This maple syrup snow lets you embrace your latent Little House on the Prairie fantasies with a quaint, toffee-like candy made by drizzling maple syrup onto fresh snow. Its provenance may be outdated, but its appeal transcends time.
Author Diana Henry first read about maple syrup snow candy, a kind of toffee, in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods, which is one of the books in the Little House on the Prairie series. As Henry explains, Native Americans used to watch for the “sugar moon,” the first sign that it was time to tap the trees (and make this maple syrup snow candy), in February. We just watch the weather reports to tell us when it’s time to make certain we have maple syrup and butter on hand. Originally published January 21, 2012.–Renee Schettler Rossi
What Is A Sugar Moon?
We’ve no idea what a “sugar moon” is, either. But we find it unspeakably comforting to know that there’s such a thing watching over us.
Special Equipment: candy thermometer
Maple Syrup Snow
- Quick Glance
- 35 M
- 45 M
- Servings vary
- 2 1/2 cups maple syrup
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- Fresh snow you've collected in a large bowl
- 1. Warm the maple syrup and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it registers 235°F (113°C) on a candy thermometer, about 25 minutes or so. Don’t walk away. You’re going to want to watch it carefully and reduce the temperature under the pan if at any point the mixture threatens to boil over. When it reaches the desired temperature, remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly.
- 2. Spoon 1 tablespoon maple syrup mixture on some of the snow in the bowl. If the syrup sits on top of the snow and sets into a weblike toffee, it’s ready. If it doesn’t, return the pan to medium heat for a few minutes and then try again. When the syrup is ready, drizzle blobs of the syrup mixture on the snow in whatever pattern or non-pattern you prefer and then indulge as soon as the maple syrup snow candy is cool enough to pick up with your fingers.