When I was growing up, we'd have taffy pulling parties. The more experienced taffy pullers could make the long strips of shiny candy pop as they worked it into rope-like streamers.—Sherrill Bennett, Rayville, Louisiana
Butter a 15x10x1-in. pan with 3 tablespoons butter; set aside. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring the molasses, sugar and water to a boil. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 245° (firm-ball stage), stirring occasionally.
Add the vanilla, baking soda and remaining butter. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover and cook until the thermometer reads 260° (hard-ball stage), stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; pour into prepared pan. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
With buttered fingers, quickly pull half the taffy until firm but pliable. Pull and shape into a 1/2-in. rope; cut into 1-1/4-in. pieces. Repeat with remaining taffy. Wrap each piece in foil, colored candy wrappers or waxed paper.