Gluten-Free, Vegan Maple Syrup Snow Taffy
Yesterday was awesome! It snowed almost the entire day. I know if this is your norm, you’re probably thinking “meh,” but for us who haven’t been around quality snow in a few years, it was the best!
Stomping around in the fresh powder and making snowmen then bundling up in our cozy sweaters and comfy socks in front of the fire place with our snow day treats—snow cream and maple syrup snow taffy!
Here in Canada, making maple syrup snow taffy is a winter tradition especially in the Eastern provinces. French Canadians call it tire d’érable. And it’s quite a simple process. Three steps to be precise.
Maple syrup is boiled, poured over clean, fresh snow, then rolled up around a popsicle stick. The snow cools the syrup to a taffy consistency. Like a maple syrup popsicle, served fresh.
Hint: It works much better with popsicle sticks than candy stick as there is more area for the taffy to adhere too; however, a metal dinner fork will work just as well.
The sugar is being heated to what is called “soft ball” stage, meaning there is still a fair amount of water the syrup so when cooled, it forms a soft, flexible ball (i.e. used to make pralines or fudge).
The higher the temperature, the less moisture remains in syrup and therefore the thicker and more brittle the result will become. The most popular is the softer version, but you do you.
If you’ll making the taffy outdoors, just pack down an area of snow so the taffy won’t melt right through. If it’s too cold or you just want to make it indoors, you’ll need to line a baking sheet with foil and a layer of packed down snow to bring inside.
WARNING: Syrup at these temperatures are dangerously hot and will adhere to your skin (trust me, you don’t want that to happen). If you have heatproof gloves, you’ll want to use them. Otherwise please be very careful.
GLUTEN-FREE, VEGAN MAPLE SYRUP SNOW TAFFY
- 1 cup 100% pure Canadian maple syrup*
- Clean, fresh snow
- Popsicle sticks
- Candy thermometer
- Foil-lined baking sheet (if making indoors)
- Heatproof gloves (optional)
- If making outdoors: Firmly pack down an area of snow.
- If making indoors: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and layer roughly 2-inches of packed snow across the sheet.
- In a small saucepan, add the maple syrup and thermometer. Bring to a boil.
- Stir constantly until thermometer reaches 235 degreed Fahrenheit (some thermometers are marked “soft ball” stage). If you prefer harder candy, allow the temperature to rise to 250 degrees Fahrenheit or to “hard ball” stage.
- Remove from heat, stirring until the bubbles settle.
- Slowly pour over snow in strips. Immediately press one end of the popsicle stick onto an end of the syrup strip, then roll the taffy around the stick. If you don’t have popsicle sticks or metal forks, you can simply eat the taffy strip as is. Just remember it will melt quicker due to the heat of your hands.
- Pick up the sticks or strips and enjoy!
*You can make as many cups as you like - 1 cup makes roughly 8 servings of 2 tablespoons.