Maple syrup is a staple in our household. Since Emma was born, we went from eating next to none to now consuming large quantities of it – whether on pancakes, in granola bars or substituting it for other sweeteners. And ’tis the season for maple syrup making. This week turned out to be a perfect week for an outing to a local sugarbush to learn all about how that golden syrupy goodness makes it to our table.
One of our travelling companions for this trip – we’ll call him Sweet Little Man – has a milk allergy. If any of you are familiar with maple syrup festivals, you might also know that they tend to have pancakes to accompany their maple syrup samples. How do you taste pancakes made with milk if you can’t have milk? And if you’re three, like Sweet Little Man, how do you understand that everyone else gets maple syrupy treats but not you?
Emma and I decided that would not be right and so, in time for our adventure, we got to work testing (and tasting) a maple treat for Sweet Little Man to enjoy.
Our sugarbush trip turned out to be spectacular. The bright morning sun greeted us through the towering maples as Flo and Holly pulled our wagon for a short ride through the forest. We got to see both a traditional and a more modern preparation of the sap to syrup cycle. And, although cool in the shade of the trees but gloriously warm in the sun, we got our first real taste of spring as we munched on freshly made pancakes, sausages and of course, our maple cinnamon scones.
Tips and suggestions:
- If there is no concern around milk, then a few tablespoons of skim milk or unsweetened natural yogurt mixed into the wet ingredients adds a delicious creaminess of a more traditional scone.
- The dough can be pretty sticky to work with. If you find that it is really difficult, sprinkle a tiny bit of flour over top of your dough as you shape and get it ready for cutting. A really light sprinkle should do the trick.
- Although I always make the recipe in a flat-bottomed bowl as I describe in the recipe, if you don’t have one, go ahead and do the kneading, shaping and cutting a lightly floured surface. I do that work in the bowl so it limits my cleanup requirements.
- These scones, along with the original Lemon Cranberry and Pumpkin scones, freeze very well. Follow the directions as above, but after cutting the scones and putting them on to the baking sheet, place the entire sheet into the freezer for about 30 minutes to an hour. Once the scones are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container and place them back into the freezer. When you’re ready, you can pull them and bake them from frozen according to the remaining directions.