Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cherry Cheesecake Saltwater Taffy

More Northwest beach themed eats! Today's treat: Salt Water Taffy.

No seaside tourist trap is complete without a old fashioned candy store selling salt water taffy. Living next to the Puget Sound, naturally I have my own little store from which I can buy taffy but it is much more fun to make it at home.

Well, fun and a bit of a workout. However, I feel that all the exertion required to make taffy allows you to eat as much of as you want without netting any calories. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a killjoy, or a doctor... or a nutritionist (all killjoys!).

I flavored this batch with cherry and cheesecake because I wanted a dreamy pink colored taffy. However, you're welcome to use the recipe as a base for any color/flavor you can dream up. Again, I'm using candy flavoring oils for this recipe, you can also use regular extracts, you will just need to use more as they are not as concentrated as the candy oils.

Not So Humble Cherry Cheesecake Saltwater Taffy
yields roughly 1 1/2 pounds
adapted from

2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cherry LorAnn flavoring oil
1/2 teaspoon cheesecake LorAnn flavoring oil
1-2 drops Americolor Maroon gel

Prepare a shallow heat safe pan by lightly buttering it. If you plan on dividing the candy into multiple batches, prep 2-3 small pans. Have your flavorings and colorings nearby with buttered spatulas ready to stir.

Sift together the cornstarch and sugar and add to a medium nonstick sauce pan. Stir in the corn syrup, salt, butter and water. Place over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Once it comes to a boil, cover and cook for three minutes. Remove the lid and then clip on your candy thermometer and cook to 260°F.

Once the syrup hits 260°F, remove from heat and add your flavors/colors and mix well. Then pour into your prepared pan. If you're doing multiple batches, divide the syrup between the pans and add the flavorings and colors and then mix well.

Allow the candy to cool until until solid enough to handle and then butter your hands lightly and begin pulling!

You want to stretch out the taffy, bring the ends together to form a loop, stretch and repeat. Over and over. Do this for about 15-20 minutes until the taffy has a creamy, satiny appearance. All this work will incorporate air into the candy, making it soft and chewy. The more pulling the better it will be.

When the taffy has been thoroughly pulled, stretch it into a thick rope and cut it into 1 inch pieces with buttered scissors. Wrap these in cellophane or parchment paper.

Also Happy Birthday, Brother Humble. Stop by and pick up your card (and some food)! Also, sorry about the grainy photos today. We're having one of those dark overcast days in Seattle and the light I had to shoot by was just pitiful.


  1. Salt water taffy always reminds me of trips to Catalina Island my family made when I was little.

    We used to make honey taffy when I was little. I actually hated how it tasted, but absolutely loved pulling it. I think I'm definitly going to have to make this with my kids. Your recipe sounds better than the old honey taffy recipe we used.

  2. I love salt water taffy. Whenever I got a chance to go to Santa Cruz (I grew up in CA) we had to go to the boardwalk and have calamari at Riva, and get salt water taffy from the candy store (that's not there anymore). I think I took every boy I ever dated there... Memories... :)

  3. I love taffy. And I love that these aren't made with coconut oil (my brother once found out it's a natural laxative after eating too much taffy on the long drive home from a beach trip. That made the drive so much longer.haha)
    They look absolutely dreamy.

  4. My grandmother and I made this with molasses and butter. When you stretch it, it transforms in your hands from a dark mahogany color to a beautiful stripey-shimmery golden, and still has that great molasses and butter flavor. Mmmm, I can just taste it right now. If it weren't for my bridgework (and my Atkins diet right now) I'd go make a batch this afternoon.

  5. Nobody else has mentioned it yet, so I'm going to: Your first photo looks like a reference to the book cover art for "Twilight." Just sayin'...
    The taffy sound delicious. I think I just might have to try that recipe this weekend. It would double as a great homemade Valentine's Day present.

  6. Yea, it is a little "Twilight-esque" isn't it.

    The taffy in progress was so pretty I had to get a photo of it, however it was also so sticky I couldn't put it down without it bonding with whatever surface it touched. So Mr. Humble took a quick shot of me holding it.

  7. Oh wow, that first photo is breathtaking! Great job. Saltwater taffy would be too dangerous for me to make...because I would eat the whole batch and ruin my braces :)

  8. i have never seen this flavor of taffy before it looks delicious, i found a place that sells over 100 flavors of taffy but they don't have this one yet:(

  9. I love your blog and I love you for posting this recipe! Sugar hates me, but I am totally trying this. Thank you so much!

  10. That picture looks so very "Twilight". Love it. Happy Valentine's Day!

  11. Simply a stunning picture. Taffy ~ you must be proud!

  12. I am so interested in this, but I have to avoid dyes. Would you mind to give the ingredient list from the cherry flavor? i think this is something I might be able to use :)

  13. LorAnn's Cherry contains Red 40 and Blue 1.

    Not all of LorAnn's flavorings are tinted. For example the Blackberry flavor I have here contains no dyes so that could be substituted for the cherry.

    After all, fruit + creamy cheesecake is rarely a bad combination.

  14. this looks amazing. it's totally time for me to experiment with some salt water taffy in the kitchen, too. Thanks for the great idea.

  15. Your blog is such a bad influence on me! All these sweets are making my stomach grumble.

    My entire family are on diets and I keep making cookies (I just made some for Chinese New Year, check em out!). Gives them the perfect excuse that they don't need to break their strict regime :D

    Nom nom nom

  16. Wow! Those look great and tasty!

  17. I made these with lemon flavoring and yellow food coloring, and everybody loves them!
    Next project will be a batch of peppermint flavoured, in green. Or blue. Or both...

  18. Did the peppermint flavored on sunday, for a friend who is sick with both strep throat and mononucleosis (poor baby). I used pure peppermint oil, about 1,5 teaspoons. They are mild, but he liked them that way as they help his throat without biting too much. Add more if you want the full minty kick.

    Thanks for introducing me to candy making. :)


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