Like "Little House in the Big Woods"
We were so thrilled to get our first snow here in East Tennessee! It was white, fluffy, and gloriously cold! So cold in fact that, if out long enough, your face and hands hurt! The children pointed out that when the sun's rays hit it just right; it looked like millions of diamonds covering the ground. Of course the first thing I wanted to do, while the big fluffy flakes fell, was curl up together and read aloud. What better book to read while it's snowing than the Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingells Wilder. When we got to the part where Pa brought in the pans of snow for Laura and her sister Mary to drizzle the maple syrup into, our children were instantly on board with making maple syrup snow candy!
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How to Make Maple Syrup Snow Candy
1. Gather up some clean, fresh snow and a pie plate or roasting pan. We used our cast iron skillets like they did in Little House in the Big Woods. Pack it down. Our snow was VERY powdery so we had to really work to get it to pack in. Set it down outside or in the freezer so it stays cold if you’re not using it immediately.
2. Pour a half cup of real maple syrup into a small saucepan.
3. Bring the syrup to a boil over medium-high heat, and put a candy thermometer in.
*Now here is where things can get tricky. When the syrup reaches 235°F (the soft-ball stage) you can take it off the heat and immediately drizzle it over the packed snow in the pan. This will produce more of a Taffy candy. OR you can wait until the syrup reaches 300'F (the hard-crack stage) and then take it off the heat and drizzle it over the snow in the pan. If the syrup DOES NOT reach these temperatures, then you'll end up with a maple snow slushy*
It took us several tries to make our maple syrup snow candy. The first time we tried to make the maple syrup snow candy, we didn't realize that you had to pack the snow down or bring the syrup to a specific temperature. Thus our syrup didn't become candy at all! It stayed syrupy and the snow became a lovely maple snow slushy!
We also discovered that if you boil the maple syrup too long, it turns into maple sugar! You'll know when this is about to happen. Its right after the temperature reaches 300 degrees (the hard crack stage.) The syrup starts to thicken and then gets grainy.
Finally, we managed to make the maple syrup snow candy! It was a tasty treat after all of our hard work! This was a fantastic activity for the children as they learned about candy making, sugar, and chemistry with it's relation to a wonderful book!
Maple Syrup Snow Candy
Click on the video below to watch as we make the maple syrup snow candy!