Our 2 year old daughter has been obsessed with eating snow. Any chance (and any place) she can get it, she will. I had to sit down with her and try to explain which snow not to eat (snow from the car, the house, shoes and the good ol' yellow or brown snow) and the snow that was good to eat. Then we had the idea of collecting some clean snow in a bowl as it fell and putting a bowl out on our porch railing, we soon had some good, clean snow to eat! We got out some spoons and she sat happily eating her bowl of snow. Our 5 year old son suggested we pour maple syrup on it, so we did that and he was happy eating his sherbet-tasting snow.
Then, I remembered as a girl trying to make Snow Candy using maple syrup like in Little House on in the Big Woods, but I was disappointed because it didn't work. The thing that I think was left out in our Snow Candy making was that we didn't boil it. And that's the key to making candy! So, I thought I'd give it a whirl today and it was a great success!
So here's how we made our candy:
I boiled about a 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup in a small pot over medium heat. I didn't really measure time-wise, but I stood there, occasionally stirring with a spoon. The syrup got all frothy and bubbly after awhile, so I added a tiny lump of butter which helped a little. That's optional though. I had a small bowl of cold water that I occasionally dropped a drip of the syrup into to test its hardness. Gradually it went from making soft lumps, to harder lumps, then to being hard and brittle - we had made it to the hard-ball stage! Then I removed it from the heat, got my bowl of snow and poured it out in a steady stream all over the snow. Surprisingly, it didn't melt the snow as much as I thought, but sunk slightly into the soft, white powder. When I removed it, it was a fun, hard spindly shape - delicious for eating!
I think it would be fun to try putting large drops on some parchment paper and letting them harden there. That way we'd have little syrup mounds to suck on. I'm thinking I could make some good throat lozenges this way with honey candy and some essential oils as well! Hmm!
|This is the second pouring, so the snow is more melted. |
Also, the candy cooked a little longer by that point, so it's darker.
|Yummy, golden maple snow candy!|