Since the mitten state is pretty much shut down today, I figured it was time that I finally share my recipe for Maple Snow Taffy. It's so fun to make, and is VERY impressive to little kids.
Making maple snow taffy is extremely easy, and super tasty on a beautiful, snowy day. The only actual ingredient is pure maple syrup. You'll also need to gather up a pan or tray to pack the snow into for when you pour the maple mixture into the snow to form the taffy. I like to use a metal baking pan.
As for the taffy "sticks", I have found that popsicle sticks, paper straws, wooden party spoons/forks, toothpicks, or pretty much anything can work just fine for rolling up the taffy.
You will need to use a candy thermometer for heating the syrup so you can achieve the soft ball stage. soft ball stage for candy falls between 235°F-245°F. For this recipe, I find that closer to the 245° mark works a bit better. If it doesn't reach about 240°F or so, I found the taffy to tend to be a bit too soft and can make for a very sticky mess on little one's mittens.
Side note: If you don't happen to have an unlimited supply of snow like we do, I have heard that it works well to use vanilla ice cream instead of snow. (Sounds like a delicious combo!)
Maple Snow Taffy
1 cup pure maple syrup
metal baking pan (9x13")
candy sticks/popcicle sticks/paper straws/toothpicks/party spoons
freshly fallen snow
Fill the cake pan with snow, packing the snow down firmly. Leave prepared pan outside while you prepare the syrup.
Gather candy sticks, or whatever you're going to use to form your taffy with.
In a medium saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the maple syrup over medium-high heat until temperature reaches soft ball stage, about 240°F. (See notes above regarding temperature ranges.)
Quickly and carefully take pan of hot syrup outside and drizzle thin lines of syrup onto the prepared snow very close together to make bands of syrup about 1-inch wide by 4 or 5-inches long.
Press the sticks/spoons at one end of the syrup and as the taffy cools, gently roll the taffy around the end like a lollipop. Repeat until no syrup remains.
(On days when the temperature is in the single digits, or even colder, you'll need to work VERY quickly or you will not be able to get the taffy to wrap around the sticks. Not to worry, if it hardens too quickly, it's delicious when broken into pieces and eaten like candy.)
Stay warm and have fun!