Click here for a list of Vermont maple syrup producers, many of whom have online shops.
|Cleo Coyle, maple maniac,|
is author of The
than Corn Syrup or Honey
You may have noticed maple syrups include grades on their labels, but maple Grades A and B are not about quality, they're about color, density, and taste.
After Canada, the state of Vermont is the leading maple syrup producer, so I'll also include their wording. First up...
Description: This is the first syrup of the season that is harvested. It is clear and light in color with a very mild maple flavor. Good on ice cream and other foods that allow a subtle maple flavor to come through. Vermont calls this grade "Fancy" and Canada calls it "Extra Light."
Grade A - Medium Amber
Description: This is the grade you'll most often find on store shelves. It has characteristic maple flavor and is a little darker in color than "light" or "fancy" and has a slightly heavier maple taste. It's good for pancakes, waffles, and is generally popular for the table. Vermont calls this grade "Medium Amber" ~ Canada calls it "No. 1 Light Grade A."
Grade A - Dark Amber (my favorite)
Description: This grade is produced toward the end of the maple syrup season as the weather begins to warm up. It's a darker shade than "Medium Amber" and imparts a stronger maple flavor. I find this to be a satisfying syrup for table use--pancakes, waffles, and also very good on yogurt and oatmeal. I like it's versatility because it's robust enough for baking, too. For those of you who'd like a more hearty and classic maple flavor, this is it. Vermont calls this grade "Dark Amber" ~ Canada calls it "No. 1 Medium Grade A").
Grade B -
Description: This syrup is much darker than the others and is made at the end of the sugaring season. It imparts the strongest flavor of maple--maybe too strong for some with notes of caramel. This is sometimes called "cooking syrup" because it's primarily used in recipes--meat marinades, breads, muffins, etc. According to Vermont's literature, this grade is gaining popularity in use at the table. Vermont calls this one "Grade B" ~ Canada calls it "No. 2 Amber."
Maple Sugar Cookies
Recipe adapted from The Vermont
Maple Festival Maple Cookbook*
(*Ingredients were changed, and the directions were changed and completely rewritten--but the cookbook did inspire me!)
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup (the real stuff, not "pancake syrup")
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
(for rolling) 1/3 cup white, granulated sugar
Step 2 – Roll and bake: Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough into balls of about 1-inch in diameter. Drop each dough ball into a shallow bowl of granulated sugar (about
1/3 cup) and lightly coat before placing on the sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, remove from oven, cool and...
Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice).
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