This is how you make a specific type of maple candy called maple taffy. I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which is in Southeastern PA. There are two silver maple trees in my yard that I tap to collect sap from concentrating and making maple syrup. Maple syrup is delicious, and I have made it a few times already, but now I want to experiment with making maple taffy.
While I made this treat from sap I collected from my trees, you don’t need to start with sap, you can use any store-bought maple syrup.
To make maple taffy, you need maple syrup, a candy thermometer, popsicle sticks, and snow (or a tray of crushed ice).
Conditions were perfect in the third week of February for this experiment. Over the previous few days, I had collected a little more than a gallon of sap. Since the sap to syrup ratio is approximately 40: 1, that meant I could make about 3 ounces of syrup…OR…use the sap to experiment and make a new, tasty treat, called maple taffy.
What is maple taffy?
Maple taffy is maple syrup-based candy made when you heat maple syrup to a temperature of about 240 degrees Fahrenheit and then rapidly cool it in the snow. If you’ve made homemade candies before or are familiar with the terms used there, that temperature is called the softball stage. The result of the rapid heating and then cooling in the snow is a warm sticky, chewy, and deliciously sweet confection called maple taffy.
How to make maple candy in the snow (also known as maple taffy)
Step 1: Whether you start with maple sap from your own maple tree or with maple syrup (homemade or storebought), the first step is the same. You want to heat your sap or syrup to a temperature of about 240 degrees Fahrenheit. This is also known as the soft-ball stage in candy-making circles.
Water boils at 212 degrees F, but as the sap boils, it concentrates the sugars and raises the boiling point. At about 219 Fahrenheit, the sugar concentration is perfect for maple syrup. But for this maple taffy candy, we want to heat it all the way up to 235-240 degrees.
Step 2: Carefully walk your pot of super-hot liquid candy outside to a fresh snow pile. Avoid the obvious joke here about avoiding off-colored snow, but carefully choose a spot that looks fresh/clean. After all, you’re going to eat this.
Step 3: Pour the liquid candy onto the snow in thin rows. Wait just a moment for the candy to cool.
Step 4: Take a popsicle stick or a spoon and place it on one end of the strip. With your fingers, dig under the candy and start to wrap it around the popsicle stick, and keep wrapping/rolling until you have finished the strip.
Step 5: Repeat, with a new stick or spoon, until you’ve rolled up each row of maple taffy. This is so delicious. You’re going to want to wait, so feel free to use your fingers to roll up a batch and pop it right into your mouth.
Step 6: Enjoy this melts-in-your-mouth delicious maple taffy treat right away. It will be extremely sticky, so don’t put it down anywhere (like in a bowl). You’re going to want to eat this super-fresh, while it has mostly cooled but is still a little warm.
If you need to put it down, place it on parchment paper. Make sure you taste it before you invite others over to share…not because it might not taste good, quite the opposite. Make sure you don’t want to eat it all yourself :).
If you want to make this but don’t have fresh snow handy, you can make your own snow by crushing ice in a blender. You’re going to need enough to fill a brownie pan.
Watch this short video to see how easy it is to make
They say a picture is worth a thousand words–see for yourself how easy it is to make
How does maple taffy taste?
The sweetness, flavor, and mix of icy and warm temperatures are so delicious. It will blow your mind. It’s soft, chewy and somehow also seems to melt in your mouth.
If you’re like me and you enjoy making your own maple syrup and maple candies, you’re going to love this, I guarantee it. Give it a try the next time you get snow.