My Maple Sugar Massacre

It’s easy to contemplate your stupidity when you’re scraping hardened maple syrup off your ceiling. And out of your armpit.  Uh, huh … that particular contemplation seems to come quite naturally.

I mean what else are you going to think about at that point?  How smart could you be if you have maple syrup in these places?  That wouldn’t even be smart if it were part of some ill advised sexy game.

But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here.  It all started 24 hours ago when that ruggedly handsome guy from “Dirty Jobs” looked me right in the eye and declared his love for me. Er … um … I mean he made maple syrup.  He also spent some time making maple sugar candy, which I haven’t thought about in years!

I’m always too cheap to buy the $2 lump of sugar in the shape of a maple leaf, but it always looks so gooood.  And just like that I had decided to make my own maple sugar candies.  How hard could it be?  All it is, is boiled maple syrup.  That ruggedly handsome guy said so.  As did a bevy of other “Internet professionals” I came across when looking up recipes.  “Easy as pie”, they said.  “Couldn’t be simpler.”  “A delicious homemade treat”.  Buttholes.

Here is a play by play of my experience.

1.  Buy Maple Syrup.  Cost $13.

2.  Buy plastic Maple Leaf mold, that’s actually supposed to be used for chocolate.  (couldn’t find a proper silicone one)  Cost $4

3.  Pour lovely, sweet goodness that is known as Maple Syrup into pan.

4.  Check “Internet professional”  directions again to make sure all I have to do is boil and then cool it in a pan.  Yup.  Check.

5.  Heat Maple Syrup to 240 degrees Fahrenheit.

6.  This is where things start to go horribly wrong.  It’s gotten big.  Very, very big.  Like a Maple Syrup afro.

7.  Switch to a bigger pot and everything’s running smoothly again.  Crap.  Whisk seems to be cemented to the counter.  Huh, that’s weird.

8.  O.K., as per my instructions as given by some idiot, I pour the whole mess into a “cooling” pan.  Let cool until 200 degrees.  Good fine.  Just enough time to Twitter.

9.  Back to the pan and … a rock hard mess.  I’m prettttyyyy sure this is wrong.  The “Internet professional”, however doesn’t have pictures so I can’t be positive.  But I’m pretty sure this isn’t how it’s supposed to look just before I “pour” it into the maple leaf molds.  Nope.

10.  Start all over with the pan, new Maple Syrup, the thermometer, heat it up to 240 degrees,  but THIS time I add butter.  A different “Internet professional” advised this.  They also said to go straight from the pot to the molds.  No resting period in a pan.  Good.  Finally an “Internet professional” who obviously knows what they’re talking about.  This should work.  I’m running out of Maple Syrup here.

11.  Stir with wooden stick.  As advised by “Internet professional”.  Um … O.K.  Just as well, since my whisk is still stuck to the counter.

12.  Should be ready to pour into the molds now.  But … oofff … it’s kindda hard already.  Crap!  Nope.  Cooled down instantly.  So I try to just shove the molten hot sugar into the molds with my finger.  Smell burning plastic.  Wonder if I’m wearing rubber gloves.  No.   Remember the molds are actually meant for chocolate and not blindingly hot sugar stuff.

13.  This is NOT WORKING.  I’m out of Maple Syrup, so I shove the remains of my second batch into the microwave to melt it again.  Set the timer for 2 minutes.  Seems reasonable.  Twitter here I come.  DING!  Maple syrup must be melted!  I turn my head towards the microwave and notice my house is on fire. Shit.  Sorry for the swearing, but honest to God …. shit.

Realize the house is not on fire, but there is smoke POURING out of the microwave.  I open it and am knocked sideways by the Smoke Monster’s bigger and meaner drunk Uncle.  Billowing, billowing smoke so thick I couldn’t see my dish inside the microwave.

This picture is an extremely poor representation of what I saw.  I had to run and get my camera … ’cause I’m a blogger … and by then the smoke had mostly dissipated throughout the rest of the house, my hair and into my favourite t-shirt.


14.  This is no way looks like what the ruggedly handsome host of Dirty Jobs made.  Hell … he wasn’t even dirty at the end of it.  I am.  As is my house.  And oddly, my armpit.

1st batch. I gnawed on this for a while.

Batch #3. Uch.



Internet professionals lie.  Shocker.  Making Maple Sugar is NOT easy, not simple and does this look delicious to YOU???

Total cost:  $13 Maple Syrup + $4 candy mold + $150 new microwave ’cause I can’t get the stink outta mine.

And that my dears is why sometimes it doesn’t pay to be cheap.  I really should have just spend the $2.



  1. John Price says:

    This Karen. I am looking for recipe for making maple sugar candy in my microwave. I am glad I came across your post first. It reminds me that I cannot take my eyes off this recipe for a second, and that when you write something on the net, it could be there forever. Thanks for this wonderfully written post and for reminding the rest of us that it okay to fail. Since I already bought the maple syrup, I am committed. Besides, it is time for a new microwave.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. I should give it another shot. It’s been YEARS since I tried it. Although my microwave is relatively new … :) ~ karen!

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