Homemade Taffy Recipe

Homemade taffy is a fun activity for a rainy or snowy day. It was a highlight one year when we got adventurous and gave it a go. We aren’t big taffy eaters, but homemade taffy was fun to pull and pretty tasty.

If you wanted to try to substitute corn syrup in the taffy, you could try sugar dissolved in hot water, or maybe honey or molasses in place of corn syrup. But since we didn’t try to substitute sugar, search around for equivalent substitutions for the corn syrup in taffy.

Homemade Taffy Recipe Directions

Butter large jelly roll pans before starting.  Whisk up the cornstarch and sugar in a saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.

Homemade Taffy Recipe

Heat and stir over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil for 3 minutes. The candy mixture will foam and rise quite high in the pan. Watch carefully and stir down if it rises too close to the edge of the pan.

Remove the lid and clip a candy thermometer to the side. Wash down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any crystallizing sugar.

Turn the heat down to medium-high and allow it to boil undisturbed until the temperature reaches about 242°-246° (high altitude) or 252°-254° (sea level). This is a very critical part of making soft taffy and not hard candy.

It is important to keep the heat to medium-high heat, as it only takes seconds for the temperature of the candy to shoot up. Have lollipop sticks ready in case you accidentally boil the taffy syrup too long.

You can test without a thermometer by skimming off a small bit of the candy syrup and drip onto a piece of parchment paper. Wait a few seconds and peel it off. Work with the drop for a few seconds, pulling and twisting it. If correct, the candy will stiffen a little but will be very pliable. If it becomes brittle and breaks, the candy has been over-boiled. Using a thermometer usually brings good results if you aren’t confident.

Once the candy reaches the right temperature, remove from heat. If making two flavors/colors pour one half of the taffy syrup into another pan and flavor/color separately. Quickly stir in 1/4-1 tsp. flavoring (depends on the flavor concentration), and coloring if desired. Pour each pan out onto the two prepared pans. Let cool until easy to handle.

Coloring syrup for Old Fashioned Taffy
Pouring Homemade Taffy onto Pans

Pull the soft taffy until it is light and shiny in color, and becomes difficult to pull. As soon as it’s ready, be creative! Roll the taffy into long ropes and either twist the two colors together or cut pieces from each color. Make thin twisted ropes and roll the ropes to form taffy-pops.

Homemade Taffy Recipe
Children Pulling Homemade Taffy

The children especially loved making these! The younger children can join in twisting the taffy shapes. You can also snip soft taffy into small pieces, cool and wrap individually.  Enjoy!

Homemade Taffy Recipe
Finished Homemade Taffy

I remember trying a few times, mistakes are yummy. Wrap them and give them as gifts!

Yield: Two Ropes Taffy

Homemade Taffy

Old Fashioned Taffy Pull

Try a good old fashioned taffy pull! This is especially fun to make on a chilly day!

Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 3 Tbsp. half & half
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

Instructions

Butter large jelly roll pans before starting. Whisk up the cornstarch and sugar in a saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.

Heat and stir over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil for 3 minutes. The candy mixture will foam and rise quite high in the pan. Watch carefully and stir down if it rises too close to the edge of the pan. Remove the lid and clip a candy thermometer to the side.

Remove the lid and clip a candy thermometer to the side. Wash down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any crystallizing sugar.

Turn the heat down to medium-high and allow it to boil undisturbed until the temperature reaches about 242°-246° (high altitude) or 252°-254° (sea level). This is a very critical part of making soft taffy and not hard candy.

It is important to keep the heat to medium high heat, as it only takes seconds for the temperature of the candy to shoot up. Have lollipop sticks ready in case you accidentally boil the taffy syrup too long.

You can test without a thermometer by skimming off a small bit of the candy syrup and drip onto a piece of parchment paper. Wait a few seconds and peel it off. Work with the drop for a few seconds, pulling and twisting it. If correct, the candy will stiffen a little, but will be very pliable. If it becomes brittle and breaks, the candy has been over-boiled. Using a thermometer usually brings good results if you aren’t confident.

Once the candy reaches the right temperature, remove from heat. If making two flavors/colors pour one half of the taffy syrup into another pan and flavor/color separately. Quickly stir in 1/4-1 tsp. flavoring (depends on the flavor concentration), and coloring if desired.

Pour each pan out onto the two prepared pans. Let cool until easy to handle.

Pull the soft taffy until it is light and shiny in color, and becomes difficult to pull. As soon as it’s ready, be creative! Roll the taffy into long ropes and either twist the two colors together or cut pieces from each color.

Make thin twisted ropes and roll the ropes to form taffy-pops. The children especially loved making these! The younger children can join in twisting the taffy shapes. You can also snip soft taffy into small pieces, cool and wrap individually.

Notes

Make sure to use quality color paste and candy flavoring. Oil flavorings could ruin the taffy texture.

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