Sweet Maple Treats
Jack Wax (also known as Maple Taffy, Sugar on Snow, or Syrup on Snow) and Hard Maple Candy are easy treats to make any time of year. The method for making each confection is similar.
Making Jack Wax
When I was a kid my Gram would make this yummy treat in the late winter and we called it Jack Wax. Back in the day, Jack Wax was enjoyed at a party to celebrate the end of a good sugaring season. The only ingredients needed are pure maple syrup and fresh, clean snow. (If you don’t have snow, you can use a large bowl of shaved ice.)
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Start by collecting freshly fallen snow in a large pan, bowl, or bucket. Cover and leave outside in the cold until you’re ready to use it. Pour your maple syrup into a heavy bottomed pan and place pan on medium low heat. Clip a candy thermometer to the side so that the end isn’t touching the bottom of the pan. Bring the syrup temperature up to 230 – 234 Fahrenheit and allow to boil for 20 minutes. Don’t stir the syrup, just let it boil. You may need to lower the heat under the pan to prevent boiling over. Watch it carefully!
After 20 minutes, pour the syrup over the snow slowly and very carefully, Be sure the children are at a safe distance. Boiling syrup sticks and burns skin very badly.
If the syrup hasn’t boiled long enough, you will end up with a syrup slush. Try boiling longer the next time. Jack Wax should be pliable like a soft taffy. Roll in onto a fork or use your fingers once it is cool.
Making Hard Maple Candy
To make hard maple candy, you will follow the same basic instructions, except the syrup will be brought up to 300 Fahrenheit. As soon as the syrup reaches the proper temperature, pour it into candy molds sprayed with non-stick spray or pour over snow the same as if you were making Jack wax. If you pour the boiled syrup over snow, you will want to use it up quickly. Maple candy formed in molds can be tapped out as they cool, coated with powdered sugar, and stored in a bag until consumed.
The hardest part is not eating all in one sitting!
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