Canola oil for greasing
1 cup corn syrup
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. butter plus more to grease
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ cup water
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. pumpkin pie filling* (recipe here)
5 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. nutmeg
Special equipment: a candy/deep-fry thermometer
● Grease a 9-by-12-inch rimmed cookie sheet with canola oil.
● In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, bring the corn syrup, cornstarch, butter, salt, water, and sugar to boil over high heat, stirring from time to time, until the mixture reaches 260 degrees (hard ball stage). Remove from heat and stir in the pumpkin pie filling, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Pour the taffy onto the greased cookie sheet and let cool until it is easy to handle, at least 10 to 15 minutes.
● Use a sharp, greased knife to divide the taffy evenly into 5 pieces. Lightly grease your hands with oil or butter and roll 1 piece into a ball, then pull it a few inches, fold over and pull again. Repeat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the taffy has a satiny texture and begins to form ridges. The color will lighten and the taffy will hold its shape when done.
● Roll the taffy on the greased cookie sheet into a rope 1 inch in diameter. Cut the rope into 1-inch pieces using buttered scissors or a sharp knife. Roll each piece of taffy into a sphere.
● Place each piece in center of a 2-by-4-inch piece of parchment paper, wrap and twist to close, or cut a 6- to 8–inch piece of parchment paper and place a piece of taffy in the center. Tightly wrap the parchment around the sphere and twist to make a “ghost,” dotting the sphere with marker to make eyes and a mouth. Repeat the pulling and cutting with the remaining taffy until all the candy is wrapped. Taffy will keep, wrapped, at room temperature for several weeks.