A snow day hike in the woods really works up an appetite! So this Wonder Wednesday we keep our energy up for all day snow play fun with homemade maple taffy!
This Wonder Wednesday project is so easy...and most of all so tasty!
I originally saw a Canadian chef create this maple taffy.
I was astounded at how simple it was to make!
I can't believe I've never seen this recipe before - and I even went to grad school in Vermont!
Live where the weather's warm year round?
If you don't live in the snow lands, tuck this project away for your a snowy visit somewhere in the future - or experiment with perhaps using a block of ice, shaved ice, or something cool I haven't thought of and let me know how it works!
Don't eat yellow snow disclaimer
I know it seems obvious, but of course I recommend only eating snow that is fresh fallen, clean, fallen on a clean surface area free from pesticides, chemicals, pollution and litter, and anything else that you wouldn't normally eat or eat off of.
Wonder Wednesday 114: Snow Day Maple Taffy
There are a couple fun ways to explore this project. So I begin with the classic, but then be sure to check the extensions for a few variations on the theme.
It just may be impossible not to have a smile on your face while making, and eating, these maple taffy pops!
Snow - fresh fallen and clean
A flat bottom Pan or Baking Dish
Paper straws and/or popsicle sticks
Optional: A candy thermometer;
wax paper, parchment paper, or any other non-stick surface
to place the taffy onto once rolled into pops
The amount of syrup needed depends on the amount
of taffy you want to make.
I will say these are best eaten right away, and a little warm.
I used about 1/4 cup of maple syrup to make 4 taffy pops.
The taffy is pure concentrated sweetness, so one pop per person is probably a good estimate - and that is saying a lot because I have a major sweet tooth!
Pack the flat bottom pan or baking dish with fresh snow.
Flatten and level the top surface of the pan of snow as much as possible.
Store the pan of packed snow in the freezer,
or just outside if the weather is staying below freezing.
Back inside, it's time to reduce the water content of the maple syrup. This is basically what they do to maple sap to make syrup in the first place.
1. Pour some maple syrup into a saucepan.
2. Heat over medium heat until the syrup bubbles and reaches
about 235˚ F.
Slow and steady wins the race when boiling sugar, you don't want it to burn. *USE CAUTION - hot sugar is VERY HOT*
If you aren't using a candy thermometer, this is about 10 minutes, or until the syrup is very bubbly and thicker than cold molasses.
3. Once the syrup has reached 235˚ F and reduced, turn off the heat.
4. Quickly remove the pan of snow from the freezer, or get it from outside.
Have the paper straws or popsicle sticks ready to go.
5. Pour a line of hot syrup onto the snow.
6. Use the paper straw or popsicle stick to roll the cooling syrup up onto the stick or straw.
*Once on the snow, the reduced syrup is warm but not at all hot or burning to the touch.
Work quickly so the syrup stays pliable and doesn't harden right into maple hard candy!
*Pour and roll one taffy pop at a time. I learned this the hard way!*
7. Repeat for as many snow day taffy pops as you like!
1. Try making pops with different types of syrups -
birch, hickory, violet, blueberry...
2. If the syrup hardens in the snow before you roll your pop - pick it up out of the snow and either eat it as hard candy, or warm it up in your hands a bit and it will get pliable and sticky enough to roll onto the stick or straw.
3. Concentrated maple syrup too sweet for you?
The lightly maple sweet snow left in the pan is delicious!
Eat it with a spoon and remember the old days of making snow cream!
4. What if boiling syrup isn't an option?
Simply pour a little line of straight maple syrup into the snow pan.
Then, roll and pack the maple soaked snow around a popsicle stick or straw and eat a maple snow pop instead!
They may not look so pretty, but they taste amazing!
What's your favorite snow day tradition?
Share in the comments below!
Share your Snow Day Maple Taffy photos on Instagram #wingswormsandwonder !
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