Saturday, January 5, 2013

Maple Syrup Candy Fail + Candy Kick Caramel Recipe

Has anyone here read the Little House on the Prairie books?  Or seen the show?  I've never read through/watched through them, but I've read excerpts in literature classes and my family has several DVDs from the show.

One thing I've always wanted to try is making maple syrup candy.  That was from one of the early books, which I read an excerpt of in elementary school.  The whole Ingalls family got together during the maple-sap season and made syrup and maple candy.  Basically, they boiled the sap into syrup and then poured some hot, "waxing" syrup onto a pan of snow.

After breakfast out one Saturday, I took home three little glass bottles of Cracker Barrel syrup and decided to spend my last morning in Indiana, with all its winter snow, testing out this candy-making.

My first attempt involved microwaving a bottle of syrup and pouring it onto a plate of snow.  Which did not work at all.  Also, I forgot to photograph that one.

Take two!  This time I decided to pour some syrup into a bowl, add powdered sugar to thicken it, and then microwaved and poured onto snow.

I really thought it was going to work.

It came really close, but it didn't quite work the way I wanted.

So then I asked my Mom and Grams if there was anything else I could add.  Eventually that landed me on an internet search for pure maple syrup alternatives, since we discovered that my little Cracker Barrel bottles were half cane syrup.  After a good bit of research, I came back prepared.

Take three!  Without Cracker Barrel bottles this time.

Part one:

Part two:

And the result?  Well, it came out like really soft, not quite sticky taffy.  However, I wrapped most of it in plastic wrap and refrigerated it until my brothers came home.  At that point, it was more like a thick fruit and veggie dip.  So I decided to combine and rewrite the two recipes I used to create my own Homemade Candy Caramel Dip recipe!  You can read the recipe below.

Candy Kick Caramel Recipe


1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup water
1/4 cup salted butter
1 teaspoon maple extract or vanilla extract


Pour granulated sugar in a heavy skillet. Heat on high until the sugar melts and turns brown. 

Meanwhile, pour brown sugar into a heavy saucepan. Pour water over brown sugar and bring to a boil without stirring.

Carefully add caramelized white sugar to the melted brown sugar in the saucepan. Simmer, stirring often, until syrup is thickened.

Whisk in butter and extract.  
Keep on medium-high heat, stirring to prevent boiling over, until the mixture stiffens when dropped onto a plate.

As a dip: Remove from heat and let cool before pouring into seal-able container and storing at room temperature.  Stir before serving with carrots, celery, apple slices, or other dipping foods.

As a syrup: Remove from heat and let cool before pouring into seal-able container and storing at room temperature.  Warm on stove or microwave and stir before serving with pancakes, waffles, etc.

As a candy: Remove from heat and let cool before pouring into seal-able container and storing in the refrigerator.  Scoop small pieces to serve.

Sources used:


  1. I remember reading about that and I always wanted to try it!
    That recipe is neat and you had a lot of great ideas!

  2. Hello broadway! Thanks for dropping in! :) I can tell you, the book makes this sound much easier...

  3. I recognize that from the little house books. Very cool!

  4. I've always wanted to try this too. Grew up in CA though when my mom read us the books and snow was not nearby. Now I live in UT..there is snow on the ground and next time fresh snow falls I will give your recipe a try. Thanks!!

  5. Gale, glad you liked it!

    Stacie, my recipe doesn't actually involve snow at all! :P However, if you want to try the original candy from the Little House books, a good recipe is here:

    It just didn't work for me because I made a maple syrup substitute, and after adding the butter and cooling it just wasn't candy-consistency.

  6. YES! I read all the books. Was a big fan when I was younger. I'm pretty sure I always wanted to try the candy making myself. This looks like you had fun!

  7. Hey Bethany! It may not have been a successful candy venture, but I definitely enjoyed my morning! :)


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