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Old Fashioned Vinegar Taffy Recipe

Reliving Memories with an Old Fashioned  Vinegar Taffy Recipe

Old Fashioned Vinegar Taffy Recipe

When I was growing up, we lived next door to the sweetest lady. We all called her Grandma Della. She really was like a grandma to all nine of us crazy Nelson kids. It was such a shock to me to grow up and learn she wasn’t really my Grandma by relation. Just a great neighbor and family friend that all us kids adopted to be a grandma. And it wasn’t just our family that were her adopted Grandkids. She was known as Grandma Della by all the kids in our little community.

One of my favorite memories as a kid was always visiting Grandma Della. She always had the best stories to tell, and delicious treats! The one treat she was most known for in our entire community was her old fashioned Vinegar taffy. I’m telling you this vinegar taffy recipe was famous!

Every Halloween kids would visit her house first just for the Vinegar Taffy. And every Christmas we’d get a plate full of these coveted goodies!

Old Fashioned Vinegar Taffy Recipe

Grandma Della passed away a number of years ago. She has been greatly missed. She left behind such an amazing legacy with her kindness, love and compassion. It is amazing how one can touch so many and make such a powerful impact on their lives. And she was definitely one of those women who impacted so many for good.

It amazes me how a simple flavor can bring back a flood of memories. The last time I was home visiting, I went through my Mom’s recipe cupboards to find some of my favorite recipes from growing up and I stumbled upon Grandma Della’s Old Fashioned Vinegar Taffy recipe. I knew instantly I had to bring this tradition to my family.

So we got started over Christmas Holiday making the Vinegar Taffy. The recipe is quite simple and so easy to get ready.

Old Fashioned Vinegar Taffy Recipe

Prepare the sugar, cream of tartar, vinegar and salt in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil until it reaches the hard ball stage (250 degrees F). Remove from the heat and then add in the butter.

Then you will spray a dish with a little coconut oil or lightly grease it. Just so it doesn’t stick to the plate/dish. And pour in the taffy mixture. And then allow it to cool until you can manipulate it with your hands without it burning.

Next is the part that begins to bring back the memories. The taffy pulling!

Wash your hands well. Then lightly butter them to prevent the taffy from sticking.

I set up a station for each kid and pulled off a smaller section of the taffy for them each to pull.

Then you start pulling the taffy.

Pull from the center out. Then put the ends together and pull from the enter out again.

Just keep pulling. Just keep Pulling (I think you can think up a song for this phrase right?)


A photo posted by Amber Edwards (@jadelouisedesigns) on


Pull the taffy until it is light in color and stiff. The whiter the better. This could take anywhere from 15 minutes to 60 minutes depending on how many people you have pulling the taffy and how much you each are working with.


How taffy begins #candy #Christmas #baking #treats #traditions

A photo posted by Amber Edwards (@jadelouisedesigns) on

This was a great activity with the kids, as I gave each one their own little section to pull. As we pulled we talked and I told them stories about Grandma Della and the history of the Old Fashioned Vinegar Taffy and what it has meant to our family.

Next shape into a nice long rope. And cut with greased scissors into 1″ pieces.


Hmmm old fashioned vinegar taffy! Brings back great memories. #taffy #oldfashioned #recipe #Christmas #christmastreats

A photo posted by Amber Edwards (@jadelouisedesigns) on

Then wrap up in wax paper.

Old Fashioned Vinegar Taffy Recipe

As we pulled, the memories of sitting in Grandma Della’s kitchen helping her to pull taffy as she told stories of when she was a little girl came flooding back to me in such a rush. I could remember the smells, the sounds, the colors. I could remember the love emanating from Grandma Della.

And then when I tasted my first bite of Grandma Della’s Vinegar Taffy, it was like I was transported back in time. It’s amazing what a little flavor associated with great memories can do.

And while mine doesn’t look as beautiful as Grandma Della’s vinegar taffy did (she has years more practice getting it to look just right) the flavor was exactly the same! And I may have been a bit emotional for the duration. But it was so worth it, having that little piece of Grandma Della back in my life again.

Old Fashioned Vinegar Taffy Recipe

I think this will definitely be a new family tradition; to make Grandma Della’s Vinegar Taffy near Christmas to share with friends and family and build our own memories around for my own kids. And it will give me a great time to remember back on such an amazing woman who had such a powerful impact on my life.

Old Fashioned Vinegar Taffy Recipe

Do you have a food that brings back such powerful memories?

Have you tried Old Fashioned Vinegar Taffy?


Old Fashioned Vinegar Taffy Recipe

Old Fashioned Vinegar Taffy Recipe

An old recipe passed down the generations for a family favorite Old fashioned Vinegar Taffy candy.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup White distilled vinegar (could substitute apple cider if needed)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tablespoons butter ( Or a diary free butter substitute if you need dairy free)


  1. Combine all ingredients except butter in a pan.
  2. Bring to boil
  3. Boil until it reaches the hard ball stage (~250 degrees f)
  4. Remove from heat and add butter
  5. Lightly Grease a platter
  6. Pour the Taffy onto the platter and allow to cool until you can handle without burning your hands.
  7. Wash your hands
  8. Apply a thin layer of butter to your hands
  9. Begin to pull the taffy
  10. Pull until it is light in color and stiff (15-60 minutes)
  11. Roll into a rope
  12. Cut into 1" pieces
  13. Wrap in wax paper squares

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Sunday 29th of October 2023

We used to as a family go to Grandma’s house with all of our cousins and she would make this taffy. We would take half of it and instead of using butter to coat our hands we would use peanut butter. What wonderful memories.


Saturday 9th of April 2022

Sorry, but I can't recommend this recipe. When I was a kid, 65 years ago, my mother made great vinegar taffy. I'd help her pull it into snow-white strips. She, and her recipe, are long gone. I surfed the 'net to find another recipe and happened on this one. I followed it to a T but, after almost 90 minutes of pulling, the blob remained runny and sticky, never reaching the consistency of taffy. It's going in the trash, and I'll search again for a recipe. I think my mother used corn syrup in addition to sugar, and maybe that's the missing link. We'll see...

Amber Edwards

Thursday 11th of May 2023

If it isn't boiled to exactly hard ball stage, it won't set up. Even just a few degrees off and it won't work. Did you use a candy thermometer to ensure it reached the right temperature before you proceeded?


Thursday 3rd of June 2021

We made this growing up as well. It’s absolutely wonderful. But instead of wrapping it in wax paper, we dusted it with powdered sugar so the pieces didn’t stick together.


Sunday 6th of December 2020

I know this is an old post, but growing up every single Christmas, my mom made Apple cider vinegar taffy. She has since passed and the recipe was lost. I decided to give Google a have no idea how happy this makes me. No one in my adult life has heard of this, but when they taste it, they love it. Thanks!!


Tuesday 17th of November 2020

We use to make this every year for the 25 th of November which was Saint Catherine’s day. She use to be a teacher and a nun and to encourage children to come to school, she would give them some candies and it worked!

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