You can't beat these old fashioned maple candy recipes for making the best homemade candies you've ever tasted. There's nothing like the delicious flavor of maple sugar in a confection that's deliciously sweet and naturally divine.
Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)
Boil until brittle, 1 cup maple sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon butter, pinch of salt, a little flavouring. Pour into greased pan, crease, and cool. One cup nutmeats may be added just before pouring into pans. —Fruit and Candies
Mix two pounds of finely broken maple sugar, one-fourth teaspoonful of cream of tartar, and a cup of boiling water. Boil in a granite or porcelain-lined kettle until when a little is dropped in cold water it will form a soft ball. Set the kettle away until the syrup is almost cold, then beat until creamy, and pour into a shallow tin; cut into squares.
Take one-half as much water as maple sugar. Cook without stirring. When nearly done add butter size of a walnut. Try in cold water, when it begins to harden, stir until it waxes. When cool enough to handle make in small balls with walnut meats each side. —Mrs. F. H. Coman, Pan-American Recipes
1-7/8 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup cream, 1 cup maple syrup, 2 cups favorite nutmeats. Boil sugar, syrup, and cream to soft ball stage. Remove from fire, beat to creamy consistency, add chopped nuts, and drop from tip of spoon in small pieces on buttered paper.
Two cups maple sugar, 1 cup white sugar, 1-1/2 cups boiling water, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. Stir ingredients together, heat slowly to boiling point; then boil without stirring until a soft ball will form when dropped into a little cold water.
Pour fondant into a shallow pan, and let stand a few minutes to cool, but not long enough to become hard around the edge; stir with a wooden paddle until creamy. It will quickly change from this consistency and begin to lump, when it should be kneaded with the hands until perfectly smooth.
Put into a bowl, cover with oiled paper and let stand for 24 hours, if possible. It will then be found easier to use. Always make fondant on a clear, dry day. —Fruits and Candies, 1920
The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (1916)
1 lb soft maple sugar, 1/4 cup boiling water, 3/4 cup thin cream, 2/3 cup English walnut or pecan meat, cut in pieces. Break sugar in pieces; put into a saucepan with cream and water. Bring to boiling-point, and boil until a soft ball is formed when tried in cold water. Remove from fire, beat until creamy, add nutmeat, and pour into a buttered tin. Cool slightly, and mark in squares.
The indigenous peoples of North America were the first to collect sap from maple trees and use it to make syrups, sugar, and even maple candy for their children. They shared their method of making syrup from maple sap with the European settlers who began to use maple products in their recipes since refined sugars were costly and sometimes scarce.
The early cookbooks often featured recipes for homemade candy that called for ingredients people could find locally, often on their own farm. To provide a ready source of maple syrup, many pioneer farm families in eastern Canada and the northeastern United States tapped their sugar maples when the springtime sap began to run.
Nowadays, it's made easier for us. Pure maple products can be purchased at most local supermarkets and from specialty food stores online. Make a plateful of maple candy this weekend and enjoy nibbling on a homemade treat from Grandma's day.