We picked up a bag of maple sugar on a recent trip (we should say "pilgrimage") to the King Arthur Baker's Store in Norwich, Vermont.
It was a passing whim. We'd never used maple sugar before. We didn't have any plans for it or even know exactly how to cook with it.
Our little bag of golden sugar even sat in the cupboard for several weeks before we stumbled upon it en route to something else and idly wondered if it might be good on yogurt. As you might imagine, the result was pretty darn delicious!
Since then, a scoop or two of maple sugar has found its way into many of our dishes, both sweet and savory. For some of our favorite uses and sources on buying some of your own, read on!
Maple sugar is the product of boiling down maple syrup until all the liquid has evaporated. Back in the pioneer days, this was sold as a brick. It's now found in granulated and powdered form.
Aside from tasting like, well, maple syrup, we think this sugar has a pleasant nutty flavor. It dissolves quickly and evenly, and even small portion can give big flavor.
One of it's biggest advantages in baking is that we can get maple flavor without the extra liquid that maple syrup would add. Maple sugar and regular white should can be substituted one for one in baking, but the maple flavor might actually be a bit overpowering. We recommend starting off by subbing for half the white sugar and experimenting with proportions from there.
Here are some ways that we've been using it in daily cooking:
- Sprinkled on our breakfast food of choice--yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal (you know we're big breakfast lovers here!)
- Layered into parfaits
- Mixed into the topping for fruit crumbles and the dough for cobblers and grunts
- To make icing and frosting in place of powdered or granulated sugar
- Sprinkled on top of toast (such a simple treat!)
- In marinades for both meat and veggies--it goes especially well with chicken, pork, and white fish
- In savory sauces and glazes whenever a recipe calls for a tablespoon or two of sugar
- In homemade barbecue sauce
We usually buy our maple sugar from King Arthur Flour, where it's $8.95 for an 8-ounce bag. Larger quantities are available from the Vermont Country Store. They sell 1-pound bags of granulated maple sugar for $12.95 and 2-pound bags of powdered maple sugar for $24.95.
What other ways can you think of to use maple sugar?
(Images: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)