Friday, January 29, 2010

Salt Water Taffy

We made salt water taffy this morning. I found lots of recipes online, I liked this site best, not because the recipe was different from others but because it explained the why behind the different steps and ingredients. It looks like a great site for some more exploring as well.

The kids helped me with the taffy; my 1 cup measuring scoop was dirty (actually, it's currently in use as a laundry detergent scoop...) so we used the 1/2 cup scoop--Lily had no trouble figuring out that 2 cups of sugar would take 4 1/2 cup scoops. Cooking is great for practicing all kinds of math--lots of fractions, multiplication, division, telling time ("this says cook for 20 minutes and it's 9:45 right now, when will it be done?"), conversions between measuring systems, weights and mass, almost any basic math you want to incorporate.

I thought the kids would enjoy pulling the taffy, but only Esther tried it--the older two didn't want to get their hands buttery/sticky--that apparently was mom's job! I enjoyed watching the taffy turn from a transparent honey color to a creamy white as the air bubbles were incorporated through pulling.

Now I've got to decide what to do with the taffy. There's way more than I want my family eating, I guess we'd better distribute some to neighbours!


Chambers said...

So how'd it turn out? Does it taste good? Would you stick with this recipe next time? I love taffy and maybe I should try making it.

maryanne said...

I'm curious to hear how it tastes too. That website looks really cool, thanks for the link!

Maile said...

What a fun activity! I need to do more cooking experiments with my kids (taking many deep breaths when things don't go as smoothly as I like - I REALLY prefer cooking by myself, but I am trying to change). Kaia has no problem getting her hands dirty, but Asher really dislikes to.

Paula said...

It tasted delicious. We didn't add any coloring, and the only flavoring I added was some spearmint leaves from our garden I boiled with the mixture for a few minutes before removing them. We also didn't put in either glycerin or cornstarch, so I can't say I followed the recipe exactly--but the product was good!

Ruth MacC said...

Hi Paula,
I haven't a clue what taffy is so I going to check out your link:0)
You are blessed having three kids and your'e right, cooking and baking with them is educational as well as fun. You're creating memories!

It's hard work but keep it up.

Paula said...

Ruth, taffy is a chewy type of candy--it can vary somewhat in texture, but rather like a chewy caramel. The mixture is taken off the stove at the "soft-crack" stage--before it would totally harden when cooled--then "pulled" over and over between the hands which I think keeps it soft?