It looks like the snow is here to stay at least for a few more days. Don’t worry, spring will come eventually, but until then I have a fun way to enjoy the snow while it’s still here. One of my favorite treats as a kid growing up in Vermont was to visit the sugar house (where sap is collected from trees to make maple syrup) and having sugar on snow. You may have also heard it referred to as maple taffy. My parents now have their own sugar house and my family will be back to visit Vermont during “sugaring season” this spring to properly introduce my son to the process of making maple syrup. Basically, the syrup is boiled to a certain temperature to allow for it to solidify when it’s cooled off. Poured over snow it’s sticky and delicious, and it’s easier to make than you may think.
What you’ll need:
- Real maple syrup (my favorite is Grade A Medium but anything will work as long as it’s not fake, so no Mrs. Butterworth’s!)
- Non-stick pot & spoon
- Shallow baking dish or pan
- Snow (sticky snow is best, like what works well for building snowmen)
Start by boiling your syrup over medium heat. How much you use depends on how much you want to eat. Here I’m boiling about 2 cups. I use a non-stick pot so it’s easier to clean when you’re done. Be very careful when bringing the syrup to a boil as it can boil over very easily. You don’t want to have to clean sticky, hot syrup off your burners (speaking from experience here.) Stir constantly to avoid scorching.
If you have a candy thermometer, you want your syrup to get to about 232 degrees. If you don’t have a candy thermometer there’s an easy way to tell when your syrup is ready. Fill a small glass with cold water and drip your syrup into the glass. If if solidifies into drops, like in the photo, your syrup is ready. If it disperses throughout the water and doesn’t sink to the bottom, you need to keep boiling. Remove the pot from the heat as soon as you see it solidify. If you’re not sure, remember that it’s easier to keep boiling, than it is to go back if you over boil the syrup.
A few more tips:
- Start with a smaller amount of syrup if you’ve never done this before. It works great in a small pot, in a small batch.
- If you feel like your syrup may boil over, immediately remove it from the heat. You can always bring it back up to temperature.
- If your syrup solidifies too much it means you boiled it too long. You can still use it to make candy though! Pour out a quarter-sized amount on wax paper and the syrup will solidify into a hard candy. Even better if you have some lollipop sticks on hand.
- Serve with dill pickles to offset the sweetness of the syrup.
- Save some snow in your freezer to enjoy this treat in the summer. My husband’s grandparents would always serve sugar on snow at family get-togethers in July.