How to Pull Taffy Candy

  • 01 of 10

    Mix the Ingredients for the Sugar Syrup

    sugar syrup taffy
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to

    Taffy begins with a basic sugar syrup cooked to soft-crack stage. Specific recipes may vary, but a basic recipe would be:

    • 2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1.5 cups light corn syrup
    • 1 cup water

    Combine these ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.

    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    Boil the Sugar Syrup to Soft-Crack Stage

    boiling ingredients
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to

    Allow the sugar syrup to continue to cook, without stirring, until it reaches soft-crack stage (270 F). Taffy can be cooked slightly less, to hard-ball stage (260 F), if desired. Candy cooked to soft-crack will be brittle and hard, while candy cooked to hard-ball will be slightly softer and stickier.

    Once the candy has reached the desired temperature, remove from the heat and immediately stir in the desired flavored extracts and food colors. For this recipe, ½ tsp flavored extract and 3 to 4 drops of food coloring should be sufficient. Feel free to experiment with various flavor and color combinations. If you are making multiple colors from the same batch, remember to divide up the syrup before adding the colors. Place any syrup you will not be pulling immediately on a baking sheet in a 200 F oven to remain warm and pliable.

    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    Cool and Work the Syrup

    cool the syrup
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to

    Pour the syrup from the pan onto a cool, oiled work surface. A marble slab or heat-safe cutting board works perfectly. Allow the syrup to sit and cool for a minute until a skin has formed on the surface. With an oiled metal ​bench scraper or metal spatula, begin to work the syrup by folding the edges into the center. Continue turning and working the syrup until it is just cool enough to handle.

    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Begin to Pull the Candy

    pulling taffy
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to

    Pulling and stretching the candy is intrinsic to the texture of taffy, but it can be dangerous. Be very careful not to burn yourself when pulling taffy. Do not handle the candy until it is cool enough to touch, and beware that candy that feels cool on the surface can be burning hot underneath. Wear a pair of latex gloves (or two) while pulling candy, to prevent burns and overheating. If you do not wear gloves, make sure your hands are well-oiled so the sugar will not stick and burn your skin.

    To begin pulling the candy, lift it from the work surface with an oiled scraper or spatula and push it into a cylinder. Stretch it between your hands. It will be soft and will sag in the middle.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Pull and Twist the Candy

    twisting taffy
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to

    Bring the syrup back together and again stretch it out between your hands. Repeat until the syrup begins to hold its shape when stretched out. Begin working the syrup with a twisting motion.

    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    Fold Candy Together in a Horseshoe

    folding taffy
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to

    Fold the pulled, twisted syrup together into a horseshoe shape. Twist the two halves together, working evenly and firmly.

    Continue to 7 of 10 below.
  • 07 of 10

    Pull the Twisted Candy

    pulling taffy
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to

    Pull the twisted syrup to make a long, even rope about ½ inch in diameter. Continue to repeat the folding, twisting, and pulling pattern as long as the syrup is supple. You will notice that it gets firmer, and the color changes to a glossy, pearly,  opaque color.

    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    How to Pull Taffy Candy: The Final Fold

    pulling taffy candy
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to

    When the syrup has reached a point where it is becoming difficult to pull, fold it in two and then fold it again, for a 4-strand horseshoe design. Gently twist the four strands together.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    The Final Pull

    pulling taffy candy
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to

    Pull the four-strand candy a final time, gently twisting as you pull, to make a long, thin, even rope.

    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    Cutting the Candy

    pulling taffy candy
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to

    Use oiled kitchen shears or scissors to cut the candy rope into short pieces of equal size. Allow them to dry and harden completely at room temperature. If the candies won’t be served immediately, wrap them individually in waxed paper to prevent them from sticking together. Store in a cool, dry place.