Saltwater Taffy to Celebrate Summer and National Candy Month
Posted by EmilyTuesday June 14, 2011
When I hear “summer,” the first memories to pop into my head all circle around summer weekends spent down at Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach when I was a kid. Rehoboth isn’t famous for a whole lot, but it is known for Dolle’s Salt Water Taffy.
That sticky, gooey goodness (that dentists everywhere would curse) just screams summer to me. Now that I’m living up in Boston though, weekend trips down to the Delaware beaches just aren’t that easy. That’s why I’ll be celebrating National Candy Month by making my own saltwater taffy. This recipe, from Dede Wilson’s A Baker’s Field Guide to Holiday Candy and Confections, is just about the simplest I’ve ever seen for homemade taffy. It come bearing warning though: stay away if you wear braces or have any loose fillings!
Enjoy, and happy June!
Yield: about 50 candies
Tools: Scissors, 50 small square candy wrappers or cellophane
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or flavoring of choice
Liquid food coloring (optional)
1. Lightly oil the entire surface of a jellyroll pan with canola oil. Lightly oil a pair of scissors.
2. Whisk sugar and cornstarch together in a medium-size saucepan. Gradually stir water into mixture, then stir in corn syrup, salt, and butter.
3. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, then cease stirring and boil over high heat until it reaches 260°F (hard-ball stage). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and food coloring, if using.
4. Scrape mixture onto prepared pan and set on rack to cool, about 20 minutes. During that time, occasionally scrape the edges up with a bench scraper, folding them over the middle. You just want to move it around a little and release any heat from underneath.
5. When the taffy is just warm and you are able to handle it, lightly oil your hands, pick up the taffy, and start to pull. Gather it together and pull, gather and pull. It will become more opaque and develop a satiny finish. Keep pulling until it starts to get firm, about 5 minutes of continuous pulling (but it depends on the room temperature and temperature of the candy).
6. Quickly pull taffy into ropes about 1/2 inch wide and cut 1-inch lengths with oiled scissors. Place pieces back on pan and allow to cool. Wrap individually when completely cooled.
Here the flavor variations are endless. Try some cherry flavoring and a few drops of red food coloring; lime or sour apple flavoring with green coloring; lemon with yellow . . . you get the gist. The amount of flavor and color can be adjusted as desired. Also, flavorings will vary by brand, so start out with a smaller amount, taste, and adjust.