Taffy is a confection-specifically a soft and chewy candy resembling a toffee in its flavors. A favorite of children, the colorful confection is commercially available in fruity, molasses and unflavored versions. Popular in the American and European cultures, the taffy recipe is a party favorite and is made in a number of flavors and in different colors.
Taffy Recipe- History
The history of Taffy can be traced back to the early 19th centuries when it was known as the treacle. By 1840 this chewy candy attained wide popularity and making it became a favorite pastime of many. Salt water taffies and chews are popular taffies that are produced commercially too. Chews is the name given to the English variations of the taffies and though they resemble the toffee, they are different as they are not made in caramel flavoring. Chewits and Starbursts are two popular brands under which taffies are largely marketed. Taffy apples are not taffies in the true sense of the word but they are caramel candies. The salt water varient is a soft variety of the taffy which gained good popularity in New Jersey.
Taffies- Commonly Suggested Ingredients
The primary ingredient suggested by the taffy recipe is sugar. Apart from this, butter or vegetable oil, food flavorings and a variety of food colors are used in the preparation of this confection. The modern version of this chewy candy makes use of butter, corn syrup and glycerin.
Taffy Recipe- Preparation Overview
Taffy is prepared by boiling sugar to a sticky and stretchable consistency with butter, flavorings and food color ( usually of pastel shades). The mass of sugar is stretched till fluffy in texture, folded and wrapped in wax paper to keep its softness intact. The modern version of the candy also follow the same rule of reparation though the ingredients used are different. The preparation involves pulling the candy till light and fluffy, followed by folding it and stretching it out once more till the desired texture and consistency is attained.
Popular Variants of Taffy Recipe
The popular varieties of taffy are discussed further:
Traditional Taffy- it is prepared with white or brown sugar. The process essentially involves mixing sugar, corn syrup, and white vinegar and milk later. The sweet sticky mass is cooked till it attains the soft ball stageafter which it is pulled with hands greased with margarine. The candy is then twisted at the end and cut into 1 inch long pieces which are wrapped in colored papers and twisted. The confection is preserved in an air-tight container.
Salt water Taffy- named because of its place of origin, Atlantic City, New Jersey, supposedly owing to a legend according to which the chewable candy was named so because a girl who bought the candy from a store that was flooded with waters of the Atlantic Ocean, proudly named it so as she was able to get her candy despite the fact that the salted water of the ocean had flooded the city and destroyed everything else. The salt water taffy is made of sugar, corn syrup, cornstarch and glycerin. Butter, salt, flavorings and colorings are added while preparing for a sweet colorful, flavorful and creamy finish. Contrary to common misconception, salt water is not an ingredient of salt water taffy and neither does it taste salty. Salt Water taffy, a soft variant of the taffy, is quite popular in America. Pulling the taffy is a popular pastime of many. The sugar and corn syrup which is cooked till the hard ball stage is pulled into long rope of about 5-6 ft. in length by hooking it first and pulling to aerate it. After this, the stretched candy is wrapped around the hook again.
Fruity taffy- It is one of the most common items which one gets to see when it comes to taffy recipes. The candy is prepared in the usual way by boiling together sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, butter and salt. Fruit flavoring is added while cooking and the sweet mixture is boiled till the hard ball stage. It is then pulled out till it elongates into a rope and becomes firm. It is then cut into small pieces.
Maple taffy- made of maple syrup it is prepared in an interesting manner. Traditionally it is prepared by dropping pure maple syrup, to which no sweeteners are added, on to a pile of snow during the winters. The maple hardens resulting in the formation of taffy.
Pulled Taffy- it is made with a higher percentage of corn syrup than other types of taffies which give greater ductility to the finished product. This type of taffy is made for special occasions in different shapes. However this variation of the taffy is hard and meant to be consumed like a hard candy.