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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17 Responses to “M&M Cookies to Celebrate Valentine’s Day”

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    Carrie — February 12, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I love freezing dough but somehow most ends up in my tummy unbaked when I do that 🙂

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    oneordinaryday — February 12, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    What a great gift! I’m thinking that would be wonderful for all sorts of occasions. Thanks for the idea!

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    Carly — February 12, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    These are adorable and I love that idea! Two questions, though: 1) Were these as good as the cookies from the other recipes? and 2) When you freeze them, do you bake right from frozen?

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    Jen — February 12, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Great questions Carly – As far as comparing them to the other cookies. I enjoyed the chocolate M&M cookies the best, but they were REALLY chocolatey. The other non-chocolate M&M cookies were a bit more chewy and they had nuts in them, so they had a different vibe. This recipe was more of a classic M&M cookie for sure.

    As far as baking from frozen, you can def just go straight from freezer to oven. Bake them ~13 minutes instead of ~11 and take them out when they look done.

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    Cara — February 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    these were delicious!

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    stephchows — February 12, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    they look so cute all frozen up 🙂

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    Leanne — February 12, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    I love the pink and red M&Ms. Thanks for the idea of freezing the cookie dough.

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    Memória — February 12, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I was going to ask you the same thing as Carly, well the first question. These cookies are cute. Your freezing method reminded me that I have a bunch of sugar cookies still in the freezer! Do you know how long cookies can stay in the freezer?

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    Jen — February 12, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    I don’t know how long they will last in the freezer. I have a tendency to forget about things in my freezer… I’d guess a couple months? Anyone have ideas?

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    nutmegnanny — February 12, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    What festive little cookies 🙂 I love them! I also like the fact that you froze them. I bet they were delicious. Make sure to enter the All Through the Year Cheer event for Valentine’s Day 🙂

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    Julie — February 13, 2010 at 4:49 am

    I think that sounds like a great way to spend valentine’s day. It can be intimidating the way it’s so hyped up. The cookies look very festive, love ’em!

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    Vivian - Let's Try These... — February 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    We don’t do “valentine’s day” either since my MIL was born on the 14th and daughter’s birthday is the 15th – besides, its more important to say you love someone everyday, not just one day out of the year. Love the idea about freezing the cookie dough in preshaped form and giving that away. Wonderful idea!

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    Deborah Dowd — February 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I am looking for cookies that travel well for my soldier adopted through Soldier’s Angels and these look like a winner!!

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    Kerstin — February 14, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Mmm, these were so tasty! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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    Amy (Sing For Your Supper) — February 16, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    These are just too cute!! I love M&M cookies too!!

    http://www.singforyoursupperblog.com

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    bcallegra — February 17, 2010 at 1:13 am

    Just had to add my two cents on the idea of giving cookie dough frozen and ready to be baked – genius! For some reason, I’ve never thought of that, even though I’ve given cookies frozen to people to be defrosted when they’re ready to eat. I love the dough idea!

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    Megan — February 20, 2010 at 2:16 am

    YUM-these look absolutely delicious! I love the pink and red M&Ms!

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