Toffee on snow is by far one of the most popular things you can do with maple syrup, especially at maple syrup festivals that’re in full swing right now. It’s sticky, chewy, rolls right up into a lollipop in front of you and is full of that oh so delicious maple flavour.
Whenever we have visitors at our farm for our annual Maplefest, they’re often amazed at all of the great things we can do with maple syrup. Between soft maple sugar, hard maple candies, candy floss from stirred maple sugar and all of the other goodies we can make – maple syrup is truly a versatile and fun food that is great for adding some science to in the kitchen!
Though it may seem tricky – making your own toffee on snow is actually a pretty simple process that you can do at home fairly easily!
How to make homemade toffee on snow
What you’ll need:
- Pure Maple Syrup
- Popsicle sticks (or something that you can use to “roll up” and use as a lollipop stick for your maple treat!)
- A Candy Thermometer (easily found at hardware stores, kitchen stores or kitchen sections of department stores – retails around $5)
- A small or medium sized pot
- A ladle
- Some sort of vegetable oil/butter/margarine/etc.
- Snow or ice
- A willing taste tester!
What to do:
- Step One: Put the desired amount of syrup into the pot on the burner with a thermometer in it.
- Step Two: Turn the stove on with the pot of syrup on it! . Should be about medium/medium high heat. You don’t want to burn it, but it needs to be at a rolling boil.
- Step Three: Do not stir! This is the really serious part. Our automatic reaction when something starts boiling a lot is to start stirring so that something boils over but this is a big no no when it comes to candy making…if you stir it sugar crystals start to form and if sugar crystals start to form, they’ll keep forming and you’ll end up with a big pile of gritty sugar stuck to the bottom of your pot. So I’m serious here: Do. Not. Stir. If it’s starting to boil and/or foam up a lot and you want to stir it – add some of your oil product. A small dab of oil/butter/margarine (think: pea sized or smaller) will bring the foam back down and “defoam” the sugar so it won’t boil over. Add more if it foams up a lot again, but a small amount should keep it under control. You can also just take off the heat if it’s foaming up too quickly and you feel panicked. After you add a littler defoamer just put it back on the heat and turn it down a little if needed.
- Step Four: Keep an eye on it! It will take the syrup a while to get up to temperature, but the hotter it gets, the more water that has evaporated from the syrup and the faster the temperature will rise. For toffee on snow you need to reach 255°F/125°C. If you don’t boil it enough, your syrup will be runny and not stick to your popsicle sticks. If this happens, put it back on the burner quickly and make sure it gets up to 255°F. (You can always take a ladle full and test it out – if it starts to roll, it’s ready. If it’s still really gooey and goopy – it’s not hot enough!) If it’s boiled too high, it will get sugary and start to try and turn to candy – you want to catch it as close to the correct temperature as possible for making toffee on snow.
- Step Five: Take it off the heat, and move directly to your snow/ice, where you’ll pour the hot liquid syrup onto the snow with your ladle. Pour it in lines, so that you can place your popsicle stick horizontally to the line of syrup you’ve poured and roll it up. As you place your popsicle stick into the syrup, it will have cooled enough so start to grip to your stick and you can roll up all of the candy into a perfectly sweet maple toffee on snow treat! If it seems a little gooey still once you’ve rolled it, let it cool in the snow for a few seconds and let it harden.
- Step Six: Enjoy enjoy enjoy! Make toffee on snow for a crew, or for a few of you..but know that it only stays liquid to turn into toffee form for a few short minutes (5-10 minutes max) before it starts to cool down and harden in the pot – you’ve gotta work fast and pour it out for everyone before the syrup starts to try and set! Then you just need to soak your pot in some warm water to help loosen any stuck on syrup and dream of the next time you get to make toffee on snow!
Easy peasy! If you have any questions, let me know – otherwise…enjoy this easy, fun, delicious, oh-so-Canadian treat!!