"Grandma stood by the brass kettle and with the big wooden spoon she poured hot syrup on each plate of snow. It cooled into soft candy, and as fast as it cooled, they ate it. They could eat all they wanted, for maple sugar never hurt anybody."
"One morning [Ma] boiled molasses and sugar together until they made a thick syrup, and Pa brought in two pans of clean, white snow from outdoors. Laura and Mary each had a pan, and Pa and Ma showed them how to pour the dark syrup in little streams onto the snow. They made circles, and curlicues, and squiggledy things, and these hardened at once and were candy."
I've always wanted to make maple sugar candy, and today while Alexander was napping Olivia and I gave it a try. It was pretty tasty, and especially fun thinking about pioneer children who might not have had any treats other than this.
We boiled 3/4 cup of pure maple syrup and 1/2 T of butter in a pan with a candy thermometer until it was about 240F. Then I poured it on a pan of clean snow. Once on the snow it cooled immediately and we were able to try it. It was a lot of fun to eat, even though it made our teeth stick together.