Tag Archives: Maple Syrup

Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats with Maple Apples

We have been eating overnight oats for breakfast, lunch and dinner this week, as I have been testing different variations. So far, no one has complained. This version is adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. They sweetened the oats with brown sugar but I switched it for maple syrup. I also added chopped apples to the oats while they were cooking. Their recipe used shredded apples but I found that I liked the texture better with little bites of diced apple.

The final change I made to their recipe was to sautee some apple slices in a bit of butter and maple syrup, because, well… butter and maple syrup on apples! It’s a fancier version, and those sliced apples look so pretty on top, but feel free to leave it out if that’s not how you roll. No judgement here.
The night before, bring 3 cups of water and a good pinch of salt to a boil. Remove from heat and add 1 cup steel cut oats. Cover pot and let it sit on the counter all night. In the morning , add apple cider or juice, milk, cinnamon and some diced peeled apples. Cook for 5 minutes. Let sit for a further 5 minutes. Top with sauteed maple apples and some toasted almonds or pecans.

Drizzle with extra maple syrup because you deserve it.

Click here to print recipe for Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats with Maple Apples.

 

 

 

 

Maple Oat Waffles

waffles on red plates 2Don’t know what the weather’s like in your neck of the woods, but here in Ottawa we’ve been  under siege. Earlier this week we set a one-day-record for snowfall with over 50 centimetres (that’s almost 20 inches) burying the city. The old record of 41 centimetres was set in 1947. Whoopee for us!

Perfect time to cocoon, binge watch Netflix and make oat and maple waffles. I finished off all five seasons of Friday Night Lights in a few short weeks and I’m having Tim Riggins withdrawal. My husband can’t believe that after watching all those episodes, I still don’t understand football.

We started watching House of Cards, but my husband doesn’t understand the concept of binge watching. He restricts us to one episode a night. The man has incredible self-control. I decided to see if I could break down his will power with waffles. what you needThese waffles are the creation of whole grains maven Kim Boyce. Her 2011 book “Good to the Grain” is a veritable whole grains baking bible. Kim and co-author Amy Scattergood go beyond just substituting whole grains for all-purpose flour. They delve into 12 different whole grain flours and teach us what each one has to offer. I love that they are not whole grain militants. Many of the recipes have some all-purpose flour in the mix, because the lightness that you get from AP flour is sometimes necessary for superior taste. And first and foremost this book is focused on good taste!

Start with sifting the oat flour, oat bran and all purpose flour. sifting dry ingredientsThe batter is sweetened with maple syrup. They are light and fluffy, thanks to beaten egg whites.folding in egg whitesMake sure you preheat the waffle iron to high and brush on lots of butter. buttering waffle ironpouring batterWe topped ours with a fried egg, because everything tastes better with a fried egg on top! This is one food trend I am happy to follow.oat and maple waffle topped with fried eggbreak the yolk

Click here to print recipe for Maple Oat Waffles.

a bite taken

Maple Macadamia Milk Chocolate Cookies

Milk and Cookies 3My husband arrived home from work last week with a gift for me. From the sound of my squeal when I opened the package, you would have thought the box held a large square cut diamond ring. Nope. Just a jar of maple salt.

Yes, I said maple salt!! Who knew? My mind was reeling with the possibilities. Maple glazed chicken thighs finished with a sprinkle of  maple salt, salmon with a maple soy glaze and strewn with a light dusting of maple salt, maple salted pecans? I settled on maple macadamia milk chocolate cookies, finished with a fine mist of maple salt. mise en place 2Maple syrup would be the natural addition to give these cookies a serious maple bent, but too much syrup would make the dough too soft and liquidy. The solution was to add maple extract to the dough. I added almost 1 1/2 teaspoons and it was perfect.

This recipe was adapted  from the Lindt chocolate web site.  The dough came together quite quickly in my stand mixer.adding flourI formed one round log and one square log (check out this video if you need help forming a square log). If you are impatient like me, freeze for 2 hours. If not, chill dough in fridge for 6 hours or even overnight. rolling into a logforming square logSlice, top with maple salt or just regular fleur de sel, and bake.slicing 2sprinkling with maple saltBe patient and let them cool completely before tasting. They spread quite a bit in the oven. They are quite thin and you will be utterly surprised that such a thin and delicate cookie can pack such a wallop of deep maple flavour. Buttery and crispy, these cookies are really unique. The tiny crystals of maple salt crunch delicately between your teeth and keep you craving more. Milk and Cookies 1You can find maple salt online at Saltworks (in the USA), or at Maison Côté in Canada.

Click here to print recipe for Maple Macadamia Milk Chocolate Cookies.Milk and Cookies 2

Tears and Sap: Maple Pecan Brown Butter Tarts

9 tarts 2I very rarely cry, so when I found myself sobbing, twice in a span of less than a month, I had to take a step back and examine what exactly was going on here.

The first time I cried, I was halfway through the book  “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green.  I noticed a slow tricking of tears sliding down my cheeks. Within an hour, there was full on gushing. No question about it, I was sobbing. I went through a full box of Kleenex. For those not familiar with this book, I don’t want to give too much away in case you plan to read it. Let me just say that it is raw, genuine, alternately sad and funny and honestly all-out poignantly heartbreaking.

The book falls under the category of “YA (young adult) Literature.” At their core, YA books are for and about teenagers and pre-teens, usually between 12 and 18 years old. Full disclosure here, I am not in that age category. I will, however, admit that I am a sucker for this genre of writing. I have read the Harry Potter series (All seven books. TWICE!), the Twilight series (Team Jacob all the way!), and the Hunger Games series. The thing about these books is that good writing is good writing. If the characters are believable and the plot is compelling, its appeal will span a wide age range.

The second incidence of tears occurred this week, as I was binge watching “The Big C”, late at night when sleep eluded me. It was during the third episode of season 4 when again I noticed the quiet dribble of tears making their way, ever so slowly, down my cheeks. The main character, Cathy (brilliantly played by Laura Linney) has terminal melanoma. To ease the burden for her husband and son, she selflessly checks herself into a hospice to die. Her 17 year old son feels totally helpless and wants to do something for his mom. He sneaks into the hospice at 5:00 am and while his mom is deep in a morphine-drip induced slumber, he covers the ceiling above her bed in a huge collage of family pictures. When she wakes up and sees what he has done, it is all I can do to hold it together.

If my children are reading this,  you now know what to do with those thousands of pictures I tortured you by taking as you were growing up.

As I thought about my tears, specifically how they began as a leisurely crawl and progressed to a full on waterfall, I couldn’t help but make the maple syrup analogy. (Even in my deepest sorrow, food is not far from my thoughts. I must have a well developed right cerebral cortex!) When maple trees are tapped for their sap, the initial flow is just a mere dribble. As the weather warms up, the flow increases.

Our friend, Harold, who lives close to our cottage has a sugar bush. Every spring he gives us a 2 litre jug of maple syrup. Last summer I baked some raspberry tarts for him. He asked me if I had ever made maple tarts. He said they are just like butter tarts, but instead of corn syrup to sweeten them, you use maple syrup.

Butter tarts are the quintessential Canadian treat. Sadly, my experience with butter tarts does not come from a tattered recipe handed down from generation to generation. For me, butter tarts will always be associated with the summers I worked as a counsellor at an overnight camp. On our day off, my friends and I would hitch hike from camp into the nearby town of Haliburton Ontario. When I think about some of the rides we accepted, climbing into the back of pick up trucks with strange men, I shudder. But, in our defence, we were young and the part of our brain that deals in common sense was not yet fully formed.

When we arrived in town our first stop was the laundromat. Then, while our clothes were spinning, we shopped at Foodland, for a picnic lunch and treats to keep us fed until our next day off, as camp food was less than stellar. We would park ourselves on the beach by the lake and eat our feast. We always finished with a huge box of butter tarts. They were tooth achingly sweet but we craved that sugar rush. The main source of sugar came from high fructose corn syrup. We had no idea what an evil thing it was in those days.

So when Harold told me that you could substitute maple syrup for the corn syrup, I felt my insides do a little flip! Could it possibly be true? He brought me a recipe and I tucked it away, vowing to try them as soon as the sap began running again in the spring. It just seemed wrong to make maple tarts in the summer. Well, I am thrilled to report to you that, yes, maple tarts are real, and they’re spectacular!4 tarts square 625I fiddled a little bit with Harold’s recipe and added some whole-wheat flour. I like the earthy depth of flavour that it contributes. I also browned the butter in the filling. Browned butter has an intense aroma and nutty flavour that really complements the maple syrup in the filling. These tarts are undeniably sweet, but the flavour profile is layered, with the molasses in the brown sugar contributing an assertive acidic sweetness, while the maple syrup adds a deep, caramelized toasty sweetness. There is a touch of cider vinegar and salt in the filling, to help balance all the sweetness. ingredientsThe dough comes together fairly quickly. No food processor is needed. I used Michael Smith’s dough recipe. His method involves grating frozen butter into the flour and then using your hands to gently knead it.grating butter 

cutting rounds of dough

muffin tin lined with doughI added toasted chopped pecans and raisins to mine, but feel free to leave them out if you like.raisins and pecansraisins and pecans in tart shellsWhen you brown the butter for the filling, stay by the stove and watch closely. It can turn from brown to black in the blink of an eye. Transfer it to a measuring cup when it reaches the perfect shade of brown. This will stop the cooking process instantly. It will smell nutty and toasty. brown butterResist the urge to sample as soon as they come out of the oven. Let them cool completely before you try to remove them from the muffin pan.baked tartstarts on parchment paper

Click here to print recipe for Maple Pecan Brown Butter Tarts.

broken in half 4