Halloween is almost here.
A flood of mass-produced, artificially colored and flavored, high fructose corn syrup sweetened candy is about to be unleashed to the masses.
They deserve better.
When our kids get all dressed up as ladybugs and fairies, we give them a goodie bag full of homemade treats and all natural candy, such as mini organic chocolates or sesame candies. We might make pumpkin spice cookies or vegan brownies. They may even get a honey stick or two.
The favorite Halloween treat, though, is maple candy, a treat so simple and pure, so heavenly sweet, that it puts all other candy to shame.
If you can operate a stove and a spoon and a thermometer, you can make maple candy at home. The recipe is simple, and there’s only one ingredient. Pure maple syrup. You also need a candy thermometer, but they’re pretty cheap, and many grocery stores sell them.
Homemade Maple Candy:
- In a tall saucepan or stockpot, heat 2 cups of water to a boil. Measure the temperature of the water, then pour it out. Note the temperature.
- Heat 2 cups of maple syrup to boiling. Use a tall pot, and add a drop of vegetable oil to help keep the foam down. Do not stir.
- Don’t let the syrup boil over, or you’ll be scrubbing the stove for a long time…
- Once it has reached the boiling point, turn the heat down and wait for the temperature to rise to 33° above the temperature of the water noted above.
- Turn off the heat and let cool for several minutes.
- Stir the syrup until it thickens and gets opaque (3 to 5 minutes).
- Pour into greased molds (mini muffin pans work great) or onto a greased baking sheet.
- Let the candy cool and set up for 30 minutes, then remove from mold.
- Wrap in waxed paper to hand out to the wee ones.
If you’ve got snow, you can pour the syrup over a bowl of snow instead of into a mold to make “Sugar on Snow” or “leather britches” (maple taffy).
Enjoy your all-natural Halloween treat!
Image: Aunt Owwee on Flickr under Creative Commons License