Candy pulls hit their height of popularity during the 1840s. The parties were considered a great way to entertain guests, or to celebrate special events, like birthdays.
To make the taffy, molasses candy was created by boiling the molasses, then spreading it in greased pans until it was cool to the touch. The candy was then pulled until it was a light yellow color. Once the color was achieved, the candy was cut into pieces, or shaped into ropes, braids, or sticks. It could even be cut with scissors into drop-like shapes.
In the 1870s, the name candy pull segued to taffy pull as even the wealthy got in on the fun. Taffy pulls became a social event attended by the fashionable as a source of amusement.
If you want to make your own taffy, I found a recipe that looks incredibly easy (although I haven't tested it!).
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup molasses
Dash of salt
Butter a jelly roll pan and set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, heat milk, molasses, and salt. Stir and cook over low heat until a hard ball forms when tested in cold water. Spread mixture into prepared pan and cool until you can handle it. Butter hands and pull pieces into a long rope, working until color of taffy lightens. Cut into pieces. Works best pulling with a partner.
If you enjoy old-fashioned treats, events and parlor games, don't miss out on my Hardman Holidays series!
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