Pages

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Homemade Molasses Taffy: Make Your Own Monday #46

I have always wanted to take part in a taffy pull.  It's been a secret wish of mine.  Reading L.M.Montgomery has done that to me.  There is something so sweet about those days at the turn of the twentieth century.  The girls and boys wore their best clothes, they sang songs, they ended the night with taffy and cider.

Since I began these Make Your Own Mondays, I have been waiting all year long for Autumn to have my own taffy with my family.  It wasn't as exciting as it would have been if we'd all been been wearing long dresses and suit coats.  None of us broke out into song.  There was no cider to drink.  But. The candy turned out perfectly and was really delicious.  So, though the atmosphere was lacking, the end results were well worth the effort.

I combined two recipes from that I found from the turn of the last century.  I think my high altitude stove plays tricks on candy thermometers.  Hardball stage is supposed to be 260 degrees, but at 250 degrees my taffy came dangerously close to burning, so I took it off the heat.  Therefore, my unscientific theory is that candy thermometers are meant for sea level and you have to adjust for height.  Correct me, if you know any better.

Old Fashioned Molasses Taffy: 
2 cups molasses
1 cup sugar
2 tsp white vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
In a heavy dutch oven, combine the molasses, sugar and vinegar.  Put the remaining ingredients in a bowl and keep it handy.  On medium low, head the molasses mixture to the hardball stage (somewhere close to 260 degrees Fahrenheit).  The mixture will really rise a lot and even spit a bit, that's why you might want to use a taller pot and a long wooden spoon to stir it.  When it gets to the desired temperature, remove it from the heat and add the other waiting ingredients.  Stir the mixture vigorously and pour it into a buttered pan (I used a jelly roll pan).
Wait until the mixture cools down and then divide it up into tennis ball sized balls.  Hand them out to four or five guests (read children) and start pulling.  


 (notice the Engineer trying to put bunny ears behind the Musician's head)
The taffy will immediately turn almost metallic gold color.  Keep pulling until it becomes a uniformly light tan color.  Form it into ropes and cut into pieces.  Don't wait too long or it will get really hard to cut. Wrap pieces in waxed paper and store in an airtight container.

18 comments:

Boulder Locavore said...

I love this recipe and idea! It seems we become consumed by the holidays and spending time together cooking goes out the window. This sounds great. Cannot wait to make it! Thanks for such a delicious and well timed post!

Claudia said...

This is the sweetest blog. I wax poetical about the turn of the (20th) century - while aware of its ills. But there is a romanticism I would love to catch - and I think yo did - with this post.

Belinda said...

That is so cool that you got everyone involved in pulling. I was always mesmerized down at the Cape when they did salt water taffy.

BakingWithoutaBox said...

Looks delicious and fun! What a great combination. Thanks for the recipe. And candy thermometers just outsmart me.

Faith said...

Oh gosh, when I read LM Montgomery(The Emily of New Moon series if my fav.) I always feel like I would of loved to live in another era. Then I think about how much I love my kitchenaid :).

Carolyn said...

I am a huge LM Montgomery fan, I think I've read the Anne series more times than I can count. I so want to go to PEI and explore it. But recreating a taffy pull was such a lovely way to go back in time!

katerina said...

I am sorry Kristen but here you lost me. I have no idea what taffy is. Never heard of it before. Be so kind as to enlighten me, I am in total dark.

shopannies said...

mouthwatering post I love caramels and toffees and the such I am sure these would not be safe around me

Beth said...

What a wonderful post. I loved all of the L.M. Montgomery books. I wouldn't really want to go back in time, but I love the idea of recreating that era through a taffy pull. I don't think I'd get my daughters into long dresses, but I think I could get them on board with the taffy!

Theresa said...

Your mention of molasses candy made my mouth water, and childhood memories I thought forgotten came flooding back. Now I know what I'm making for gifts! Thanks...

Here's what I found when I googled high altitude candy making:
As with most cooking at high altitudes, there are modifications that need to be made to candy recipes. For every 1,000 feet/300 meters above sea level, subtract 2 degrees F/1 degree C from every boiling point listed.

Theresa

The Mom Chef said...

We're going to have to try this. I love taffy. And you all look like you're having so much fun doing the pulling. What a great party activity this would be. Thanks!

briarrose said...

Taffy...just yummy! I must try this out...though I will need to recruit some helpers. ;)

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

What a fun and tasty project! My kids would love this!

Lisa said...

What a fun family activity. Not to mention, you get a delicious treat in the end.

Evan B said...

I love all the candies! These look good and although I don't have little boys around the house to help with the pulling, I guarantee my big kid of a boyfriend will have a blast with these! ha

Sue said...

How fun! You've got a lot of great taffy-pullers in your house!

Mother Rimmy said...

So much fun! I remember pulling taffy with my cousin when we were kids. Thanks for the memories and recipe!

Content in a Cottage said...

Thanks for this recipe. I posted it on my blog today because today is NATIONAL TAFFY DAY.

All content in this website including text and pictures is copyrighted and belongs to me. If you need to use it or reproduce it, please ask first. Any unauthorized usage will constitute plagiarism.