Preparation / Directions:
Spray a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with nonstick spray coating; set aside.
Butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Add sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Cook and stir over medium-high heat till mixture boils. Clip candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate without stirring till termometer registers 265 F, hard ball stage (about 40 minutes). Remove pan from heat; remove thermometer. Stir in butter, extract, if desired, and food coloring. Pour into prepared pan. Cool for 15 to 20 minutes or till mixture is easy to handle.
Butter your hands. Twist and pull candy till it turns a creamy color and is stiff and quite difficult to pull (10 to 15 minutes). Candy is ready when it creacks when tapped on counter. Divide into four pieces; twist and pull each piece into a long strand about 1/2 inch thick. With buttered scissors, snip each strand into bite-size pieces. Wrap each piece in waxed paper and place in an airtight container.