Maple leaf candy is a classic, authentic candy made with just two ingredients: maple syrup and butter. It doesn't get much simpler—or sweeter—than this. Maple syrup is boiled, mixed with just a bit of butter, and then molded into beautiful leaf-shaped candies. This candy is a classic in New England and Canada, and for good reason—it is the essence of the pure taste of maple syrup!
Because it depends so heavily on maple syrup for both structure and flavor, it is vital that you use real maple syrup to make these maple leaf candies. Using “maple-flavored” pancake or table syrup won’t work. The recipe may be best with the strong taste of Grade B Maple Syrup, but Grade A is also fine to use.
The traditional shape of this maple candy is a maple leaf (there are molds available), but this candy does not necessarily have to be molded. If you prefer, you can pour the mixture onto a cookie sheet or pan lined with foil, and then cut it into squares once it's set.
- 2 cups maple syrup (real, not imitation)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- If you are using candy molds, prepare by spraying them lightly with nonstick cooking spray, then taking a paper towel and wiping most of the spray off—you want just a very thin coating of nonstick spray on the inside. Also be sure that you are using heat-safe candy molds and not just plastic molds intended for chocolate.
- Pour the syrup into a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, place it over medium heat, and bring it to a boil. The syrup will bubble up quite a bit, so make sure that you have a saucepan large enough so that it will not easily boil over the top.
- Insert a candy thermometer and add the butter to the syrup, stirring until the butter is fully melted and incorporated.
- Continue to cook the candy until it reaches 240 F on the candy thermometer (soft-ball stage) and remove from the heat.
- Allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes, then stir the candy vigorously with a wooden spoon until it thickens, lightens in color, and turns opaque, which should take about 3 to 5 minutes. Stop stirring once it reaches this point because if you continue to stir, it will start to set in the pan and be difficult to pour into the molds.
- Working quickly, spoon the candy into the candy molds and smooth the tops with a small offset spatula.
- Once the candy is poured, it will start to set quickly. Let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, and then it should be ready to pop out of the molds. Store maple leaf candy in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.