Maple Sugar is relatively easy to make. The Syrup you use can be darker and somewhat higher inverts. I’ve found that if the inverts are very high, however, the product will be gummy and will stick together. Off flavors are usually lost in the process, so you can sell some of your lesser Syrup for a really good price rather than selling it as bulk Syrup for a very low price.
Boil the Syrup as hard as you can until it reaches 290 to 300 degrees. Skim as needed. A few drops of defoamer will help to keep it from boiling over. (I prefer liquid defoamer for this product.) The 2 critical times for boil-over are when the Syrup first breaks a heavy boil and also somewhere between 221 and 224 degrees. At these points, the heat may have to be reduced to keep it from boiling over. Once you are past these points you can usually push the boil as hard as you would. The same is true when cooking Maple Cream.
When it boils at 290 to 300 degrees, remove it from the heat and stir it immediately and continuously. It is best to wear long sleeves, gloves and even glasses for this job. If this hot and very concentrated Syrup gets on your skin it sticks and hardens and stays very hot. When you pull it off you pull off skin with it. If you stop stirring even 5 minutes after removing the product from the heat it can boil over. Complete and continuous aeration of the product will assure the fastest and the best results. It’s a good idea to have a fan blowing on the surface to move away steam. Stir the Sugar in small batches at first to see if your up to this. Constantly scrape sides and the bottom of the pan with a stainless steel spatula and 5 to 10 minutes will granulate most batches. Caution, do not cook or stir Sugar in soldered pans. Solder will come loose and end up in the Sugar.
It is recommended that you transfer the Sugar to a large wooden mixing bowl or a basswood stirring trough and work it some more. The wooden surface helps to remove more moisture and the extra aeration and stirring breaks down lumps that may occur. Sifting smoothes the product and yields lumps. If you run a rolling pin over the lumps, break them down and then sift them again, the small, uniform beads...“Maple Sprinkles.”