grumpy).

I was gung ho and ready to go the following weekend, only to discover that I was completely out of corn syrup. Of course. This also happened to be the day that it was LITERALLY 2 degrees outside, so no way in (frozen) hell I was going outside to get more.

Good news is I finally got it done. No video, but once you see how it all went down I think that’s probably a good thing. Better late than never, right?

Homemade Salt Water Taffy

I decided to make a peach flavored taffy, using LorAnn flavoring oils. The apple would have been a good option too. The apricot? Cough syrup. Blech.

Homemade Salt Water Taffy

It looks pretty electric orange at this point. I knew the taffy would get significantly lighter once pulled so I probably added a bit more food coloring than I needed to.

Homemade Salt Water Taffy

Like magma. Sweet liquid magma.

Once the taffy is cool enough to handle, that’s when the “fun” begins. I buttered up my hands, picked up the warm sugar glob, and starting “pulling”. Quotes intentional, because what I was doing wasn’t exactly “pulling” and it sure wasn’t “fun”.

Homemade Salt Water Taffy

I quickly found myself in a rather sticky situation.

Homemade Salt Water Taffy

This stuff was stickier than marshmallow fluff.

Homemade Salt Water Taffy

Despite my buttered hands, I was trapped.

Homemade Salt Water Taffy

Somehow I managed to escape my gluey handcuffs. I dumped the orange mess and raised the white flag.

Homemade Salt Water Taffy

I curled up on the couch to wallow in my failure, while Taylor started cleaning up my major mess. A few minutes later I look up from my pity party and see this…

Homemade Salt Water Taffy

Taffy. It actually looks like taffy. And can I mention that he has no butter on his hands whatsoever?

My husband is naturally non-stick, apparently.

He’s a veritable taffy wrangler.

And honestly? He’s the only reason you’re getting a post here today, because I don’t think I would have tried it again. He saved it. He saved my taffy.

Homemade Salt Water Taffy

The result was good. But more like a Laffy Taffy than salt water taffy. Maybe it needed more pulling, but it wasn’t quite as airy as I think it should have been. But since I like Laffy Taffy, I was ok with that. It worked and was edible, and that’s enough for me to call it a victory.

Salt Water Taffy

Yield: about 10 ounces

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon glycerine
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • food coloring and flavoring

Directions:

  1. Prepare your work surface by generously buttering a half-sheet pan. Have a pastry scraper, kitchen shears, and extra butter nearby.
  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Stir in corn syrup, butter, water, glycerine, and salt. Set over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil. Once it starts boiling, stop stirring, and begin monitoring the temperature, until it reaches 254 degrees F or a few drops tested in cold water form a hard ball that holds its shape (hard-ball stage). Remove from heat and stir in food coloring and flavoring.
  3. Pour hot sugar mixture onto your prepared baking sheet. Let cool, folding sugar in on itself using a buttered pastry scraper to ensure the taffy cools evenly.
  4. When the taffy is just cool enough to handle, butter your hands and start pulling the taffy. Pull the taffy into a long rope, then fold it in half and in half again. Twist and pull into another long rope and repeat. The taffy is done when it is lighter in color and firm enough to hold its shape. Stretch into a 1-inch thick rope and cut into bite-size pieces using buttered kitchen shears.
  5. Wrap each piece of taffy in waxed or parchment paper. Taffy will keep best in an airtight container for up to two months (or until it is too hard to chew).

October Kitchen Challenge: Salt Water Taffy

October Kitchen Challenge - Saltwater TaffyI do want to acknowledge Cat and Liz, the only two brave souls who attempted this sticky challenge (meeting the deadline too, I might add). Don’t their results look fabulous? Kudos to them!

In other (good) news: after an unintentional three-month hiatus, Kitchen Challenge is officially back! The plan is to tackle bi-monthly challenges this year, giving us all a bit more time to complete them amidst our busy schedules. So get your spatulas ready, next week I’ll be announcing the February challenge. I promise, it’s a good one!

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27 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 5:14 am

    This is my fave post ever!! The pics are just amazing! The pic of you right under ‘This stuff was stickier than marshmallow fluff’ just tells it all! Thanks for posting them :) 

    And I can only imagine JUST how sticky this stuff really was! This post is so prime for Halloween! I bet it’ll go crazy around that time! I’d go crazy for a piece of this stuff now. Love salt water taffy!

    Reply

  2. 2
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 5:49 am

    I am loving these pictures! You are so cute! 
    So glad your hubby is a non-sticky man so you could post these!  I love love love salt water taffy AND laffy taffy…so if it tastes like one of those I am going to dieeee.
    Thanks for a new challenge to attempt!

    Reply

  3. 3
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 6:28 am

    what a sugar hero, lucky lady!  i might be a little scared to do this after seeing the adorable faces made whilst attempting, but I love a project so I’m very tempted…thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  4. 4
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 7:05 am

    The first time I made taffy I made the same mistake as you, I tried to pull it too soon!  I’ve since learned to let it sit until just barely warm and then start pulling. Love the idea of peach taffy. LorAnn oils are the best!

    Reply

  5. 5
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Awww he saved your taffy- how cute :) And you guys are seriously the greatest couple! I love this post.

    Reply

  6. 6
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 8:47 am

    I want to be naturally non-stick too!! Love that you posted your sticky pictures…too funny!

    Reply

  7. 7
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Linds these pictures are hilarious!!!  glad you guys finally got it figured out ;)

    Reply

  8. 8
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Love the pictures! These taffies look amazing! Just send the leftovers (I doubt there is any left) on over! ;)

    Reply

  9. 9
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 9:15 am

    I can’t believe you made your own!!! And the photos of making this are too funny! Looks like you guys had a blast!

    Reply

  10. 10
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Your pictures are cracking me up! These taffies are calling my name!

    Reply

  11. 11
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 10:45 am

    hurray for no-stick husbands. so glad the challenge is back – I’m in!

    Reply

  12. 12
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Love the pictures! I’ve always wanted to try making salt water taffy, these look great!

    Reply

  13. 13
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    This is so cool! I’ve always wanted to tackle homemade candy of some sort – now, I just might…

    Reply

  14. 14
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    I’ve always wanted to make my own! This is so exciting :) 

    Reply

  15. 15
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve never made taffy before, but you’ve officially inspired me to take on the task! Lovely photos!

    Reply

  16. 16
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Your so cute!  Looks like a fun mess!  I love Salt Water Taffy!  Awesome job making it!

    Reply

  17. 17
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Haha this sounds like me! The second it went south I would’ve thrown an epic fit and said that I’d never try it again. 
    I love Laffy Taffy too so you’re lucky your husband can now make it for you whenever you want it ;) 

    Reply

  18. 18
    baking flavours
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Beautiful.

    Reply

  19. 19
    Posted On January 17, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Wow, what a fun post and great recipe!

    Reply

  20. 20
    Posted On January 18, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Wow, it looks like you REALLY did find yourself in a sticky situation! This recipe looks delicious (and fun…) but I may need to enlist a friend to help me. I may need the support for this sticky of a recipe. 

    Reply

  21. 21
    Posted On January 19, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    That’s too funny!! Oh man. I’m sorry you had such a hard time with the taffy haha, I definitely found that once I let it cool to a lukewarm temp, it was much easier to work with. Looks lovely! I would have liked to have tried apricot… although I’ve never heard of apricot cough syrup? Is that something that’s common in the U.S.?

    Reply

  22. 22
    Posted On January 20, 2014 at 5:47 am

    Ahh, lovely pictures, you are very cute :)! I am throwing a party with friends who have two little kids, I think I’ve just found what will please them. Thanks a lot for the post!

    Reply

  23. 23
    Posted On January 20, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Taffy always makes me happy. But…your pictures? Oh my gosh, LOVE!! So much fun!!

    Reply

  24. 24
    Posted On January 21, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Lovely pictures!! 

    Reply

  25. 25
    Posted On January 22, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Love your step by step pics!  Looks like a fun thing to do with kids?  Or maybe not :-)

    Reply

  26. 26
    Posted On January 22, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    UI am the same way when I get frustrated I have to walk away before I end up throwing it all violently in the trash. The last time I made potica with my dad this happened. He has the touch for rolling up that think delicate dough. Glad the taffy came out!

    Reply

  27. 27
    Posted On December 5, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I was browsing the web for a taffy recipe and I came about this post. These pictures are perfect and the writing is very enjoyable. I used some of your tips when I tried this recipe on my blog, and it turned out great. I cant wait to read more posts!!!

    Reply

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