Oh boy! I have a magical sweet treat for you today. Homemade Irresistible Unicorn Taffy Bait! It’s a colorful, sweet treat that will help you catch magical unicorns and more. 😉 Full of colorful swirls, sweet flavor, and fluffy texture, this bait is one of the most magical around! We even made it using a homemade taffy puller. Watch the video below.
I’ve been making homemade taffy, on and off, for about a decade now. The first year I made it, I hand-pulled about 10 batches to give to friends and family for Christmas. Wow, was that a workout?! When my dad saw the amount of work I put in to produce my Christmas taffy, he went to work.
My dad was on a mission to make taffy easier for us to make. He was determined to make a taffy puller. It would make the process go so much faster and be much easier on the arms. Haha. Over the next couple months, my dad would tinker-putt down in his shop after work until one day he called me into the kitchen. Low and behold, he had made a homemade taffy puller that was powered by a KitchenAid mixer! It was awesome!
We whipped up a batch of taffy right then to see how it worked. It had a few kinks, but we were able to work most of them out over the years. This homemade taffy puller turned that hot sweet puddle of sugar into amazing, fluffy sweetness. It was irresistible, and this colorful taffy unicorn magic!
We decided a couple weekends ago, to ask Papa if we could borrow his taffy puller to show the girls how cool it was in action. I understand most people won’t have a taffy puller machine just lying around. If I make taffy, I typically have to hand pull it because my dad doesn’t live near me. That makes it a LOT more work but it’s still sooo fun and delicious. If you are going to venture to make this irresistible unicorn taffy bait.
Just a warning! This Irresistible Unicorn Taffy Bait isn’t for the faint of heart… if you don’t have access to a taffy puller, it’s A LOT of work. I will say though, if you have older kids, it’s fun to watch them get a workout pulling this for you. 😉
Taffy is so simple to make. You cook the ingredients, add flavoring and color, and pull it. That’s it. The ingredients are so inexpensive for the amount of taffy you will end up making. This recipe cost me less than $2 dollars and makes about 2 lbs of unicorn taffy. This is what I use. Find the full printable recipe here.
In a large heavy saucepan, I adding the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Then cooked it over medium-high heat. I stirred the mixture until the sugar dissolved and the mixture began to boil. Then I stopped stirring it until it hit the right temperature.
It had been a while since I had made this taffy. One thing I had to be very careful of was overcooking the sugar mixture. It’s easy to do when you are cooking at such a high heat. If the temperature rises too high, the mixture will be too stiff to pull once it cools. It basically turns into a giant sucker.
I ended up making multiple batches. Part of the reason for that was because I used a new temperature gauge and the other part was due to the taffy puller. I normally use a candy thermometer, but the day I made this batch my candy thermometer literally died. How convenient and ironic is that? I had to use a temperature gun to check how hot the candy mixture was getting.
The first batch was way overcooked. This made the sugar mixture very hard. When I placed it on the taffy puller, it was too hard. The chain on the taffy puller started to skip and eventually fell off.
After some modifications and tightening, I was ready for batch two. I let the second batch cool too much before putting it onto the puller. As the mixture cools, it becomes stiff. If you are like me and let it cool too much, it will be very hard to pull. The taffy puller skipped a couple times but still worked well to incorporate the air into the taffy. I flavored this batch lemon and also added a tablespoon of citric acid to give it a little puckery bite. I also played around with colors to show my girls what happened when we mix primary colors and non-primary colors together. Our final color for this batch was gray. It tasted great but didn’t look very appetizing. Thus no pictures. Sorry!
Third time’s a charm. I found the right temperature for me was about 255ºF.
Once it was done, I added the flavoring and poured it into a lined pan to cool. This mixture was piping hot, as you can see from the bubbles. It took about 10 minutes or so to cool enough to handle it.
After thoroughly washing my hands and nails, I rubbed a little butter on my hands to avoid having the sugar mixture stick to me.
This batch was much easier to place on the arms of the machine and the taffy puller worked with ease. When the taffy puller was working its magic, the candy expanded and doubled in size. It turned creamy, white, and fluffy. It was so fun to watch. I added color while it was on the machine. It was amazing to see it turn from white to pink to purple. Before I added a new color to the taffy on the puller, I pulled a glob off so we could make this fun multicolored unicorn taffy.
It took about 10 minutes to pull the taffy on my dad’s taffy puller. If you don’t have a puller, you can use a taffy hook or just old fashion arm power to pull it. It will take much longer but is so worth it.
If you ever have the chance to make taffy on a puller, it’s amazing! Mesmerizing, really! You definitely need to watch the video.
Once it was fluffy, soft, and colored, I pulled it off the taffy puller and rolled each color into a snake. I then rolled them together into a larger snake. I gave the whole thing a few big twists to give this unicorn taffy it’s fun unicorn horn-inspired twirl. Those colorful swirls are what will land you a unicorn, or at least a smiling face or two.
Don’t these look scrumptious?! I think I ate about half of them myself. Yum!
Once I had swirled the colored taffy, using scissors coated with butter, I cut the long strand into 1.5 to 2 inch long pieces. To store this Irresistible Unicorn Taffy Bait, I wrapped each piece in a 3×3 inch square of waxed paper and gave the ends a little twirl to lock in freshness. Fresh bait is much tastier than old bait. 😉 I think we’d all agree on that.
I’ll be honest. I have yet to catch a magical unicorn but I’m pretty sure if I were to catch one, it would be using this Irresistible Unicorn Taffy Bait. Sweet, delicious, and full of magical colorful swirls, who could resist that? They’re like little bites of unicorn magic. I’m sure it’s safe to say, this will bring smiles and happiness to all that taste it.
Have you ever made homemade taffy? What’s your favorite flavor?
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups corn syrup
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2-3/4 teaspoon flavoring (cotton candy, lemon, peppermint, vanilla, watermelon, licorice, etc), flavor to taste
- coloring (gel preferred)
- 2-3 tablespoons butter, to use when working with or pulling taffy
- In a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, water, corn syrup, and salt. Stir constantly until sugar has dissolved.
- Cook until hard ball stage (255-265 degrees).
- Remove from heat; stir in flavoring (and coloring if you prefer).
- Pour into lightly greased or lined pan to cool. Cool until comfortable to handle.
- Butter hands. Gather taffy and pull (or use a taffy hook or taffy puller machine).
- Pull until taffy mixture has turned a dull white and doubled in size. (If hand pulling, this may take up to 30 minutes).
- Roll into a 1-inch round log and cut with scissors greased with butter. Wrap in waxed paper and store in ziplock bag to retain freshness.
- Use a calibrated candy thermometer.
- If taffy feels stiff, you can dip your hands in water and continue pulling. The taffy will become stringy but as the water is incorporated, the taffy will soften and stick. If using this method, avoid adding more than 2 tablespoons or the taffy will become too soft and may crystallize as it is stored.
- Hand pulling taffy may take 30 minutes or more. Using a taffy hook or taffy puller machine will speed up the process.
- red/blue = purple
- red/yellow = orange
- blue/yellow = green
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