Once again a failed attempt on my part to create something. I realize what I did wrong though and will guide you through what not to do if you want taffy or what to do if you want hard candy . . .or fine art.
Step 1: Combine Sugar and Cornstarch
In a saucepan combine 2 cups of sugar and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
Step 2: Add Butter
Add 2 tablespoons of butter.
Step 3: Add Corn Syrup, Water and Salt
Stir in 1 cup corn syrup, 3/4 cup water and 1 teaspoon salt. Turn stove on to "medium."
Step 4: Stir
Stir this mixture and pay close attention to the heat. I have a gas stove that seems to run hotter than electric. My "medium" on the dial is more like high so right away I got a bunch of bubbles racing to the top of the pan so I adjusted my heat lower.
Step 5: Bring to a Boil and Monitor Heat
You will want to have the mixture simmering like the picture shown, nothing higher or lower. Do not stir while the mixture is reaching it's appropriate temperature, it needs to be left alone.
Step 6: Watch Temperature With Candy Thermometer- Bring to 270 Degrees
Here is where my first mistake occurred and I uttered, "uh-oh". The temperature was slowly climbing and I felt like it wasn't getting high enough fast enough so I cranked the heat a little. The temperature previously was slowly going up like 50 degrees every 20 minutes and after I cranked the heat it immediately jumped over the soft-crack stage which is 270 degrees. I am sure that over the soft-crack stage is too high for taffy if you want it to be soft.
Step 7: Cut Wax Paper Squares
While the temperature is rising you can prepare ahead by cutting your wax paper squares into pieces approximately 2" x 3x depending on how big you want the candy pieces to be.
Step 8: Add Food Coloring and Flavor
When the soft-crack stage has been achieved, remove from heat and add your food coloring and flavoring. I wanted banana and used 1 teaspoon imitation banana flavor and 4 drops of yellow food coloring. Stir.
Step 9: Pour Into Pan
Next you want to pour it into a greased pan to cool. If you have little kids around you want to make sure someone else can watch them or you have them entertained as this is hot stuff.
Step 10: Let Cool- But Not Too Long!
Next you want to let it cool but ONLY long enough for it to get tolerable for you to pull. We are talking minutes here . . .
Step 11: Keep an Eye on Things!
I gave my kid a juice-pop to munch on while I was messing with all this so he would stay out of my way . . but then he started to play with it and throw it and make a mess that needed to be cleaned up and before I knew it the taffy was past the pulling stage.
Step 12: Pull Taffy
By the time I got around to trying to pull it I realized that I either needed a He-man or machine . . . it was way too tough. I have done it myself before and so I know a person can do it themselves, but only if they cook it to the appropriate temperature and don't let it sit too long! but if your taffy is in good shape then pull it to add air and make the taffy soft, about ten minutes.
Step 13: Make Art!
If it's apparent you are not going to have taffy, figure out what you can do. Like make a "blown glass" swan! If your taffy pulled correctly then roll into a 1/2" in diameter tube and cut the pieces with greased scissors.
Step 14: Loch Ness
You could make the Loch Ness monster . . .
Step 15: Roll
Roll your taffy pieces or hard candy pieces in waxed paper and twist the ends.
Step 16: Put in Jar
Put in air-tight jar for present-giving or self. I recommend the taffy stay with you and the candy go as a gift!