I am all for finding fun excuses to get outside during the winter! Some days it just seems too cold outside and the inside of your house is much more inviting. So on days like this I try to find a fun project to do outside that gets me excited about going out. We try to make snow candy at least once every winter and that is just what we did this week!
This is a fun, quick and simple lesson on how candy is made. By simply boiling the maple syrup and pouring it on the snow, the cooking process is quickly halted, creating a sweet, sticky, taffy-like substance that is lots of fun to eat! If you have read the Little House books, she talks about making this candy. Snow candy is also referred to as maple syrup taffy, snow taffy, maple candy and maple taffy.
To make snow candy all your need is 1/2 cup of REAL maple syrup and SNOW! This recipe makes around 10 small pieces of snow candy or around 4 snow candy sticks.
Prepare a flat area of packed down snow outdoors or pack some snow into a casserole dish to bring indoors. Make sure the snow is at least a couple inches thick after packing. The candy will melt some of the snow and you don’t want it to go all the way through. Otherwise the candy will stick to the surface.
Heat maple syrup on medium and bring to boil. Continue to heat until the syrup reaches 235°F-240°F or balls when dripped into a cup of cold water. (I don’t have a candy thermometer, so I use the drip method.) This is referred to as the “soft-ball” stage.
Drizzle syrup onto packed snow with a spoon, ladle or right out of the pot. (Be aware. Hot sugar is like napalm, this isn’t a step I suggest letting children help with.) Let cool for a couple of minutes and enjoy!
I usually make this candy after a fresh snow to guarantee that the snow is clean. You can make this outside like we do by simply packing down the snow you want to use when making it. You can also get a backing dish and fill it with packed snow, then bring it into the house to complete the project. I do recommend only making enough for what you want to eat right then. This candy does tend to soften when not in contact with snow, making it considerably more messy
Some people seem to like to make small pieces of candy because they can easily be popped onto the mouth. Others roll the candy onto popsicle sticks so it can be eaten like a sucker. However, we do this as an outdoor project and I’ve found our temperatures are generally too low for us to roll the candy onto sticks successfully. Our candy gets hard too fast and then doesn’t roll but breaks. I prefer to make long pieces because they are easier to handle when being held between fingerless mittens.
To see more images for this project and others, follow us on Instagram at @fromthestates !