Maple Goodness - Old World - Sweet Treats

How to Make Jack Wax and Hard Maple Candy

Homemade Maple Candy
Homemade Maple Candy, hardened on snow.

Sweet Maple Treats – Jack Wax and Hard Maple Candy

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.

Read Sweet Maple by Michelle Visser is a Sweet Read for maple info!

Boiling the maple syrup.
Boiling the maple syrup.

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.)

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!

Pouring the boiled syrup over snow.
Pouring the boiled syrup over snow.

After 20 minutes, pour the syrup over the snow slowly and very carefully, Be sure the children are at a safe distance.

If the syrup hasn’t boiled long enough, you will end up with a syrup ‘slushie’. Try boiling longer the next time. Jack Wax should be pliable like 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 the 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!

Do you make maple syrup, Jack Wax, or maple candy? Leave a comment!

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How to Make Jack Wax & Hard Maple Candy by The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

31 Comments on “How to Make Jack Wax and Hard Maple Candy

  1. I grew up south of Buffalo and my mom had “sugaring off” parties each spring. So much fun making Jack wax and maple candies. My friend from Vermont called it “ sugar on snow.”

    1. Hi Meg,
      That’s wonderful that you have those memories! My cousins still make syrup and they like to make this every sugaring season. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I bought a jar of this last year at our NY maple fest. i assumed they had cooked to the soft ball or soft crack stage and that was why it was still a thick liquid. Simply microwave for a few moments and pour. I would like to use your recipe, but does it have to be used immediately, or can I cook, package and ship?

    Unfortunately I tossed the jar and do not know if they had added corn syrup to keep it more liquid. I tend to make candies that cook to the hard crack stage, so I am a bit clueless about best temp here. Thanks, Lee

    1. Hi Lee,
      We have always made just enough Jack wax to use fresh and I don’t recommend shipping it. The hard maple candy may be shipped as long as it is prepared according to the directions. Best wishes!

  3. Man I wish I would have known about this a few years ago when we lived in the Midwest. Now we live in a place that never sees snow. We do love maple syrup though. MMMMM

    1. Hi Jeanette,
      I should have mentioned that you can also use shaved ice! Somehow that escaped me, as I sit looking out the window at over a foot of snow on the ground. 😉

  4. Haha, yes! We never called it “jack wax” but I grew up on it! Living in sugar bush country, we used to have school trips to sugar camps and the owners would always make a batch for all of us kids 😉 Nowadays we make our own but it always brings back those memories

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      I love these memories of our childhoods and the fun things we did. 🙂 So glad that you enjoyed some sweet maple treats too! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I live in Vermont, too. Because VT makes 1/3 of America’s maple syrup, the syrup is always fresh in the winter. My family loves syrup on snow, and it is has been something I have been doing since I was a little kid. I was wondering if we could do it in the summer after the last snow has occurred, and I am glad to find that you can do it with shaved ice!

  5. Well, wish I could but we don’t have the proper trees nor the amount of snow. Plus, can’t afford to buy it. So much I would love to do and make but MS curtailed a promising career as a wildlife bio. But still thankful for what I do have… good friends, a place to sleep and most of all…God.

      1. Thanks. I consider myself extremely blessed. Though it is highly unpredictable, it could be much worse. For the moment my wheelchairs are serving as a clothes tree, and I can see.
        I fought forest fires to put myself through college and was even accepted into the Peace Corps in ’84’ In hind sight, if I had gone to Kenya as was slated; the intense heat could have triggered the MS to be full blown far earlier than it actually did.

  6. I will try this again. Tried once when my kids were little because I remembered Grandma doing it for me when I was little. I think I messed up by not boiling it long enough because all we got was the afore-mentioned slush. Now I know what I did wrong, I am looking at the snow falling outside in a whole new light!

  7. Thanks for the recipe. I looks like a fun and yummy activity. Since we have had a good supply of snow this year, I’ll have the grandchildren over and make some with them.

  8. I have never heard of Jack Wax before – sounds like a lot of fun to make with kids (though mine is a little young yet)! We use a lot of maple syrup in our home, about 5 gallons a year for just the three of us. Granola, hot cereal, pancakes, and for use in baking. Honey might be “liquid gold” to some, but I am a maple syrup girl!

    1. Hi Katie…I’ve got me a sweet tooth and could eat plain honey or maple syrup! But that’s just one of the many things I try to keep under control…most of the time!

      Well now, that is a lot of maple syrup…hope you have a good place to buy or can make your own!

      1. I never read those books, but watched the show when I was a kid. So no, I wasn’t aware that they made this treat…but my Gram used to make it for us in the winter. 🙂

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