I am bad at three things. I mean, I know I’m bad at way more things, but these come to mind immediately – I can’t iron properly, I can’t make a decent cup of coffee and I cannot keep white clothes clean.
I’m not meant to have nice white things, it seems. I’m overall a sort of messy person, but that usually doesn’t extend to getting my clothes dirty. Yes, it will occasionally mean that I will wear the slightly wrinkled shirt even though I hung it out the night before to get the wrinkles out. It’s not my fault it didn’t get magically ironed overnight. Anyway, not only did my travel mug leak for the first time ever right onto my brilliant white sleeve, but the rubber handle on my red umbrella rubbed off onto my arm as I was hugging the handle to balance everything. And if you know me, you’ll know I hate umbrellas. I usually prefer to run in the rain, but I didn’t want to get my nice white almost brand new jacket dirty. Ah, the irony.
Anyways, today’s post is about Maple Butter. Canada Day last week inspired me to try to make something that was pretty Canadian. To be honest, I had never heard of maple butter until about a year ago. An article in Canadian Living mentioned making Maple butter tarts and I thought it was something that was much easier to buy in a store – until I checked out Martha Stewart’s recipe – it is literally maple syrup and butter! If you ever thought that your maple syrup was too sweet or sugary and not ‘maple’ enough, I suggest you try this butter. Is it stupid to say that I thought to myself “we the north” when I tried it? Hehehe
So how do you use it? Like regular butter, really, or like a thick pancake syrup. We’ve been eating it plain, on toast, on pancakes, as a cheesecake topping, and I imagine that it would be a lovely icing for a cupcake. Put it on a doughnut and you’ll be reminded of the Tim Horton’s Maple Dip doughnuts. I usually get those when I don’t feel like having chocolate glazed, vanilla dip with sprinkles (not the round sprinkles, the long ones), or chocolate dip (in that order). When I do try the maple dip, I always think to myself “Why don’t I order this more!? Oh right. Chocolate glazed owns my soul. Until next time, MD.”
Anyways, Maple Butter is not a hard thing to make, and its a really nice addition to the snack rotation. I think its a really nice weekend project, especially if you buy BBQ or something and don’t have the pressure of cooking a meal. Make maple butter and set yourself up nicely for the week. So maybe I am meant to have nice things.
Also, another weekend project? Hang up your clothes – and if you wear white, good luck to you, friend.
1 cup pure, Grade A Maple Syrup (I used the dark, robust flavour)
3/4 cup Butter
1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried Vanilla (regular extract should be fine. Try it and let me know how it goes)
Pour the syrup into a pan and bring to a boil on medium heat. Add cinnamon. Allow to boil for about 10 minutes on medium heat, until it reaches a temperature of 240 degrees – soft ball stage (by using a candy thermometer). If you don’t have a thermometer, check the note below for an alternative method.
Turn off heat and add butter & vanilla, stirring until everything is dissolved. Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer, but stand is so much easier) with a paddle attachment, beat mixture on lowest setting, gradually increasing speed to about medium-high. Beat for about 8 minutes until the mixture is all caramel-y and toffee-like. Pour into bottles and store in fridge.
– Martha’s recipe suggests that the syrup be boiled for 10-15 minutes, but I found that I was good to go at around 10 minutes on medium-low heat. Maybe I was a little scared to burn it, especially since I didn’t have the thermometer to be absolutely sure, but I think it worked out well.
– The slightly tricky part is that having a candy thermometer makes it infinitely easier. However, candy making isn’t something I’ve been drawn to, so sorry. No thermometer. A meat thermometer doesn’t do the job unfortunately since candy temperatures need to be much higher. Anyways, Google to the rescue! As the syrup is boiling, take 1/4 tsp out and drop into a bowl of cold water. Then try to pick it up with your hand, and if you’re able to roll the syrup into a soft, squishy ball, then you’re good to go. If you cant pick it up and manipulate it, then the syrup needs to boil a little bit more. And I don’t mean like “youre a genie? I bet you can’t even get us out of this cave” manipulation.
The storage is a little funny in this case. When we store in the fridge, the texture feels more like a soft candy – chewy and toffee-like. However, when we store outside, the texture ends up being more of a soft butter. This is Guyana after all, so storing butter outside is not the best idea unless you plan to use it soon. As such, it’s up to you to decide. Yesterday Rabin took it out in the morning and ended up eating maple butter toast all day.
Reading: Ok, I just read A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro so technically I’m not currently reading it. But I liked it so so much that I just had to recommend it. Its funny because I was never a fan of the whole Sherlock Holmes thing. Not that I don’t like him or Arthur Conan Doyle or anything like that – I just grew up on Nancy Drew so my mystery obsession was fed by Nancy, George, Bess and Ned. My point is, I know very little about the Sherlock Holmes series apart from the basics, and I still really liked it. Anxiously awaiting Book 2!
Listening: “Head on (Hold on to your heart)” by Man man. Optimistic and bouncy.
Watching: American Gothic. I mean, a 13 part murder mystery. I’ve disliked Virginia Madsen since she was Pacey’s older woman tryst in the series finale of Dawson’s Creek (I’m ashamed of you if I have to say spoiler alert) but apart from her, I like the concept and will be watching.