If you don’t have any snow, you can use crushed ice instead. You will also need a saucepan, preferably of the non-stick variety and a thermometer. A candy thermometer is helpful, but I used our meat thermometer and it worked just fine.
Here’s what to do:
- Heat syrup over very low heat until it begins to boil. Stir frequently.
- Continue to boil until thermometer reaches 233°F.
- Remove pan from heat and cool for approximately 50 to 60 minutes, or until the temperature on the thermometer reads about 110°F.
- Add the vanilla extract and heat for a few minutes until smooth.
- Immediately pour onto plates of clean snow or crushed ice. Making a little hole in the center of snow/ice helps contain the syrup mix so it doesn’t run down the snow and off the sides of the plate.
We did this to go along with our current read-aloud series, The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In the first book, Little House in the Big Woods, Laura’s grandmother makes maple sugar candy. The family fills pans with fresh snow and Grandma Ingalls ladels syrup onto them.
We are sort of making our own Five In A Row experience with the Little House series, since we are enjoying these books so much. Today’s cooking activity was a math and science lesson. We measured the ingredients, but also the temperature several times. We learned that water boils at 212 degrees Farenheit and that this can vary depending on altitude.
And my kids thought they were having a snow day and didn’t have to “do school” today. [wink]