Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Hands are Red & Blistered From Pulling - Thats What She Said!!!

I apologise about the title but I seriously couldn't resist. Over the last year my mom sisters and I have made candy beyond the Glass Candy we make with our entire family.

This year we decided to tackle Honey Taffy and Vinegar Taffy, just like grandma use to make. This in addition to the Chocolate covered pretzels we have made for the last few years.  Never mind that my sister and I have never made this type of candy and my mom hasn't help make it in YEARS. We like trying new things and apparently never think their may be limits to what we can do.
Mini-Banana Breads

So one Sunday we decided to tackle this project. I was in Logan hanging with The BF so we drove over to moms. When we got there my mom and sister had decided to make Banana Bread also. So I walk into mom's with this wonderful aroma of cooking Banana Bread and I am told I cant have any its for the gifts. Really!!!!! I was very irate until they told me they baked 1 loaf for us to eat. How nice of them we all get to share 1 loaf of bread. I resisted the urge to grab a loaf and run by starting the Chocolate Covered Pretzels.

Banana Bread Recipe
  • 1/2 c. Vegetable oil
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • Beat together.
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 T. milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Sift Flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Add milk and vanilla. Combine all ingredients; beat well. Bake in loaf pan, lined with wax paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Dipping shes not taller she standing on a stool
Chocolate Covered Pretzels are way easy to make but tedious. And this year my 8 year old niece decided she wanted to help dip the pretzels. I explained that's it not a lot of fun but she really wanted to help so after I melted some milk and white chocolate I showed here the easiest ways to start dipping.

 Chocolate Coverd Pretzels
Melt chocolate of your choose
and 1 Tbls butter flavored shortening
Dip pretzels
Lay on wax paper and let set.

Vinegar Taffy

Next we decided to tackle The Taffies. Honey and Vinegar!!!! This actually took us 2 days to make all of it. And there was a fair amount of trial an error that occurred. Luckily my sister and my mom did most of this I was just along for the ride and to help. And I need to add that if someone had video tapped this processes we would have won that jackpot on Americas Funniest Video. The processes is basically the same for both recipes. So first you have to boil all the ingredients then we poured it on to plates, let it start to cool, when it was still hot but not boiling we started to pull it. This process was 1 person pull it for 15 seconds and pass it on to the next person and so on until it cooled enough to put on "the hooks" then pulled the taffy until it was almost hard.

The Hooks!!!
Sprinkle the counter top with powdered sugar and roll out the taffy like a giant snake. Score with a knife and then tap to separate the pieces. Then wrap in wax paper. This is the point when we all started saying stuff like...Its not hard enough yet, OH NO its getting hard, or my hands are all red from pulling. And someone would say That's what she said. My mom did not appreciate those comments but the rest of us would laugh. And after 2 days of making taffy all of us had red hands that were blistered. More than once some taffy got dropped because it was to hot and we would all prepare for when it was our turn to pull the to hot to handle taffy. We would dance around taking deep breathes like we were getting ready for a prize boxing match. We really should video tape it next year. It would be nice to win that money.

8 year old niece pulling Honey Taffy

Honey Taffy

  • 1 c. Honey
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 Tbls. butter
  • Few grains salt
Boil Honey, sugar and salt to hard boil (265-275 degrees)
Add butter, pour into well buttered pan. Cool.
Pull until white and porous. Cut into small pieces.

Vinegar Taffy
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/4 c. vinegar

Honey Taffy

Stir ingredients bring to boil. Do not stir after it starts to boil. Cook until small amount forms a hard ball in cold water. It usually crackles when it goes into the water. Pour on buttered plate. Cool and stretch. Always start pulling when it is just cool enough to hold. Your hands should turn red from the heat but not burn. It should be white when you finish stretching but still pliable. Then snake it out on the table and press the edge of a knife into it. Then would turn it over, pop it with the handle of the knife and have nice pieces.
When you pull candy into rope shape place on powdered sugar table. That stops it from sticking to the table.

"Giant Snake" scoring the taffy


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