How About Some Old-Time Pulled Molasses Taffy????
Back in the 1800’s, all the way through the Depression, pulling taffy candy was a family tradition in homes of all incomes and circumstances. Taffy-pulling was a time-honored routine when the weather turned cold and the holidays rolled around. Kids absolutely loved it, particularly since candy was in short supply in those days.
What follows is an old recipe for Okie Molasses Taffy….
5 teaspoons butter (don’t substitute), softened and divided
¼ cup water
1 ¼ cups brown sugar, packed
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup molasses, unsulphured
1 pair scissors, greased
Use 3 teaspoons of butter to grease a 15”x10”x1” pan and set aside.
Combine the water, vinegar, salt and brown sugar in a saucepan, and cook over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until it reaches the firm-ball stage (your candy thermometer will read 245 degrees). Add the molasses and the rest of the butter. Continue to cook, uncovered, until it reaches the hard-ball stage (your candy thermometer will read 260 degrees), stirring occasionally.
Remove immediately from the heat and pour into your prepared pan. Take a spatula and turn up the edges a little to make it easier to get out when cool. Wait until it’s cool enough to handle, this will be 4 or 5 minutes. Butter your fingers well. Form the taffy into one or more balls. Now start pulling.
Working fast, pull a lump of taffy between the fingertips of one hand and the other until it's about 15 inches long.
Now double it up and pull again. Continue pulling until the candy is porous and hard to pull.
Stretch the candy into a rope about 3/4 inch in diameter.
Cut with the greased scissors into 1-inch pieces.
Wrap each piece in waxed paper and twist the ends. Store the taffy in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Before you serve your molasses taffy, remove it from the fridge for 30 minutes.
This is always best if your entire family gets in on the act of pulling, cutting and wrapping the taffy!
Many who grew up in Oklahoma remember the pulled taffy days - it's a time-honored tradition in the Sooner state.