“My grandmother always made these at Christmastime and said her mother did, too. The soft and chewy canes have a great minty flavour. They’re especially nice because the whole family can pitch in to prepare them.” —Sheryl O’Danne, Port Townsend, Washington
In a large heavy saucepan over low heat, cook sugar, corn syrup, water and cream of tartar until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium and cook until candy thermometer reads 265° (hard-ball stage), stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; add extract.
Pour half into a buttered 15x10x1-in. pan. Add food colouring to remaining mixture; mix well. Pour into another buttered 15x10x1-in. pan. Cool 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Butter fingers; quickly pull half of the white or red at a time until firm but pliable (the white portion will have a milky colour).
When taffy is ready for cutting, pull into a 1/4-in. rope. Cut into 6-in. pieces. Twist red and white pieces together; form into canes. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Cool.