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What you'll need:

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 cup light corn syrup

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon flavoring (such as vanilla, lemon, maple, or mint)

  • green food coloring

  • extra butter for greasing

  • cookie sheet with raised edges, or shallow baking dish

  • very large saucepan (3- to 4-quart)

  • wooden spoon

  • candy thermometer

  • small bowl filled with cold water

  • waxed paper

  • cooking scissors or a butter knife, greased with butter
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making taffy!
Hard at work on a batch of taffy.
What to do:

1. Grease the cookie sheet or baking dish with butter and set it aside.

2. In the saucepan, mix together the sugar and cornstarch. Add the corn syrup, water, 2 tablespoons of butter, and salt. 

3. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to boil, about 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Let the mixture continue to boil, without stirring, and insert candy thermometer, until it reads 270°F. This will take about 15 minutes.

5. Test the mixture by spooning a small amount of it into the bowl of cold water. The mixture should solidify into thin strands that are flexible, not brittle. Remove the strands from the water. If you can form them into a ball in your hand, the mixture is not hot enough and needs to boil a while longer. If the strands bend slightly before breaking, you have reached the perfect temperature.

6. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the flavoring and food coloring (about 5 to 20 drops, depending on how dark you want the taffy to be), and stir gently.

7. Pour the mixture onto the cooking sheet or into the baking dish, and let it sit until it hardens slightly and is cool enough to handle, about 15 to 20 minutes.

8. Grease your hands with butter. Take about a third of the taffy mixture from the cookie sheet and pull it between your hands, stretching it out and then folding it back on itself, and stretching again. Continue to pull the taffy until it becomes lighter and has a satiny gloss, about 7 to 10 minutes. Look out for flying lemurs!

9. Roll the pulled taffy into a long, thin snake, about 1/2 inch in diameter, and cut it with the greased scissors or knife into 1-inch-long pieces. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until you have pulled and cut all of the taffy.

10. Let the taffy pieces sit for about 30 minutes, then wrap in small pieces of wax paper, twisting the ends. Makes about 50 pieces.

Find the recipes from all of my books here!

Madagascar Ground Boa Taffy

Saltwater taffy is almost as much fun to make as it is to eat. Since the mixture gets extremely hot, you should only try this recipe with the help of an adult.