Maple Syrup Snow

I first read about sugar on snow, a kind of toffee, in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book, Little House in the Big Woods. Driving around New England in the maple-tapping season, you still see signs for sugar-on-snow parties where you can eat it with the traditional accompaniments of apple cider and doughnuts and dill pickles (to cut the sweetness).

The russet color of maple syrup makes you think of it as the quintessential fall ingredient, but it’s actually made in February and March. Native Americans, who were the first to make it, used to watch for the “sugar moon,” the first sign that it was time to tap the trees.–Diana Henry

LC Sugar Moon Note

We’ve no idea what a “sugar moon” is, either. But we do find it unspeakably comforting to know that there’s such a thing watching over us.

Special Equipment: candy thermometer

Maple Syrup Snow Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 45 M
  • Servings vary. How's your sweet tooth?


  • 2 1/2 cups maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • Snow you’ve collected in a large bowl


  • 1. Heat the maple syrup and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 235°F (113°C) as measured on a candy thermometer, about 25 minutes or so. Watch the syrup carefully and reduce the temperature under the pan if it threatens to boil over. Let the syrup cool slightly.
  • 2. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the syrup on some of the compacted snow. If the syrup sits on top and sets into a weblike toffee, it’s ready. If it doesn’t, set the pan back over heat for a few minutes and then try again. When the syrup is ready, drizzle blobs on the snow and indulge immediately.
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