I am peering out of our kitchen window and our land looks different. Our tall, strong trees are bent over with ice and the stone walls are hidden under about two feet of snow. We are well into our third Nor’easter in less than two weeks and we are hoping the power doesn’t go out again. We have lost some small seedlings, big trees and parts of our fencing to the cold, high winds and power outages. Most of the belongings we had stored in the basement have been ruined by water damage from the first storm.
All in all, we have made out okay. Things can be replaced and our family is healthy and whole. Even still, we’ve been doing everything we can to keep our spirits up. A good part of those efforts have included baking and cooking comfort foods. Since it’s maple sugaring season, many of those recipes include maple syrup.
In my post last week, I briefly mentioned some of the recipes. As things have settled down now, with the exception of the wind, which is whipping, I was finally able to sit down early this morning with my books and try to pick a good treat to share. There are so many options, but the one that kept coming to mind was Maple Snow. This delightful candy brings back warm memories of friends, families and cozy homes heated by wood stoves. I think about bright winter days after big winter storms and running through knee-deep snow with my friends. Maple Snow is a perfect comfort snack for today.
Traditionally, what I grew up calling “Maple Snow” is usually referred to around these parts as “Sugar On Snow.” There are a few different ways to prepare and serve it up, but I like the way I grew up with best. I can remember going outside with friends, bundled up in our snowsuits and running to find the best patch of fresh snow. When we settled on an area, we would pack the clean, icy goodness into a large cookie sheet pan, leave it outside to stay cold and then run back inside to watch as the maple syrup was heated on the stove top with butter. When the syrup was ready and slightly cooled, it would be poured over the snow in ribbon-like strips and eaten with spoons. Sometimes I would have the patience to try to twirl the maple taffy-like treat around my utensil, but I usually just gobbled it right up.
For those of you who are also trying to make the best of this snowy weather, or if you just want to try an old fashioned maple treat, I recommend giving this recipe a try. It is easy, quick, fun and delicious.
The Maple Snow Recipe I Grew Up With
Note: while this is a fun treat for kids, children should be kept away from the heating and pouring process and should wait for the toffee to cool before eating it! We encourage adult supervision for this activity.
What You Need:
- 4 cups of real maple syrup
- 2 stick of butter
- 1 cookie sheet pan packed with clean snow and leveled (if you don’t have a cookie sheet pan with a lip, you can also use pie dishes or bowls of snow)
- 1 candy thermometer
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 large saucepan
Slowly heat the syrup and butter over medium head in a saucepan.
Once the ingredients are incorporated, leave it and do not stir. Let the mixture heat until it reaches 234 degrees Fahrenheit. If the mixture looks like it is going to boil over, turn down the heat!
Let the syrup cool a tad and then test a bit by spooning it over the snow. If the mixture sits on top of the snow and sticks to the back of a metal spoon like taffy, it’s ready to eat! If the mixture sinks right down to the bottom, it probably was not brought up to temperature and then cooled enough.
Pour out the maple mixture over the snow in ribbon strips so that it can be either rolled up onto a spoon like a pop to enjoy or gobbled up bit by bit (my preferred method).
Sprinkle a bit of coarse sea salt onto the poured maple or mix crushed nuts into the maple mixture before pouring it onto the snow.
*Servings will vary, but this amount is usually enough for about 10*
Any leftovers can be scraped up and frozen to enjoy later. If there are more than just a few people, there likely won’t be ant leftovers though! We made a 1/4 batch and it was still a lot for us! Here are the melted remains after my husband played with it a little (He was trying to make snow angels maybe?)
We hope that everyone stays safe in the storm and enjoys the recipe!