a peek inside the fishbowl

21 Feb, 2010

Sweet Canadiana: Maple taffy recipe

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Recipes and Food

I will write about spinning for Heart & Stroke in a bit, but I first I wanted to jot down the recipe for some sweet maple syrup treats we made last weekend after a visit to Jacques Cartier Park. I call it “taffy” but it’s not REALLY taffy. Taffy is stretched in order to acheive a light and chewy texture. This recipe is essentially a bunch of maple syrup that’s boiled and quicly cooled on snow (or shaved ice) to make a very VERY sweet and chewy kind of lollipop.

I like this recipe because it’s easy to make and it makes me look like a hero.

You will need:

1 cup of pure maple syrup
heavy-bottomed, medium-sized pot
tray or cake pan
candy thermometer
popsicle sticks or disposable chopsticks

Pack some snow into the cake pan. Pack it down really well! It needs to be a solid layer.

Boil the maple syrup until it reaches 115ºC on a candy thermometer. Please note, this is very hot. And dangerous, and not really kid-friendly AT ALL.

Boiling maple syrup to make taffy

This should take about 10 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready if it forms a thread when you drop a bit into some cold water.

When the syrup is ready, drizzle it across the snow in horizontal rows:

Rolling it onto a chopstick

Working quickly, roll each row up onto the end of a stick to make a kind of lollipop.

(Let’s see that again, shall we?):

rolling up the maple taffy: close up


Don’t wait too long, otherwise your syrup will be too cold to roll – and it will eventually freeze.

Enjoy, and don’t blame me if you lose a filling, ok? :)

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7 Responses to "Sweet Canadiana: Maple taffy recipe"

1 | DaniGirl

February 21st, 2010 at 7:00 pm


A very Canadian treat!! Would you try it if you didn’t own the candy thermometer?

2 | Lee

February 21st, 2010 at 7:15 pm


Mmm…. I’d love me some of that right now!

3 | Stefania (Ingredients for Life)

February 21st, 2010 at 7:36 pm


Whoever invented this is brilliant! :-)

4 | Shannon

February 21st, 2010 at 9:18 pm


I refuse to make this…because I’d end up eating it all myself. And lose a few fillings. ;)

5 | andrea

February 21st, 2010 at 10:25 pm


Dani: I’m not sure if I’d attempt this without a thermometer. You need to get it to the right temperature in order for it to work properly. You can try letting it boil for 10 minutes and then seeing if it threads (as described above) but I’d be afraid of ruining a whole cup of maple syrup!

Unrelated: I should point out that this makes four fair-sized servings. It was delicious, but I’m glad we only make this once a year! Too much of a good thing, you know?

6 | Lynn

February 22nd, 2010 at 8:20 am


We tried this last year and it didn’t work out for me. For one, the hot syrup sunk really far into the snow, so it was hard to roll up — I think I needed to pack in the snow better so it was harder. For two, we couldn’t figure out if we should eat this outside (so it would remain cool) or bring it inside (so it wouldn’t freeze). We eventually went with bringing it inside, but then it started to melt and drip all over, so then I stuck it in the freezer, where it crystalized.

And we wonder why I can’t make a decent pie :).

I figure I’ll just come over to your house to get some!

7 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Family Day 2019 - a peek inside the fishbowl

February 18th, 2019 at 4:54 pm


[…] We’ve also gone XC skiing and walked in the woods and fed the chickadees. I remember making maple taffy, building snow forts (and making ice cream out of snow too!), and binge-watching Veronica Mars […]

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  • andrea tomkins: Thanks Lynn! I will keep doing it as long as I enjoy doing it. :)
  • Lynn: just chiming in to say how much I still enjoy these weekly reading lists. That Google food one was fascinating!
  • Nick: In February, only one thing is good - this is the last month of winter and spring will come soon and it will be warm)
  • Tannia: I someone today who said he played polkaroo.
  • Tannia: What was the actor's name who played polkaroo?
  • Lynn: Oh man, I can see this as my future in just a few short years. Between you and Allison (who's oldest is off in America for university), I can hardly r
  • Amy: Although what your daughter says makes sense and I'd follow her advice when you can, keep in mind that ride-sharing apps are a very recent way to trav

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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