The sun is finally shining again in our corner of the world, but there's still a thick blanket of snow on the ground. So we turned to one of our favorite books, Little House in the Big Woods, and made a snow treat we've been wanting to try for years. We always loved the descriptions of making maple syrup and the subsequent maple taffy sessions in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods. (More about those scenes here.) So we finally decided to give it a try!
It's very easy to make maple syrup taffy. Here's how you do it (we got instructions from that Country Living article we linked to earlier this week).
How To Make Maple Syrup Taffy (On Snow!)
1. Gather up some clean, fresh snow and pack it into a pie plate or roasting pan. Pack it down and set it down outside or in the freezer so it stays cold.
2. Pour a half cup of real maple syrup into a small saucepan, ideally a saucepan with a pouring lip. We like the darker flavor of Grade B maple syrup!
3. Bring the syrup to a boil over medium-high heat, and put a candy thermometer in.
4. When the syrup reaches 235°F (the soft-ball stage) take it off the heat and immediately drizzle it over the packed snow in the pan. Let the syrup cool for just a minute or two, then pick it up with your fingers and eat! (Watch your teeth!)
This is a fun post-dinner treat for wintertime, and so easy. It would be a fun and instantly gratifying way to teach little ones about candy-making and sugar chemistry, too, if you're so inclined. We also think the hot syrup probably kills any icky bacteria in the snow on contact, so we're not too worried about eating scary snow. (Just watch out for the yellow stuff. Ick.)
The taffy itself tastes just like maple syrup, of course, with a deliciously chewy texture that melts in your mouth. It's also delightfully fleeting; eat it all while it's cold, or the water will dissolve it back into plain maple syrup.
Have you ever made maple syrup taffy or another snow treat?
(Images: Faith Durand)