Category Archives: March Maple Madness

MMM: Day 20 – Maple Butterscotch Brownies – and Prince!

This just in!  Do you know who else likes real maple syrup?  Prince!  No, not the guy with the upcoming wedding date from across the pond, but Minnesota’s pride and joy, Purple Rain Prince.  Says Prince of the gallon of real maple syrup in his fridge, “People say U can’t tell the difference, but U know, it’s the real deal. It’s a cut above. It’s about 100 cuts above. This is the only thing that touches my waffles.”

Truer words have never been spoken, Prince.

And now, after nearly 20 days on an epic March Maple Madness journey I offer you a new way to enjoy your maple syrup – and it’s no April Fool’s joke.  It does not make use of the other unique food stuffs in Prince’s fridge, but trust me, you’ll like them nonetheless.  Come to think of it, you might like them because they don’t use the other stuff in his fridge.

Maple Butterscotch Brownies (adapted from King Arthur Flour)
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. maple syrup
2 large eggs
1 c. butterscotch chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 8″ x 8″ pan.
Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside. Melt the butter and brown sugar together; remove from heat and stir in the syrup. Allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm. Stir in the eggs one at a time.  Slowly stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients.  Fold in the butterscotch chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, just until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan and toothpick comes out of the center mostly clean (a little gooey is ok, but you don’t want the maple goodness dripping out of your brownie).

Maple Butterscotch Brownies

Thanks to my bookclub friend for taking this picture with her phone before we gobbled them all up!


MMM Day ?? – Maple Bacon & Cheese Sandwiches

***Today’s post is brought to you by mom!***

The guys are still picking up sap and have just started cooking.  I brought these nice hot sandwiches down for an around-the-evaporator supper.

Maple Bacon & Cheese Sandwiches
12 sandwiches

6 whole wheat english muffins, split
1-2 pounds butt bacon
3 large tomatoes, cut into thick slices
12 slices sharp cheddar cheese
5 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
healthy pinch of cayenne pepper
healthy pinch of ground cloves

Turn oven to broil.

Fry bacon.  Whisk together syrup, water, lemon juice, mustard and seasonings.  When bacon is cooked to your liking, Add to bacon and cook for a few minutes to glaze.  Push to one side and add tomato slices.  Begin assembling sandwiches.
Place muffin halves on baking sheet, top with bacon, tomato and a slice of cheese.  Broil until cheese begins melt.

Feel free to use other meats.  Being a little short of bacon, I substituted sliced turkey, glazed in the maple mixture and topped with swiss cheese.  Yum.   Ham would be just as good.

This recipe is a loose adaptation of the Canadian Bacon Cheese Dream in Ken Haedrich’s Maple Syrup Cookbook.  His recipe also calls for a fried egg on the sandwich, which I thought might be a bit much.  When I mentioned this to the guys while eating, they heartily disagreed and of course knew full well that I just didn’t feel like frying up six or eight eggs.  Regardless, the sandwiches as made were delicious.

Multigrain Maple Muffins

I made these muffins a few weeks ago in lieu of my go-to bran muffins (which I will report on after this March Maple Madness thing is over.  Promise).  These are pretty good. Not super sweet, but just sweet enough.

Multigrain Maple Muffins (recipe adapted slightly from The Sprouted Kitchen)
1/2 c. wheat flour
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. wheat bran
1/2 c. oatmean
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. powdered ginger
1 1/2 tsp. baking Powder
1/2 tsp. baking Soda
2 eggs
1 c. maple syrup
1 c. buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 c. chopped pecans

1.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease or spray your muffin tins, or use papers.
2.  Whisk all dry ingredients (up to the eggs) together in a large mixing bowl.
3.  Separate the egg yolks from the whites. In the bowl with the yolks, add the maple, vanilla and buttermilk and whisk to combine. Beat or use an electric mixer to whip up the egg whites until they just start to hold shape.
4. Mix the maple mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined. Add the yogurt and 1/2 cup of the pecan pieces and gently fold in. Lastly, just before you’re ready to put batter into the tins, fold in the whipped egg whites. Because the dough is somewhat heavy, try to fold from the outside of the bowl in, to not deflate the egg whites.
5. Fill the tins about about 3/4 full. Sprinkle the top with a few chopped pecans and a few oat flakes. Bake on the middle rack for 20-23 minutes (cooking times may vary depending on tin). Remove and cool.

MMM Day 16: Maple and Bourbon Pear Upside Down Cake

“It’s healthy.”

That’s all you really need to know about this cake.  You need not feel guilty for having a second or even a third helping because as my friend put it so elequoently,

“It’s healthy.”

Don’t believe her?  Well, maple syrup is full of antioxidants, if you didn’t know.  And it’s a well known fact that the bourbon in a hot toddy is what cures your colds.  And, hello, pears are fruit!!  All the other ingredients are good for your soul.  So my friend is right,

“It’s healthy.”

Maple and Bourbon Pear Upside Down Cake
1/3  c.  maple syrup
1 jigger bourbon
3  peeled pears, cored and cut into 8 wedges each
1  c.  all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4  tsp. baking soda
1/2  tsp. ground ginger
1/4  tsp. salt
2/3  c. sugar
1/3  c. butter, softened
1  tsp. vanilla
2  eggs
1/2  c.  buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°.

Bring syrup to a boil in a medium nonstick pan over medium-high heat; cook 2 minutes. Add pears and bourbon and continue to cook until syrup thickens (about 4 minutes), gently shaking pan frequently.  Gently pour syrup mixture and pears into a 8 or 9″ cake pan.  Arrange pears in a spoke like fashion.

Combine flour and next 4 ingredients  stirring well with a whisk. Place sugar, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl and beat until well-blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Pour batter evenly over pear mixture. Bake at 350° for 30 – 40minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Run a knife around outside edge. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Place a plate upside down on top of cake; invert onto plate. Serve warm.


MMM Day 15: Bacon Wrapped Maple Pork Loin

Today I attended the 25th Annual Sugarbush Pancake Brunch at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.  The pancakes were delicious (though not as fluffy as Dad’s) and the sausages, dipped in a little maple syrup, were divine.

Devouring pancakes this morning at the Arboretum was a good way to start the day, if only to stop me from getting the shakes.  In case you haven’t noticed, we’re on day 15 of March Maple Madness and all these maple recipes don’t just make and eat themselves.  This is a lot of work people!  And at the end of this, I might just need an IV drip of maple syrup to keep me going.  Thankfully, though, I do have great friends who are helping me out with this challenge so I don’t have to suffer too much.  Last night we enjoyed a simply wonderful bacon wrapped pork loin.  The key to this recipe is, you guessed it, maple syrup AND a nifty digital meat thermometer (which, incidentally, I bought in December to make maple cream candy.  Maple brings many good things into my life, in addition to the sugar shakes).

This recipe is a bit time consuming, though commenters on Epicurious say that they skip the brining part, so do as you like!

Bacon-Wrapped Maple Pork Loin (from Epicurious)
For the brine:
8 cups water
1/4 c. salt
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. dried herbs de Provence
1 large garlic clove, smashed
1 bay leaf
1 (4- to 4 1/2-lb) boneless pork loin roast, trimmed

For roasting pork

3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp. herbs de Provence
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 pound bacon, sliced
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Step 1:  Prepare the brine
Put all ingredients except pork loin in a large stock pot and stir over high heat until salt is dissolved.  Transfer hot liquid into a 4 qt. bowl or pot and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours (I let mine cool for about 20 minutes, but then made an ice bath in the sink to help the cooling process along.  It took about an hour, total).  Add the pork loin to the room temperature brine.  Cover and refrigerate for about 8 – 16 hours, or in my case, as long as it takes to buy a new car – about 5 to 6 hours.

Step 2: Roast the pork.
Preheat oven to 350º.  Take the pork out of the refrigerator.  Discard brine and rinse pork and pat dry.  Place pork in a roasting pan.  Then, mix garlic, herbs de Provence and 1 Tbsp. of maple syrup together in a small bowl.  Rub mixture all over pork loin.  Then, place bacon strips crosswise over the pork, tucking ends underneath.

Roast pork until nifty meat thermometer reads 140º, about 1 – 1 1/4 hours.  While pork is roasting, mix 1 Tbsp maple syrup and apple cider vinegar together.  When pork reaches 140º, brush maple syrup mixture over bacon slices.  Place back in oven and continue roasting until thermometer reads 150º.

Remove pork from oven and let stand at least 15 minutes.  Slice and spoon juices from roasting over pork.  VVG!

Bacon-Wrapped Maple Pork Loin

MMM Day 14: Dad’s Weekend Buttermilk Pancakes

Last weekend when I was home a momentous thing happened at the breakfast table.  No, it wasn’t that my dad made the pancakes for breakfast.  He’s been fine-tuning his skills at the griddle for a while now.  The truly remarkable event was this – for the first time in the history of my dad and I eating meals together, my dad got full before I did and I cleaned up his plate!  Yes, you read that correctly – I cleaned up dad’s plate!  In a house full of menfolk, as my mom likes to call them, it’s rare that I finish before them, much less clean up the leftovers.  So this truly is noteworthy news.  Now, to be fair, I ate 3.5 pancakes and my dad slowed down at 5, but still – I cleaned up his plate!  I told him not to get used to this sort of thing…he’s not old enough for this to become a regular occurrence, after all.

Here’s the secret of full father – daughter bellies:

Buttermilk Pancakes (From Betty Crocker)
1 egg
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c buttermilk
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Using whisk, beat egg until fluffy.  Whisk in remaining ingredients until smooth. Allow the batter to “rise” while heating griddle.  (The griddle must be hot enough for water drops to dance and skitter around on it.)  Grease the heated griddle if necessary.

Pour scant 1/4 c of batter onto griddle.  Cook until pancake is puffed and the edges are dry. (The bubbles will begin to pop.) Turn and cook other side until golden.

Serve with butter and Paul Ruesch’s pure maple syrup.



Note the heart shaped butter – it loves you as much as you love it!

MMM Day 13: Alyssa Takes a Maple Break! Sort of…

Must be lucky 13, but this girl needs a maple break.  Instead of posting a new recipe, I’m pulling some gems out from the archives.  First and foremost, check out this article circa February, 2005 from the Daily Tribune of Wisconsin Rapids where my Grandpa is quoted offering this tip, “It would help if the family had a lot kids to help pick up the sap.  We’re running out of kids this year.”  Ah, gets me every time!  I think this quote is from the year my youngest brother left the farm for college and I guess Grandpa never quite forgave him or the rest of us who left.  Oh well.  I know he was proud of us, nonetheless, and a little more proud when we came to our senses and returned home to get to work.

Now for some recipes from the archives:
Hot Maple Souffles – a real wowser!
Maple Almond Granola – a breakfast standby!
Maple Cream Candy – sugar rush extreme!!

We’ll see what March Maple Madness brings us on Day 14!