5 Maple Syrup Twists to Take Your Pancakes on a Breakfast Adventure

5 Maple Syrup Twists to Take Your Pancakes on a Breakfast Adventure

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Kelli Foster
Apr 26, 2016
(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

Pancakes, waffles, and French toast are all great, but these breakfast basics are really just a vessel for us to eat more maple syrup, right? While unflavored maple syrup is a delight in its own right, every now and then it can be a real treat to dress it up.

Flavoring maple syrup is a fun way to make breakfast an adventure. Here are five delicious ways to do it.

Your Template for Flavoring Maple Syrup

While maple syrup is sweet and deliciously flavorful on its own, don't discount its ability to pair with an array of sweet, spicy, and savory ingredients to give it some flair.

Upgrading this sweet condiment is easier than you might imagine. I prefer to start off with about one cup of pure maple syrup. This is plenty of serve about eight people around the breakfast table. Store any extra syrup in a covered jar in the refrigerator. If you want to make more or less, the recipes that follow this template are easily scalable.

1 cup pure maple syrup + flavoring agents

So now that you know how to make it happen, let's talk about something even more exciting — like all the ways to put your flavored maple syrup to work. Of course, there are waffles, pancakes, and French toast, but don't forget it can be stirred it into oats, spooned over yogurt, or drizzled over a thick slice of buttered toast. It can even be used as a glaze on your roast chicken, pile of wings, or piece of fish.

(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

1. Spicy Ginger Maple Syrup

Makes 1 cup

Infused with sliced ginger and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, this syrup is sweet and spicy. Use this flavored syrup to perk up a stack of pancakes or as a glaze for salmon.

In a small saucepan combine 1 cup pure maple syrup, about a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled and thinly sliced), and about 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture steep for about 10 minutes. Strain the ginger, and serve warm or at room temperature.

(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

2. Blackberry + Thyme Maple Syrup

Makes 1 cup

Fresh sweet blackberries along with a subtle hint of thyme make this syrup feel elegant. The berries also stain the maple syrup a stunning shade of purple. Use this syrup to brighten a bowl of yogurt or to give your turkey club a sweet boost.

In a small saucepan combine 1 cup pure maple syrup, 1/2 cup fresh blackberries, and about 3 sprigs of fresh thyme. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook for about 5 minutes. The berries will pop and soften. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture steep for about 10 minutes. Strain the thyme, and serve warm or at room temperature.

(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

3. Thai Iced Tea Maple Syrup

Makes 1 cup

The inspiration for this version of maple comes straight from my favorite chilled (and super flavorful) drink: Thai iced tea. Filled with the warm aroma of star anise, cinnamon, and a hint of black pepper, this spiced syrup is a fun way to perk up breakfast with something heady and fragrant. Use this maple syrup as a topping for your buttermilk waffles or basted over a roast chicken.

In a small saucepan combine 1 cup pure maple syrup, 3 pieces star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, and 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the spices steep for about 10 minutes. Strain the spices, and serve warm or at room temperature.

(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

4. Manhattan Maple Syrup

Makes 1 cup

This recipe takes all the makings of the classic Manhattan cocktail, and turns it into a breakfast-worthy maple syrup. Use this syrup to give boozy brunch a whole new meaning, or as a sweet glaze for your next batch of wings.

In a small saucepan combine 1 cup pure maple syrup, up to 1 tablespoon whiskey, a few orange slices, and a couple maraschino cherries. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the fruit steep for about 10 minutes. Strain the oranges slices, and serve warm or chilled.

(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

5. Peanut Butter Maple Syrup

Makes 1 cup

Nut butter and the earthy sweetness of maple syrup are a natural combo. We've seen plenty of maple-flavored nut butters at the market, so now it's time to turn the tables with this version of nutty maple syrup. Pour this flavored syrup over pancakes or your morning oats, or use it to upgrade your peanut sauce.

In a small saucepan combine 1 cup pure maple syrup and 3 to 4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly until the peanut butter is combined, and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and serve warm.

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