Today’s Recipe: Old-Fashioned Cream Candy

CREAM CANDY
PREP TIME: 30 MINUTES PLUS 30 MINUTES COOLING
COOK TIME: 20-25 MINUTES
MAKES: ABOUT 1½ lbs

3    cups sugar
1    cup water
¼   t cream of tartar
3    T distilled white vinegar
1    t vanilla

1. Butter a 9”x13” pan and set aside. Bring the water to boil in a small saucepan. Add the sugar to a 3½ qt saucepan. Pour water into the sugar. Add the cream of tartar and the vinegar.
2. Over medium-high heat, stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved, then stop stirring and heat until the temperature reaches the hard-ball stage on a candy thermometer (250°F-265°F).
3. Once the mixture reaches the hard-ball stage, remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and pour into the buttered pan. Cool for about 30 minutes.
4. When the mixture is cool enough to work with, Remove small portions from the pans and pull until the candy turns white. Work into ropes and cut into small pieces with scissors. Enjoy immediately or store in a single layer in an open container.

Gather ingredients.

Butter a 9”x13” pan and set aside.


Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small pan.

Add 3 cups of sugar to a 3½ qt saucepan. Pour boiling water into the sugar.

Add ¼ t cream of tartar.

Add 3 T distilled white vinegar.

Stir to combine. Over medium high heat, continue to stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Once the sugar is dissolved, stop stirring and heat until the mixture reaches the hard-ball stage on a candy thermometer (250°F-265°F).

Remove from heat and stir in 1 t vanilla.

Pour into the buttered pan.

Cool for 30 minutes.

Once mixture is cool, remove a small portion from the pan.

Pull until the candy turns white.

To do this, work the caramel colored ropes back and forth.

Once white, twist the rope.

Cut each twist into small pieces with scissors.

Enjoy immediately or store in a single layer in an open container.

Leave a comment 27 Comments

  1. Dolly Sarrio says:

    I think I will have to make this. MaryJane is this like making taffy? Looks really pretty and good. Thanks for posting.

  2. Geni Estell says:

    So glad to find this. My grandmother made this candy every winter.She always told me it had to be very cold and dry out. This is my favorite candy.

  3. Tracy M. says:

    Mary Jane,

    Is it true that the weather must be cold and dry in order to make this recipe? I remember hearing my Granny say this too.

  4. Dominique says:

    read your recipe and would like to make this candy but need to know what measure is a T ?

  5. Dee says:

    Can’t wait til cold outside. What if I made it in cold environment in my house. Do you think it would work?

  6. Anne says:

    Most cream candies require cold weather and low humidity for best results.

  7. Kelly says:

    Can you add food coloring and is it sweet tasting also does it turn hard.
    1

  8. Rachel says:

    Do you have a recipe for caramel candy (not sauce) that uses ONLY brown sugar and butter? Seems like every recipe on the planet uses cream, or milk, or “vegan drinks” nowadays to make “caramel”.

    It sounds very fussy to want the simple recipe, but my great grandmother always made caramel candy for Christmas using only those two ingredients, and I’d like to continue the tradition.

    Grandma made it a few times, but never wrote it down, and my mom hasn’t a clue about how it was done. She said she remembers “Grandma used her big wooden spoon, a cast-iron pot, and a wood-burning stove…”, but nothing about proportions.

    I would be grateful if anyone can post that recipe. Pretty sure I’m not just dreaming this. 🙂

  9. CooknNuStuf says:

    My mother made this type of candy too. It was called Taffy.

  10. Looks like taffy to me. My mother made it once when I was about 6 and I had several friends over to pull the taffy, it was fun and a mess, needless to say. We never were allowed to do it again.

  11. Amy says:

    As a child, we used to butter up our hands and have taffy pulls!…Memories

  12. Krista says:

    This looks like fun. I haven’t made candy before and have always wanted to try it. It sounds pretty easy and delicious.

  13. Esther says:

    If you have a marble slab, butter it and pour the hot mass on that instead of in a pan. I have never been successful in letting it cool on its own, too hard and brittle to work by that point. On a slab you can work it with bench scrapers to cool it fast. What a lovely creamy confection when done right…yum!

  14. Joan Taber says:

    Back in the day (1940s-1950s), one of my aunts made this candy. She did the pulling outside on a night when there was no humidity; usually in the month of October or November. It’s delicious and I’m happy that I found this recipe. Thank you!

  15. Joan Taber says:

    I meant to say that this IS NOT taffy. It is more like a butter-cream, but not.

  16. pauli says:

    this sound like Edenburg rock my dad used to make it but you start working the cooked syrup sooner after you put it in a cooling pan. He made a pen at the inside of our kithen door and start working the syrup over the pen until the syrup becomming glossy white and if pull it to the bottem and leave it it pull up. You then pull it out and start cutting with a sissor in small cushions. After a day or 2 it melt in your mouth. The secret is to use only the best clean white sugar. Selati will not do. Hullets is the only sugar . And wet weather also do not work with this candy unless you are like me who love the flops.

  17. Gaetane says:

    My grandmother made something similar….would till the weather was cool so she could put the pan on snow to cool!
    And then we would pull….yummy,

  18. Millie Hubbs says:

    Hi: I read your comment about not having your grandma’s recipe for
    vinegar taffy. I don’t know how to get
    A recipe I pinned to you, but it has
    1/2 cup vinegar in it. If you can get to
    my “Candy” pins. 🙂
    Millie Hubbs

  19. Tatiana says:

    Is it supposed to end up like hardish candy? My sister and I made it tonight and it ended up hardening after we pulled and rolled it.

  20. Jennifer says:

    Does it melt in your mouth like creamy butter?

  21. Valerie Mahler says:

    This is NOT a hard candy, Mary Jane. It should ‘cream’ after a few hours. Melts in your mouth just like a butter mint only without the mint. I am surprised that you got it to pull as much as you did without it hardening more than it did. This candy should not be stirred or disturbed at any point. Even the old clipping that you show says nothing about stirring. A better recipe is to put 3 cups sugar into large heavy pan. Pour 1/2 cup water over and bring to a boil over medium high heat WITHOUT stirring ever. Start dribbling 1 cup heavy cream slowly around edges to keep pan boiling. All the sugar may not be dissolved-that’s OK. Boil slowly until 252 degrees. Pour quickly only frozen, buttered marble slab. Pull edges up as candy cools and fold toward middle so it cools evenly. When cool enough to handle, pull until white and and loses it sheen. It will also make a clacking sound now as you smack the ends together. Twist into a rope and cut into bite-size pieces onto wax paper to dry. Keep pieces separate until creamed so they don’t stick together and then store in airtight container. I cover with more wax paper while creaming so they don’t get dry and stale. Thus can happen very quickly and then your candy will be sub quality. This should be a very soft, creamy texture. I don’t add any other ingredients, not even vanilla. This is a regional southern specialty that has local recipes, but this is the only one that performs consistently for me. The local candy store makes it and it seems the same as mine, (no vanilla, cream of tartar or vinegar). All other recipes that I have tried are very finicky and give inconsistent results. Hope this helps!

    • MaryJane says:

      Hi Valerie, it sounds like your version of cream candy is a regional favorite. Thank you for sharing your recipe, it sounds scrumptious. We adapted this recipe from the Comfort Sisters Magazine (circa March 1916), which does not include cream in the ingredients. The generic term “cream candy” refers to the creamy color of the candy, since we typically think of hard candies as being somewhat transparent or dyed.

    • Cora says:

      You should make a youtube video of you making this candy. I have tried so hard to make this candy but it never turns out right. I love this candy and have searched for a recipe but I think I’m doing something wrong but not for sure what it is.

  22. Sabina says:

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! I ate this when I was a child and always wanted to get the recipe!!! Can’t thank you enough for sharing.

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