A Simple Tutorial on how to make Old-Fashioned Maple Syrup Snow Candy at Home.
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Beating the Winter Blues
I don’t know about the rest of you but, here in the Inland Northwest, we are up to our thighs in snow. This winter trumps the last 8 or so winters in terms of snow accumulation.
After our most recent bout of snow, where we gained 18 more inches in one night, I determined that my only option to keep my sanity this winter, was to simply… embrace it.
Complaining and living in a state of winter-induced depression wasn’t going to benefit any of us.
So what did I do? Made the snow fun of course!
We took a homeschool snow day. I got out with the kids and helped make their first snowman!
I was trudging through the almost-waist-high snow, a baby on my hip, and two small children shuffling along behind, all while trying to roll a giant snowman butt! We laughed, we fell, we lost gloves left and right… it was a blast!
First attempt at beating winter blues… Success!
But what other things could we do to make light of our snowy predicament?
The answer came to me during our read-aloud time the following day. The Kids and I have started to read through “The Little House” series during our lunch time each day. Serenity and Dominick are just in love with the books. On this particular day, Laura and Mary Ingalls were making Maple Syrup Snow Candy.
I googled it really quick, to get the specifics, and we jumped right in!
How to Make: Maple Syrup Snow Candy
What you need
- 100% Pure Maple Syrup
- Glass of ice water
- Small sauce pan
- Baking Sheet
- Candy Thermometer (optional)
- popsicle sticks (optional)
Step One: Prepare Your Snow
There are two ways to do this. Outside and inside. I suggest inside, you have to work fast after you take the syrup off the burner so it’s nice to have your snow right there and ready to go.
Even in Little House in the Big Woods, they bring the snow in on their plates to have Grandma pour the boiling syrup on them.
Either way you choose to do it, you’ll want to find clean, fresh snow and pack it down to form a firm surface.
Step Two: Boil Your Syrup
You can use any amount of syrup that you like. I used 1 cup worth. It made a perfect amount for us, and a little left over for dad.
Pour your syrup into a pan and bring to a boil.
Continue to let it boil, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until it either reaches 235 degrees Ferenhight and/or the “soft ball” stage. You know you have reached the “soft ball” stage when you drop a bit of the syrup into the glass of cold water, and it forms a small round ball rather than dissipating into the water. I didn’t have a candy thermometer on hand so we went that route.
Don’t worry too much about missing the “soft ball” stage, if you go past it, your candy will just be a bit crisper rather than chewy.
Step Three: Pour Your Syrup on the Snow
Once your syrup reaches the right temperature remove your pot from the stove and carefully pour the hot syrup in strips on the packed snow.
Without Popsicle Sticks
You are done! just let the syrup harden, remove it from the snow and enjoy!
With Popsicle Sticks
If you are using popsicle sticks I suggest only doing one or two strips at a time.
As the syrup starts to harden, quickly press the popsicle stick into one end of the syrup strip and begin rolling it onto the stick.
You now have a maple syrup candy pop!
Set it aside on the snow and continue until you have used all the syrup.
Kid Approved; treat, craft, and science/history lesson all in one!
So brighten up your gloomy winter days, just like they did in Laura’s day, with these fun old-fashioned treats!