Dee Stillwell Recipe

Pop's Molasses Popcorn Balls & Taffy

By Dee Stillwell LILLYDEE


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This recipe has been in our family for over 100 years. My dad's mother would make & pull this taffy on a big hook that was on her kitchen doorway. She would then sell it at the local market in Alberta, Canada.
I grew up making this with my family every fall. As soon as the weather got cool, we always knew it was popcorn ball & taffy time, burnt hands and all. We loved every minute of it. Mom would pop popcorn all day with a little old fashioned popper. Sometimes it would burn and stink up the house...lol. We always made 2 big grocery bags full. We needed alot so we had plenty to share with friends & family. Someone always came over when they knew Pop was making them. Pop always made the syrup and let me help when I got old enough. I always loved being in the kitchen cooking something. The flavor of this candy is somewhat like Werthers Originals.Posting this recipe has brought back many wonderful memories thanx.

Ingredients

2 c
sugar
1 c
light karo syrup
1/2 c
dark molasses (2/3cup for more intense flavor)
1/4 c
butter
1/2 tsp
salt
1/2 c
water

Directions Step-By-Step

1
We always double this recipe so we have enough to make taffy and popcorn balls. My pop always made 2 double batches.
In a large 4 quart saucepan with handle, mix all ingredients together. Over med heat, bring to boil, stirring frequently. Tip the pan slightly to melt the sugar crystals on the sides, scraping down with a wooden spoon. Continue to boil to the hard crack stage (300-310 degrees on a candy thermemeter) or until it threads and turns hard when drizzled into a cup of cold water (the method my Pop used). Have a huge bowl ready with the popcorn in it with plenty of room to stir hot syrup into the popcorn. Also have butter and a bowl of cold water handy. If you are making taffy, also butter a few plates, depending on how many people are pulling taffy.
Pour syrup over popcorn while someone quickly stirs the batch. Be careful to keep hands out of the way of the syrup as it causes bad burns. Everyone making the popcorn balls should butter their hands and dip them in the cold water. Quickly grab up some of the mixture and form into a ball about 2-3" around. Work quickly as it hardens fast and will burn your hands if you don't. A few years ago, I found popcorn ball molds on the internet. These are great, especially for the kids.
2
To make taffy: pour about 1 cup of syrup on each greased plate. Let cool awhile so u can start handling it. Be careful as it is very hot. As soon as you can handle it like a hot potato, start pulling it between your hands, until a light golden brown is achieved. The longer you pull it the lighter it becomes. Twist into a long rope about 3/4 inch thick. Put on buttered plate to harden and cool. Break apart and store in airtight container or wrap individually in candy wrappers. Taffy will stick together if you don't keep it sererated. Have fun and I hope this recipe becomes a family tradition for you as well.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Candies, Popcorn
Other Tag: For Kids

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33 Comments

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Dee Stillwell LILLYDEE
Mar 30, 2013
Thanx for checking out this recipe..It just wasn't fall until we made these..and sometimes still do. The problem is, I eat most of them...My son and grandson aren't crazy about them..their loss..LOL
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S M sm_1234
Mar 30, 2013
We pulled taffy when I was a kid too. I haven't even thought of that in years. I also make a good molassas cookie but always on the look out for recipes, I love cookie making!
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Dee Stillwell LILLYDEE
Nov 3, 2011
YW Jan..I know u will love em..I planned to make em for Halloween but didn't get it done yet..Now I have a sugar headache from eating too much candy..dummy me.
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Jan W Neeniejan
Oct 31, 2011
Dee, I just saved this recipe, copied & pasted to Word so I could print & read it...also ordered the popcorn ball makers from Jolly Time...wish I'd seen this before now, but will have it for later!
Can't wait to try these, thanks!! ♥
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Dee Stillwell LILLYDEE
Oct 31, 2011
Kim, I am so glad u tried our old family recipe..Did u have fun making them?? any burnt hands? I bought molds a few yrs ago but haven't made them for that long so I am anxious to try them. They have 2 sides so u can scoop the mixture up in them and press together,,and create a ball...It will definitly save the hands. Happy Halloween