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Halle, my daughter loves to help me in the kitchen. I thought a fun summer activity would be to make some candy- and it was! We made “pioneer taffy” and old fashioned rock candy. They took a little while to cook, but in the end it was worth it! Just fyi, the pioneer taffy is a hard candy, not a soft chewy taffy.
Here are your ingredients for the Pioneer Taffy: sugar, water, glycerine, corn syrup, salt, vanilla, (or flavored oil) and butter.

Combine all ingredients in a pot, except for the butter and vanilla. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Let it keep boiling until your candy thermometer reaches 258 degrees F. This takes a while so be patient. (35 to 40 min)
When the taffy is cooked, remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla. (Or flavored oil)
Make sure you don’t cook it too long or this is what happens after you pour the mixture on your buttered cookie sheet: When I tried to take it off the cookie sheet it cracked- big no no!
Instead of it cracking because I cooked it too long the first time, the second time I made it, after I poured it on the pan, I let it cool for 5 min, then started pulling it. It was HOT but I pulled it for about 10-15 min. Then it started getting hard. When it starts to get hard, this is when you want to finish pulling it, in the size of candies you want to break it off in.

Halle was a great puller!
This guy wanted to eat it and not stretch it.
Pioneer Taffy
Pioneer Taffy
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 cup white corn syrup
  • 2 tsp glycerin (found at heath food stores)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  1. Mix sugar, water, salt, corn syrup and glycerin in a heavy saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, and cook until the temperature reaches 258 degrees.
  3. Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla until the butter has melted.
  4. Pour candy onto a buttered cookie sheet.
  5. Cool approx. 5 minutes or until taffy can be handled comfortably.
  6. Take a small piece of taffy and stretch and fold until the taffy turns white.
  7. Form taffy into the desired shape.
  8. Place on wax paper.
Old Fashioned Rock Candy
This is even easier than the taffy and it looks so cute!
Here are the ingredients. Sugar, water, corn syrup, butter, flavored oil (I used raspberry) and food coloring.
Butter a cookie sheet.
Combine sugar, water, corn syrup and food coloring in a large saucepan. Mix well together and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and let it cook for 3 minutes to completely dissolve the sugar crystals.
Uncover the pan and turn up the heat to medium high. Place the thermometer into the mixture. Cook the mixture without stirring until it reaches 300 degrees (hard crack point)
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir the flavored oil into the mixture. Pour the candy into the baking pan. Let the candy cool completely. This takes at least an hour.
*Be extremely careful if you give this to children- as you can see it has sharp edges

Take a butter knife handle and break the candy in pieces. Put the candy in a plastic bag with powdered sugar, seal it and shake it, so they are coated.

Shake off the excess powdered sugar.
Old Fashioned Rock Candy
Old Fashioned Rock Candy
  • 3¾ cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 dram of flavored oil (1 tsp.)
  • food coloring
  • butter or margarine
  1. Grease a baking sheet with butter.
  2. Combine the sugar, water, corn syrup and food coloring until well mixed.
  3. Heat mixture over medium heat until it comes to a boil.
  4. Cover the pan and cook the mixture for 3 minutes until the sugar crystals have completely dissolved.
  5. Uncover the pan and turn the heat up to medium high.
  6. Place the candy thermometer in the mixture.
  7. Cook without stirring until it reaches the hard crack stage (300 degrees)
  8. Remove the pan from the heat.
  9. Pour it into the baking pan. Let it cool for an hour.
  10. Break into pieces, and put into a bag with powdered sugar. Shake it up to coat the candy.
  11. Store the candy in an airtight container.
~ Jessica


Owner & Author at Or so she says...
Mariel (mahr-eeee-elle) is a mother to six, wife to one. Loves homeschooling, golfing, cupcakes, traveling, cuddling, non-fiction books, gardening, James Taylor, and family time. This is her blog. Enjoy!
16 Comments On This Topic
  1. Lanie
    5 years ago

    Pictures of the Pioneer Taffy remind me of making Vinegar Pulled Taffy with my Mama when I was little. If I close my eyes, I can taste it. What great memories for your little ones!

  2. Larissa
    5 years ago

    That looks amazing!

  3. Bonnie
    5 years ago

    I passed this one along to some family and friends because I think it will be so fun to make with the kids. The 2nd recipe calls for 1 dram of flavoring.

    I did a little research online and I think a ***dram is = to 3/4 tsp*** 8 drams in a liquid ounce. 6 tsp in an ounce. 6/8=.75 or 3/4 tsp. someone please correct me if I am wrong. Can’t wait to try these out!

  4. Jessica
    5 years ago

    Yes you are correct. The flavoring I buy is exactly 1 dram, or .125 fl oz or 3.7 ml. I measured it and it was exactly 1 tsp. I used the whole bottle. Thanks!

  5. Steph
    5 years ago

    Oh YUM!

  6. Toni
    5 years ago

    Looks like a lot of fun! I might have to use this idea for my youth activity night.

  7. Mariel
    5 years ago

    You are a freakin’ genius.

  8. Becky
    5 years ago

    LOVE THIS! Taffy is my fav. I will have to do this with my girls!

  9. Donna
    5 years ago

    I can’t wait to try this. My girls are Little House on the Prairie fans so this will be perfect to try. Thanks for the great blog entry

  10. Kendra
    5 years ago

    We used to pull taffy for FHE when I was a little girl! That waiting to cool is an important step as my brother and his blistered hand learned the hard way.

  11. Heidi
    5 years ago

    I haven’t been able to find flavored oil. Where do you buy it or is there a substitute I could use?

    • Mariel
      5 years ago

      Any baking store should have them. Also, you could even try Amazon, they seem to have everything.

  12. Amanda
    5 years ago

    I’m making your rock candy recipe now. I assume you put the flavor in after removing from heat?

    Also, I made the pioneer candy last night. It didn’t turn out for me, but I’m sure it was something I did, or maybe the extreme humidity. Does it stay tacky? And it didn’t hold its shape. Any tips?

    • Mariel
      5 years ago

      Hey Amanda! Jessica (who wrote the post) no longer blogs, but I just texted her… hopefully I can get her to check back in and help you out!

  13. Jessica
    5 years ago

    Amanda- Yes, put the flavoring in after removing it from the heat.

    As for the Pioneer Taffy it is NOT a soft taffy. After it reaches 258 degrees, let it cool for about 5 minutes and then start pulling and stretching it. When it turns white is when you should make it into the shape you want, then it will turn hard soon after that. I’m wondering maybe if it didn’t reach the 258 degrees… hope that helps! Good luck!

    • Mariel
      5 years ago

      Thanks for chiming in, girlfriend!! I miss you!!

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