Snow Treats

In case you hadn’t heard, southern New England got a bit of snow last night. It’s hard to say how much. The wind has pushed so much of it around and the drifts are 4 feet high in places. We had to shovel out a path from the door just so the dog could get out to do his business this morning. He is currently plopped in front of the wood stove and has made it known that he has no desire to go outside again today.

My girls ventured outside first thing this morning. Ten minutes later they came back thoroughly defeated by the snow. We quickly decided it would be a perfect day to stay in, wait for the plow to show up, and make some snow treats. (The grown-ups, however, are going to have to get outside and deal with reality sooner rather than later. It’s going to take a good bit of shoveling to get to the chickens and open their coop door.)

The first thing my eldest requested was Molasses on Snow. The Kitchn has a similar recipe for Maple Syrup on Snow.  Another cute variation comes from Food on the Food: Maple Syrup Snow Pops.

 

Then there is the whole Snow Ice Cream genre. It’s easier and quicker than Snow Candy. But it requires pristine snow. Lucky for us, we’ve got plenty at the moment right outside our front door.

How to Make Snow Ice Cream (video). Mix together 4 cups fresh clean snow, 1/2 cup whole milk or half and half, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Serve.

Maple Snow Cream from Foodie Tots. A simple and tasty looking recipe. Wouldn’t mind a big slice of coconut cake to go with it. But like I said, I’ve got some shoveling to deal with. I’m looking at an excellent upper body workout today!

Happy weekend! Let me know if there are any other snow treats out there that I don’t know about.

 

Little House Molasses Snow Candy

[donotprint]

The other day, we finally made Molasses-On-Snow Candy from The Little House Cookbook. And let me tell ya that nothing enlivens a snowy New England day like playing with molten sugar! 

Last winter, books from the Little House series dominated our bedtime reading. I don’t recall reading them as a child so I was enjoying them as much as the kids were. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s retelling of her childhood transported us back in time. 

After we read the Christmas chapter of Little House on the Prairie my eldest said to me, “Gee Mom, I hope our Christmas is as good as Laura and Mary’s!!” I think Laura and Mary got a candy cane, a cake, and maybe a pair of mittens in their stockings…and that’s it. They marveled at a heart-shaped cake they found in their stockings and squealed with delight because it was dusted with white sugar! While I enjoy the comforts of modern living, I certainly relate to my child’s desire to be fully enraptured by the magic of Christmas-time.

Given our heartfelt connection to the Ingalls family, it’s unclear who likes the whole idea of making foods out of the Little House Cookbook more, me or the girls. Either way, they did a spectacular job making molasses candy. Nobody had to go to the hospital with third degree burns. Another successful day of parenting! Mostly we made blobs. The fun little shapes depicted in the Christmas in the Big Woods picture book were a little out of my kids’ reach. However, it did get much easier to control the pour out of the pitcher after the molasses had cooled for a few minutes.

These candies are quite tasty. The brown sugar takes the bitter edge off of the molasses perfectly.[/donotprint]

Molasses Snow Candy Recipe

This recipe requires a small ceramic pitcher (A creamer works well), a candy thermometer, and fresh snow. The pitcher’s spout helps control the flow of the molasses. The handle on the pitcher allows the kids to pour the molasses without touching a hot cup directly.

1 cup molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

Prepare 3 or 4 pans of snow using 9-inch pie plates, cake pans, iron skillets and the like. Gather fresh clean snow into the pans and leave them outside in the cold.

In a small saucepan, stir the molasses and sugar together over medium heat with a rubber spatula. Heat the mixture to 245 degrees Fahrenheit (firm ball stage), stirring frequently. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. When the molasses mixture has reached 245 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour the molasses mixture into a small ceramic pitcher. Place the pitcher on a plate in your work area.

Bring the pans full of snow into the work area and allow the kids to pour the molasses mixture onto the snow. Read them the riot act about how hot and dangerous the molasses is and supervise them closely. You have about 10 or 15 minutes until the molasses starts getting difficult to pour.

About 5 minutes after the molasses has come into contact with the snow, test to see if has solidified. If it feels cool and hard, it’s ready to go. Let the kids eat some. Stick any leftovers in the freezer (or outside) still on the snow. If you store it without the snow, it will turn into goo.

[Update Feb 8, 2010: See my daughter and I make it on TV! http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/ct_style/in_the_kitchen/molasses-snow-candy]

Yield: 3/4 pound
Prep-time: 10 minutes
Kid activity time: 15 minutes

[print_link]