I’m so excited about today’s recipe because it’s one that I have been searching for a long time. You know those puffy peppermints mints that you can buy? They’re usually individually wrapped or as peppermint sticks, not candy canes but peppermint sticks. Anyway, my sister got some that were a variety of flavors like lemon, blueberry, butterscotch, etc. I Love those little candies! I have been looking for a recipe to be able to make them for some time.
One day I was flipping through my Grandma Kreb’s old cookbook (like from 1959 old!) and I found a recipe that I thought might be similar. It was a cooked sugar recipe that you pulled like taffy and the description was something like “a soft creamy candy.” I’m not sure how I determined that these would be similar to peppermint sticks but I marked the page so I could try it later. Guess what? The recipe made a candy that is just what I was expecting, only way better! It’s almost an after dinner mint/peppermint stick crossover, but I made them cotton candy flavored!
These Unicorn Puffs are buttery, creamy, and melt-in-your-mouth good! I know you’re excited to make them so let’s get started. In a medium saucepan place sugar, water, butter, and a pinch of cream of tartar.
Place the lid on the saucepan.
Heat the mixture on high heat, lid on, without stirring until steam is coming freely from beneath the lid.
Remove the lid and insert a candy thermometer and reduce the heat to medium. Still, no stirring, How easy is that?!
While you wait for the mixture to reach a temperature of 260F you can grease a marble slab if you have one. If you don’t then just grease a large sheet pan with sides.
Once the mixture in the saucepan has reached 260F remove it from the heat and pour it carefully onto your greased marble slab or sheet pan.
Fold in the edges of the mixture with a bench scraper so that they don’t get hard. Allow the mixture to cool for a bit.
While the candy cools combine the cotton candy flavoring with your food coloring. I didn’t do this with the first batch and the cotton candy flavoring squished out of the candy but I couldn’t see that it had because it’s clear… So, mixing the two helps you to be able to see if the flavor is mixing in or squishing out.
After a few minutes check to see if the candy is cool enough to handle.
If your candy has cooled sufficiently make a dip in the middle of it and fill the dip with your food coloring/flavoring mixture.
Now, give your hands a good greasing with butter. This is some pretty sticky candy.
Try to fold the edges of the candy over so that the flavor/color mixture doesn’t escape too much.
Now grasp the candy with one hand and pull it away with the other hand. So you’re stretching the candy out then putting it back together only to stretch it right back out again. This is a pretty good upper body workout so don’t do it on the same day as arm day… I learned that with the second batch.
See how glossy it is at first?
As you continue to pull the candy and it cools it will start to look more opaque and hold its shape better.
Once the candy is almost fully cooled roll it into a rope.
Cut the candy into about one-inch pieces or less with well-buttered kitchen scissors.
Layer the candies between waxed paper in an airtight container. If you were to eat the candy now it would be pretty chewy, delicious, but pull out your fillings chewy. The magic happens after you let it sit overnight.
In the morning when you try one you will be shocked at the difference in texture! Now the Unicorn Puffs are light, airy, creamy, and oh so melt in your mouth! You are going to have tons of fun making these and eating them too. It is also a fun thing to add to your repetoar of kitchen skills: being able to make a pulled candy.
Oh, by the way, you might have colored hands for a day or two after you make this… Just a heads up. Personally, I love having colorful hands!
Have you ever made a pulled candy before?
- 2c. sugar
- 1c. water
- ¼c. butter
- pinch cream of tartar
- blue or pink food coloring
- 1t. cotton candy flavoring
- Place the sugar, water, butter, and cream of tartar in a medium saucepan with the lid on. Heat over high heat until steam comes freely.
- Reduce the heat to medium, remove the lid, and insert a candy thermometer.
- Cook until the mixture reaches 260F. In the meantime, thoroughly grease a marble slab or a large shallow sheet pan with sides.
- Once the mixture reaches 260F remove it from the heat and pour it onto the prepared marble slab or sheet pan.
- Fold the edges in with a bench scraper so that they don't get hard.
- While you wait for the mixture to be cool enough to handle combine the food coloring with the flavoring in a small bowl.
- Once the candy is cool enough to handle make a crater in the middle of it and pour the flavoring/coloring into it.
- With greased hands fold up the edges of the candy over the flavoring/color to make a little pocket for it.
- Hold the candy firmly with one hand and pull it away with the other hand to stretch the candy. Place the two ends back together and pull again. Repeat until the candy is nearly cold.
- Roll the candy into a rope and cut it into bite size pieces with buttered kitchen scissors.
- Layer the candy with waxed paper in an airtight container. Let sit overnight.
Recipe adapted from: Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook, 1959
Recipe adapted by: Rilla Banks (A.K.A Epic Sweet)