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Senior Care Fun: Maple Taffy “Snow” Candy

Homecare in Needham, MA

Maple syrup on iceJust a few generations ago, cooler weather meant the harvest, which was a time of hard work but a lot of delicious rewards. Depending on the area where they lived, many seniors might remember part of the work of this time of year involved going out into the woods, or even into their own yards, and tapping maple trees for maple syrup. Not only did this make delicious syrup for breakfast, it also meant getting a chance to make snow candy.

It may still be a few months before the first snow fall of the year, but you can still enjoy this nostalgic cool-weather treat with your seniors and even their referred caregiver. Instead of using a pan full of fresh snow as your cooling method for the boiling syrup, you will use shaved ice. This is a great opportunity to spend quality time with your seniors, and is a fantastic form of mental stimulation as they go through the process of heating the syrup and creating their own candy shapes.

What You Will Need

  • 1 package of your favorite brand of shaved ice
  • 1/2 cup of Grade B real maple syrup
  • Small saucepan with a pouring lip
  • Candy thermometer
  • Roasting pan
  • Ladle

What to Do

  • Open the package of shaved ice and pack it down into the roasting pan. If you do not have access to shaved ice, or you just want to make your candy making experience even more fun, you can use a snow cone maker to create the “snow” for your candy. Just grind up ice just as you would for your snow cones, but pour it into the roasting pan as you go until you have at least 3 inches of coverage across the entire bottom of the pan
  • Place the shaved ice back into the freezer to keep it cold while you prepare the syrup
  • Heat a small saucepan on medium-high heat
  • Pour the maple syrup in. Make sure that you are using real maple syrup and not maple flavored syrup. The ingredients should list only maple syrup and not any other form of liquid, sweetener, or other ingredient. The flavored breakfast syrups will not produce the same chemical reaction and will not produce candy when poured over the ice.
  • Place a candy thermometer in the saucepan as the syrup is heating
  • Bring the syrup to a boil and allow it to reach 235 degrees
  • Remove the shaved ice from the freezer
  • Using either the ladle or the lip of the saucepan, pour the syrup over the shaved ice in drizzles
  • Let the syrup cool for about two minutes
  • After cooling, the syrup can be picked up with your hands and eaten
  • Be sure to eat the syrup treats while warm and while the ice is cold, as when the ice melts, the water will dissolve the syrup back into liquid form

Special Tip: Have fun with this project by making different shapes and designs in the “snow” with the syrup. You can even give each of your parents an aluminum pie dish full of the shaved ice and let them create their own designs out of the syrup. Try initials, hearts, numbers, or seasonal shapes.

Modified from this recipe.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073