Marisa's Vanilla Bean Saltwater Taffy
Makes 120 pieces
Note: Taffy will not set properly on a humid or moist day. Add food coloring to tint the mixture, if desired.
Cooking spray or oil
1/2 cup evaporated milk
11/2 cups sugar
12/3 cups light corn syrup
1/2 vanilla bean, split
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Wax twisting papers
1. Generously grease a baking sheet.
2. In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the milk, sugar and corn syrup. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the pan. Add the pod. Bring to a boil over high heat, uncovered, then insert candy thermometer.
3. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring frequently to avoid scorching, until mixture reaches 246 degrees (firm ball stage), 10 to 15 minutes. Put on your oven mitts, remove pan from heat and pour on baking sheet.
4. Fish out the vanilla bean pod with tongs. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the surface of the taffy. Cool until warm to the touch, 30 to 45 minutes.
5. Turn the cooled taffy onto a large oiled cutting board. Stretch the taffy out with both hands, fold it over on itself and stretch again. Repeat this continuously until the taffy has turned opaque and white, about 15 minutes.
6. Generously grease the blades of your kitchen scissors and your hands. Pull the taffy into 4 equal pieces. Roll the first into an 18-inch log. Snip off 11/2-inch pieces; immediately roll them in wax paper, so they hold their shape. Repeat with remaining taffy. Store in an airtight container up to 3 weeks.
-- Liz Gutman and Jen King, "The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook" (Workman, $17.95, 302 pages)