Finished Taffy Candy wrapped in wax paper.
I think during the 19th century this particular kind of Taffy was known as Vinegar Candy. The old cookbooks keep pointing to that. For example, my old cookbook, Queen of the Household, has this recipe: Vinegar Candy – One quart sugar, I pint water, 4 tablespoons vinegar, butter size of an egg, I teaspoon vanilla. Boil 20 minutes and pull it. If you halve this recipe it brings me very close to what I used to make our Taffy. One 1870’s cookbook has the same exact ingredient list except they add cream of tarter to it.
The steps, followed by the recipe:
Stirring the syrup to dissolve sugar.
Poured finished syrup onto well buttered marble slab.
Worked candy into mound.
Candy on the left has been pulled longer than that on the right. You can see the color and transparency differences beginning to emerge.
Twisting two ropes of pulled candy together to form finished product.
Here is the recipe I used:
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
First combine sugar, water, vinegar and butter in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Cover and continue to cook 2 or 3 minutes to wash down crystals. Now uncover and cook without stirring until mixture reaches soft crack stage which is 270 degrees. When it reaches that stage remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Now pour syrup onto well buttered 15 x 10 x 1 inch jellyroll pan or marble slab. Cool slightly. Work candy into mound using buttered spatula, cut in half. With buttered hands pull, fold, and twist each portion until candy is opaque and begins to stiffen. Pull each section then into a rope and twist the two ropes together. Cut in pieces and wrap with waxed paper.