Peanut Butter Salt Water Taffy

June 21, 2015
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about 50 pieces
Author Notes

Maple syrup, while not traditional in salt water taffy, turns the whole thing into a taffy-caramel flavored hybrid. It's perfect—a little bit of salty and a whole lot of peanut-y. You'll need a candy thermometer, kitchen shears, and wax paper to make this recipe.

Adapted from —Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

What You'll Need
  • 1/3 cup creamy, processed peanut butter (none of that natural stuff here—we’re talking Skippy)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  1. Thoroughly butter a rimmed baking sheet (I used a 9- x 13-inch pan, but a similar size will work fine). Get in the corners, but don’t worry so much about the sides, as the taffy won’t come into contact with these.
  2. In a deep pot over low heat, add all of the ingredients at once. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Without stirring, bring the mixture to 250° F. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature and don’t rush the process by cranking up the heat. I’ve tried and ended up with a burnt pot (the taffy did turn out, but so did a ruined pan). Once the mixture comes to temperature, after about 15 minutes, turn off the heat and pour the taffy base onto the greased baking sheet. Let it sit until it's cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes.
  4. This is where arm strength comes into play. Grease your hands thoroughly with butter and pull the taffy: Stretch it into a long rope about 1 inch in diameter and fold the rope in half, onto itself like you’re closing a book. Twist it completely together, then pull into a long rope again, and repeat. Continue this process until the taffy is firm and hard to pull, about 4 to 5 pulls. Stretch it into a long rope about 1-inch-thick and, using buttered kitchen shears, cut it into bite-size, 1-inch pieces.
  5. Wrap each piece of taffy in wax paper. You can either buy a candy wrapper or go the D.I.Y. route and cut squares out of wax paper. Gift the little squares to friends, or keep them all to yourself. The taffy will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 months—or until it's too hard to chew.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Midnite Baker
    Midnite Baker
  • Laura415
  • brown
  • Kathy Harwood
    Kathy Harwood

4 Reviews

brown June 25, 2020
Wow1 really delicious! thank you
Kathy H. November 15, 2016
I was wondering if I could use Almond Butter or Cashew Butter?? I really do not like peanut butter!!
Midnite B. October 24, 2015
For 1/3 cup processed peanut butter, I won't buy a jar of PB. Is it absolutely necessary to used processed PB?? I have a pure ground peanut butter that I have used as a replacement in all my recipes for years. Sure, I can't use it??
Laura415 March 11, 2016
I just made a peanut butter caramel recipe and used "natural" organic creamy peanut butter from Trader Joes. It emulsified perfectly. I used 1/2 cup in my recipe of similar proportions to this one but using brown sugar instead of the liquid sugar. Also brought it to a temperature of 245º to 250º. Turned out fine. Different recipe though, but still the natural peanut butter worked.