Maple Syrup and Birthday Cupcakes

This past weekend a good friend from high school was visiting Boston. K had a conference here last week and stayed to hang out this weekend. On top of hanging out with friends, Butler made it to the Final Four! K went to Butler and is the president of his local alumni club!

On Saturday we decided to partake in some local fun by heading up to New Hampshire to go to a maple house where they boil maple syrup. We had beautiful weather on Saturday. It was a bit chilly but sunny and not a cloud in the sky. After arriving at the Grant Family Maple House, we had some food and got in line to learn all about how maple syrup is made.

What we learned is that the sap from the trees has about 2-3% sugar in it straight from the tree. At that percentage, it would take 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup!! So they first condense the sap until it reaches about 8% sugar. The sap is then boiled to evaporate off the water.

Once the temperature reads 7 degrees above the boiling point of water, you have syrup! The guy in the maple house even explained how they use a baraometer on the wall to get the barometric pressure so they know the exact boiling temperature of water for that given day. It was all very scientific and extremely interesting.

The small bottles of maple syrup were a sample from each batch they had made at the maple house this season. The guy explained that as the season goes on, the syrup tends to get darker due to the change in the amount of sugar in the sap.

Of course, we had to get some maple products while we were there. Obviously, maple syrup. We also got some maple candies, some maple sugar, and some maple pepper. Can’t wait to find creative ways to use the sugar and pepper. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know!

Also, since K’s birthday was last week, I made him some cupcakes to celebrate. I went with my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe. I love that you can whip these up by dirtying only one bowl and using a whisk! I dipped them in some ganache and topped with festive sprinkles. Aren’t they pretty?

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8 Responses to “Chocolate chip cookie bars”

  1. #
    Ingrid — June 25, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    I’m totally with you on liking bars over cookies! MUCH easier.

  2. #
    Kerstin — June 25, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    I’m a huge fan of bar cookies, in fact, I rarely make regular ones! They look great!

  3. #
    Hanaâ — June 26, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    I’m with you on the bar thing vs cookies. They look great. I’ve never tried these before. How would you say these choc chip bars are different from blondies?

  4. #
    Joelen — June 26, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    I’m a total sucker for chocolate chip cookies and these in bar form look awesome!

  5. #
    Melissa — June 27, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Those look delicious! They would make the perfect midnight snack with a glass of milk. 🙂

  6. #
    oneordinaryday — June 28, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Mmm. Looks good to me too!

  7. #
    Mermaid Sweets — June 29, 2009 at 2:40 am

    I love bars too, same reasons. Sorry I have been MIA, I have been so busy, but it has made me feel so bad not to have time to comment. Happy Birthday, hope the kitchen is going well.

  8. #
    MunchkinMama — October 15, 2010 at 2:38 am

    I found these while surfing around the other day. Made them and LOVED them. Then had a little panic attack when I couldnt find your site. (Do you realize just how many options you get from chocolate chip cookie bars?)
    Anyways, thanks so much! 😀

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