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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4 Responses to “12 Days of Cookies – Chocolate Chip Snowballs”

  1. #
    Stephanie — December 16, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Those look great! Perfect for the holidays.

  2. #
    Laura P. — December 16, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    omg you’re my hero! I’m making mexican wedding cakes and I’ve been trying to think of a sub for the nuts…choc chips are perfect! : )

  3. #
    Joelen — December 16, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Mmmm – these look great and I enjoy eating powdered cookies regardless of how messy they are! 🙂

  4. #
    Dani — January 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Just made this recipe for a functiona I’m going to today – it was really easy with all ingredients I already have on hand – will definitely make these again – thank you!

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