|Our son very focused on pulling taffy|
Salt water taffy is sticky, messy, and super stretchy – sort of like the slime that people buy for kids to play with…
…but when you are done pulling and stretching salt water taffy, you get to eat melt-in-your-mouth homemade salt water taffy!
Making homemade salt water taffy is a project – but not one that will take all day. With my mom’s help and my toddler’s “help” we made and wrapped 50 pieces of salt water taffy in one hour.
I got the idea for funfetti salt water taffy from a similar flavor made by Taffy Town (a company that’s been making salt water taffy recipes for over 75 years). My homemade salt water taffy has a rich vanilla flavor (just like my ultimate vanilla cupcakes) and is loaded with rainbow nonpareils (tiny sprinkle balls).
How to Make Homemade Salt Water Taffy
All of the salt water taffy recipes that I’ve seen follow the same basic formula as the one I share below. While I read many salt water taffy recipes, the one that I most closely adapted mine from was the homemade salt water taffy recipe from Get Off Your Butt and Bake.
Yield: 50 small pieces funfetti salt water taffy
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter + extra for buttering a baking dish, your hands, and scissors
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 tablespoon vanilla plus the seeds from a vanilla bean)
- rainbow nonpareils to taste
- Medium-sized saucepan
- Small baking dish
- Candy thermometer (I highly recommend the digital Maverick)
- Kitchen scissors
- Waxed paper
- Thoroughly butter a small baking dish and set aside.
- Place sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, butter, water, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Heat until the mixture reaches 255 F on a candy thermometer and immediately remove from the heat. Note: If you read other salt water taffy recipes, you’ll see a range of temperatures. The higher the temperature, the harder the taffy will be. 255 F makes a candy that holds its shape but dissolves in your mouth.
- Mix vanilla bean paste into hot taffy.
- Pour the hot taffy into the buttered baking dish.
- Cover taffy with a layer of nonpareils.
- When the taffy is cool enough, butter your hands, form a big taffy ball, and begin to stretch and pull. Imagine you are a kid with bubble gum in your mouth, pulling a piece of it way out, rejoining it to the ball, and then pulling again (but, if you can resist, don’t put any in your mouth yet – the taffy will be much better after the pull). Keep doing this for about 15 minutes. Salt water taffy recipes always call for pulling. Pulling the taffy aerates it, which makes it softer and more chewy. As you pull, you’ll notice that the color of the taffy becomes significantly lighter. You’ll also notice that the taffy will get much tougher to pull. When your arms get really tired and it starts to feel like you are using one of those exercise stretch bands, you’re done. Don’t stress about doing it right. Just have fun!
|Look at the color of the taffy at the very beginning of the pull. You’ll see that it gets much lighter as the process continues.|
|I should have put more butter on my hands; the taffy really stuck to them.|
|Pulling can be a team effort.|
|Here’s my mom pulling.|
|This is near the end of the pull. Look at how much lighter the color of the taffy is.|
- Do one last pull to make the taffy into a long rope with the thickness that you’d like your final product to be.
- Butter a pair of scissors (be careful not to cut yourself).
- Cut the taffy into bite-sized pieces.
- Cut wax paper into small squares.
- Wrap taffy.
Happy pulling and eating!