We’re often asked about the differences between maple syrup grades. In general, lighter grades are usually made earlier in the season. They have a more mellow maple flavor whereas darker syrups are usually produced later in the season from older sap and has a much stronger maple flavor. As temperatures get warmer and the sap gets older throughout the season the sugar starts to naturally break down, these new sugars caramelize quicker when heated, thats why the syrup tends to be darker and have a stronger taste. Just like white/red wine and light/dark beer, neither is better, just personal preference. That is why the industry no longer call dark syrup grade-b, some people took that to mean inferior which is definitely not the case! We do recommend dark or very dark for cooking, sometimes other ingredients in recipes cover up the maple taste with golden/amber. Our dark grade is perfect on pancakes or on anything else! All grades are 67% sugar / 33% water and have the same thickness/sweetness. We usually use golden/amber for our candy and cream and amber for sugar. Lighter grades usually, but not always, crystalize easier and make better and more consistent confections.
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Barrel Aged Maple Syrup
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Earlier this week we installed this new 8,500 gallon stainless steel tank, replacing four smaller plastic tanks at one of our partners woods where we buy sap. These tanks are easier to clean and can be completely drained each pickup, resulting in higher quality sap. It was a fun task getting it over the ditch and onto our leveled support timbers, hopefully it doesn’t need moved for a long time!
Have you had monkey (or pull apart) bread before? We tried making a maple version and it did NOT disappoint! Perfect for a fancy brunch (Mother’s Day is next weekend, hint hint) or as delicious dessert, and it’s not hard to make (only 5 ingredients). It takes 25 minutes in the oven in a bundt pan and is best served warm.
- Pillsbury Grands (1 or 2, depending on how many people you want to feed, adjusting below amounts as needed)
- A stick of melted butter
- 1 cup maple sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- Grease bundt pan and preheat oven to 350 F.
- Mix maple sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Melt butter in glass measuring cup or small bowl.
- Cut grands into quarters and dip individually into melted butter, then coat in maple sugar/cinnamon before placing into bundt pan.
- Pour maple syrup in with excess melted butter, mix, and pour over bundt pan before placing in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Let cool 5-10 minutes before flipping bundt and dumping onto a serving plate – ENJOY!
How many of you stuck at home during this quarantine have found yourself eating more than usual? Here’s a simple but delicious recipe for some homemade granola, perfect for topping some Greek yogurt for a healthy snack.
Did I say recipe? It’s more of an idea or guideline because you can make this a little bit different each time, based on what you have on hand as well as your own preferences. The mix in the picture includes the following:
- Slivered almonds
- Chia seeds
- Coconut flakes
- Some rolled oats
- A dash of cinnamon
I mixed all these together with some maple syrup (just enough to coat the mixture, if there’s too much it will pool on your cookie sheet and burn in the oven). Spread the mixture out on a cookie sheet (I sprayed mine with some cooking oil) and pop it in the oven at 325°F for 5-10 minutes, checking on it periodically to make sure it doesn’t burn. Once done, store in an airtight container for… I honestly don’t know how long, it generally doesn’t last longer than 4-5 days at our house (but I suppose it depends how big of a batch you make)! Sprinkle generously over your favorite yogurt (I like honey vanilla Greek yogurt) or oatmeal and enjoy!