“It’s called a sugar snow, because a snow this time of year means that men can make more sugar. You see, this little cold spell and the snow will hold back the leafing of the trees, and that makes a longer run of sap.”
-Pa Ingalls in Little House in the Big Woods
In anticipation of the sugar snows, I went out and bought some pure maple syrup to make maple sugar candy, just like in “Little House in the Big Woods”. It’s surprisingly simple and quick to make and very, very yummy.
Here’s the complete recipe:
Maple Sugar Candy
You will need:
8 1/2 oz pure maple syrup (regular pancake syrup won’t work)
Lightly grease the rim of a heavy 1 quart sauce pan with butter to prevent maple syrup from boiling over.
Pour maple syrup into sauce pan.
Over medium heat, cook maple syrup until candy thermometer reads 236 degrees F (approximately 10-15 minutes).
While maple syrup is heating, put hot tap water into a two cup glass measuring cup. When syrup is almost 236 degrees, pour out water and dry measuring cup completely.
Transfer syrup to the warm glass measuring cup with pour spout, using rubber spatula to remove as much syrup from sauce pan as possible.
Place candy thermometer in the maple syrup and cool syrup to 200 degrees.
Use a small wire whisk to stir the maple syrup in the measuring cup until it begins to thicken and turn cream. This is only going to take a couple of minutes, so be ready. Don’t allow syrup to get too thick.
Place the candy mold on a cool surface and carefully and quickly fill each candy cavity to just full with thickened syrup.
Let the maple candy cool in the mold at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Gently push on the bottom of each cavity to loosen each maple candy and carefully remove pieces, one by one.
Remove any rough edges that remain on the candy (and eat them).