Maple Syrup Traditions

Maple Syrup Traditions
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Maple Syrup is well known as a New England tradition, but it's a Midwestern one as well. Warm days of about 40 degrees and cold nights are ideal for maple syrup time in the Midwest. The season only lasts for about eight to 10 weeks. The season ends when the spring nights warm up and we start seeing buds on the trees and bushes. Maple Syrup is like no other flavor and it's expensive because of the labor that goes into producing this sweet treat, but it's worth it!
You can substitute maple syrup for sugar in any recipe by using 1 1/2 cups syrup for 1 cup of sugar, plus 1/4 tsp. baking soda. Also be sure to cup back any liquid in the recipe by half.

Maple Oatmeal Cookies


1 cup minus 2 tablespoons flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

pinch allspice

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tsp. grated lemon rind

1 egg

1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)

Sift dry ingredients, except for oatmeal. Cream butter, then beat in syrup, lemon rind and egg. Stir in sifted ingredients, then the oatmeal. Drop by teaspoonfuls on a lightly greased baking sheet and spread flat with a fork dipped in granulated sugar. Bake in a preheated oven of 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Maple Baked Apples


6 large firm apples



12 teaspoons maple syrup

Wash apples and remove cores. Place in a flat baking dish or pan. Fill each apple cavity with raisins, then add a dash of cinnamon and two tsp. maple syrup to each. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or so until apples are soft. Serve warm with whipped cream and a sprinkling of crushed pecans if you wish.

Maple Cashew Bark


1 1/2 cups maple syrup

1 1/2 cups cashew nuts, lightly toasted, unsalted

2-3 tablespoons butter

1 tsp. baking soda

Lightly butter a baking sheet and set aside. Combine the syrup and nuts in a large heavy pan and slowly bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring only when necessary, until the mixture reaches 270 degrees on a candy thermometer. Stir in the butter and remove from heat. Quickly stir in soda. Pour immediately onto the buttered pan and spread with the back of the spoon as thinly as possible. Cool, then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Old Fashioned Baked Beans


6 cups dried beans (northern or navy beans work well)

3/4 pounds thick cut bacon

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tsp. black pepper

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 medium onion, diced

Cover beans with boiling water, soak one hour, then drain. (Or soak overnight in cold water). Cover with fresh cold water, bring to a slow boil and cook until beans are near tender but not mushy. Drain, saving liquid. Chop the bacon and place half in the bottom of a bean pot or large casserole dish. Combine 1 cup of the bean liquid with the mustard, syrup and pepper, then mix with the beans. Place beans in the baking dish over the bacon. Sprinkle the onions on top and gently push them into the beans with a wooden spoon. Pour in just enough bean liquid or water to reach the top layer of beans; just barely. Top with the remaining bacon. Cover and bake 6-8 hours in a 250 degree oven, adding more water if beans appear dry. Serves 8-10.

Maple and Rosemary Chicken


1 cut-up chicken, about 3 pounds

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind

1/2 tsp dried rosemary or 1 tsp. fresh

1 tsp. salt

dash pepper

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

2 tsp. lemon juice

Place chicken in a shallow, buttered pan. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken. Bake uncovered, 50-60 minutes at 325 degrees until done. Baste occasionally with sauce. Good served with rice or noodles, spooning sauce over the finished chicken.

Maple Breakfast Cake


2 cups flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1 egg, beaten

2/3 cup maple syrup

2/3 cup milk

1 1/2 tsp. melted butter

Mix the egg, syrup, milk and melted butter together. Add to dry ingredients, which have been combined in a bowl. Turn into a greased 9 inch pan and sprinkle the top with extra cinnamon and drizzle with maple syrup. Bake for 35 minutes at 400 degrees.

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies


1 cup shortening

3/4 cup maple syrup

1 egg

1 1/2 cup flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

dash salt

1 1/2 cups oatmeal

1 cup coconut

Mix ingredients in order given. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

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About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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