Monday, December 31, 2012
Maple Sugar Candy
One of my favorite candy recipes is maple candy. As you might know, sap from the maple tree is a wonderful thing. Boil it for a (long) while and it become syrup. Boil it some more, and it become a mass of sugar, but with a texture so wonderful that it is a great candy.
The wonderful thing about this candy is the cost savings (well, and the flavor, but that has to be tasted to be believed). You can order boxes of maple sugar candy, pressed into little maple leaf shapes, for $20-30 for about two dozen pieces. Or, you can make your own at home for the cost of a bottle of maple syrup. This recipe works very well in candy molds, but when I'm pressed for time, I spread it and break it like brittle.
Maple Sugar Candy
Maple Syrup (Be sure to get real maple syrup -- maple flavored topping, like pancake topping, will not work)
Heat maple syrup in a sauce pan until 235 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and let cool to 175 degrees without stirring, then stir with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes until the mixture loses its gloss, lightens up a bit, and becomes thick and creamy.
Spoon into molds or pour into foil-lined pan and let cool completely. Remove from molds or break into small pieces. You might store it in the refrigerator so it doesn't become sticky due to a warm room or humidity, but since this is basically sugar, it keeps forever.
Fast: I love this recipe for its speed. It probably goes from bottle to cooling process in about 30 minutes. If I had a houseful of guests or kids (or guests with kids) begging for me to make more candy for the holidays, this is what I would make.
Cheap: Way cheaper than ordering the fancy stuff, and you have the opportunity to buy local maple syrup if you have the chance. Here's a fun fact: the lower the grade of the maple syrup, the less expensive it is, but the more maple flavor it imparts to the candy. So don't go buying a "fancy" grade -- just whatever you can get that is organic and local, if possible.
Good: A burst of maple flavor in a bite that is somehow creamy and melting. I like to pop a piece in my mouth after a meal to stave off the sugar craving.
Posted by Jennifer Lorenzetti at 9:14 AM