Maple Syrup Season: 5 Ways to Enjoy Nature’s Sweetest Treat

Maple Syrup Season: 5 Ways to Enjoy Nature’s Sweetest Treat

February 08, 2019

Did you know that mid-February marks the beginning of maple syrup season? In late winter, temperatures reach a sweet spot that allows the sap of sugar maple trees—the natural substance that’s transformed into syrup—to flow and be “tapped” for harvest. To celebrate the arrival of nature’s sweetest treat, we’re sharing five recipes made with maple syrup, from Sunday brunch to cocktail hour.

1. Two-Ingredient Banana Pancakes
Make a Sunday brunch classic easier than ever with this two-ingredient recipe that’s also healthier than traditional pancakes. Free of dairy, grains, and added sugar, these banana-based pancakes can be dressed up with your favorite add-ins (think blueberries, nuts, or chocolate chips), and then served with a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

Ingredients
1 large banana
2 eggs

Mash the banana and stir in the eggs until smooth (for extra-smooth batter, use a food processor). You can also add 1/8 teaspoon of baking powder for fluffier pancakes.

Add oil or butter to a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Pour a circle of batter (approx. 1-2 tablespoons) into the pan and cook until the underside is golden brown. Sprinkle any add-ins onto the top of the pancake, then flip and cook until the other side is golden brown. (The cooking process should take around 2 minutes total).

Serve with butter and maple syrup.

 

2. Maple Snow Candy
If you were a fan of the Little House on the Prairie books as a child, you might remember descriptions of this old-fashioned treat, which is made by pouring syrup over freshly fallen snow so it freezes into chewy candy. Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients & Tools
1 cup pure maple syrup
Popsicle sticks
Fresh snow
Baking sheet
Saucepan
Candy thermometer

Firmly pack a layer of clean snow into a baking sheet.

In a small pot, heat the syrup until boiling. When bubbles begin to form, place the candy thermometer into the syrup and continue to boil until it reaches 235-240°F.

Remove the pot from the heat and carefully pour the syrup into lines on the tray of snow.

Press a popsicle stick into the end of a line of syrup and roll the syrup around the stick as it begins to cool.

3. Maple Latte
If there’s a cozier way to start a winter morning than a maple latte, we haven’t discovered it. This sweet coffee drink is flavored with pure maple syrup and warming spices—the perfect pick-me-up as you begin your day.

Ingredients
8 oz. coffee or 2 shots espresso
1/2 cup milk (or non-dairy alternative)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon
Allspice
Ground clove
Nutmeg

Add maple syrup, vanilla, and a pinch of each spice to the bottom of a large mug and stir until combined. Pour coffee/espresso over the syrup mixture and stir.

If you have a milk frother, heat and froth the milk then pour over the coffee mixture. If not, place the milk in a microwave-safe jar and heat for 30 seconds. Put the lid onto the jar and shake until foamy, then pour over coffee mixture.

 

4. Maple Glazed Bacon

The perfect combination of sweet and salty, maple glazed bacon is one of our favorite options for a brunch side dish or cocktail party snack. Best of all, it’s super simple to make.

Ingredients
8 slices thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the bacon slices in a single layer. Bake until the bacon begins to brown (around 15 minutes), then remove from the oven and brush with syrup. Bake for 3-5 more minutes until fully browned. Drain slices on a wire rack and serve warm.

5. Maple Old Fashioned
Add a touch of complex sweetness to a classic cocktail recipe for the perfect winter libation. We love this spin on a time-tested whiskey drink for a Valentine’s Day toast—or any February Friday night.

Ingredients
2 oz. rye
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Dash of bitters
Orange peel

Mix rye, syrup, and bitters in an Old Fashioned glass along with a teaspoon of water. Stir until syrup is fully dissolved. Add a large ice cube and garnish with orange peel before serving.

Do you have any favorite recipes featuring maple syrup? Share your sweetest ideas in the comments!



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