Ranking Old-fashioned Candy Recipes

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, March 28, 1912:Nothing really of great importance. Now that Ruth is at home I don’t have to do as much in the morning as I was accustomed to doing. Ruth made some fudge this evening. It was Jimmie’s earnest desire.

Sugar Taffy

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Whew, I’m amazed how often fudge or other candies are mentioned in the diary.

Over the past 15 months, I’ve made 7 different candy recipes. Below I rank them from my personal favorite to my least favorite—and provide links to the post that contains the recipe.

1. Sugar Taffy—This recipe turned out fantastically and tastes much better than modern taffy. My family ate all of the taffy within a day or so.

Cocoa Fudge

2. Cocoa Fudge—This fudge recipe was excellent—however, the recipe only made a small amount of fudge. I’d double (or triple or quadruple) the recipe if I made it again.

3. Chocolate Fudge- No. 1—This is also a very good fudge recipe. I had a difficult time deciding whether to rank Cocoa Fudge or this one higher.

4. Butterscotch— Old-fashioned butterscotch isn’t anything like the artificially-colored orange butterscotch disks that they make today. Instead it is rather it is similar to Werthers Original Candy.

5. Chocolate Fudge No. 2—This fudge contains molasses and has a very old-fashioned taste, but I  loved the complex undertones. I especially liked it when I added walnuts.

6. Sour Cream Fudge—This is a light-colored fudge that does not contain any chocolate. It had a good taste although I had to cook it a very long time (over an hour) and even then it seemed a bit soft.

7. Coffee Candy—This candy  had a great taste, but I didn’t get something quite right because it crumbled. A reader suggested that it might make a good ice cream topping.

8 Responses

  1. I think I will use these recipes when my granddaughter comes to visit.

  2. Whenever we go to Cape Cod my husband stocks up on salt water taffy. Never heard of sugar taffy before! Wonder what the difference is? The Chocolate Fudge No. 2 with walnuts sounds very good to me! :)

    • Most modern taffy recipes contain corn syrup. And, many of the really old taffy recipes call for molasses. Taffy that didn’t use any molasses was called sugar taffy. Making molasses taffy is on my “to-do” list.

      When I made Chocolate Fudge No. 2, I divided it in half. It was really good with the walnuts. The walnut and molasses flavors blended wonderfully. (I found the fudge without the walnuts have a bit too much of a molasses taste.)

  3. I second your statement that the sugar taffy was great. Plus it was fun to make! ;-)

  4. Candy making nights were so great — even when I was a child. Now it seems that it is an irrelevant past time — rather like making homemade ice cream.

    • I’ve enjoyed reviving “candy making nights” in a mini-way when I’ve made candy to get material for the posts. For example, my daughter and I made the Sugar Taffy recipe during the long Thanksgiving week-end. And, the entire family then enjoyed helping eat it.

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