Serious Eats: Talk
Sugar on Snow
Thought I'd suggest this to folks who are getting unaccustomed snow in the next day or two, and who have access to some maple syrup.
You'll need a pan of clean snowball snow, i.e. snow that will compact, as opposed to very dry snow. You can also try this on shaved ice if you never get any snow. Keep the snow cold.
Heat maple syrup to 230 degrees (check with candy thermometer). Use a pan with at least 4 times the volume as the amount of syrup you are heating, as the syrup will boil up several inches. If the syrup seems about to boil over, take the pan off the burner briefly.
As soon as 230 is reached take the pan off the heat and drizzle spoonfuls of the syrup onto the snow, where it will form a gooey strip. If it doesn't harden, either the snow wasn't packed well enough or, more likely, the syrup wasn't hot enough. In that case heat the syrup a little more and try again.
If there's syrup left over after you're sated, beat it like you would fudge, and you'll eventually get maple cream (which you ordinarily have to cook to 232, but usually enough more water has evaporated by the time you're done with your sugar on snow that it will make maple cream) You might want some food around to take the edge off the sweetness. Cider donuts are traditional at community sugar on snow parties..
Wiki says to cook to 234 initially, but I think that's way too high, especially if you're cooking a lot of syrup for a lot of people. (You'll be reheating it now and then to keep it flowing). They have a picture of what it looks like on the snow.
Erin had a post last night on tapping maple trees, if you missed it.
I hope some of you try it and report back. Happy winter.