Category: Recipes

Maple Sugar Smoked Cherry Bounce

Maple Sugar Smoked Cherry Bounce

It’s summer in Vermont and the cherry trees are loaded! Sour cherries are the most adaptable cold hardy tree, so a little sweetening with maple sugar makes them perfect.

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine to use maple sugar rather than bland white sugar. The maple sugar not only adds vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but also melds well with the smokiness of the cherries. We have a productive sour cherry tree that works well for this recipe, but Bing cherries from the grocery store are also perfect.

This vibrant, homemade cordial is infused with savory smokiness and rich maple sugar. The three month wait time increases everything good about the handful of ingredients. Put it away in a cool dark place and pull out for your first trial on a chilly fall night!

You’ll need:

  • 6 cups fresh Bing cherries (about 1 3/4 pounds), stemmed and pitted, divided
  • 2 cups granulated maple sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 quart (32 ounces) brandy or rye whiskey

Prepare smoker with cherry wood chunks according to manufacturer’s instructions, bringing internal temperature to about 225°F; maintain temperature 15 to 20 minutes. Place 1 cup (about 4 1/2 ounces) cherries in an even layer in an 8-inch square disposable aluminum pan, and place on smoker grates. Close lid. Smoke cherries, maintaining temperature inside smoker around 225°F, until cherries are infused with desired degree of smoky flavor, 30 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, shaking pan occasionally.

Combine smoked cherries, maple sugar, lemon juice, and remaining 5 cups fresh cherries in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until maple sugar is dissolved and mixture is very juicy, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool 1 hour.   

Pour cherry mixture into a large, clean lidded jar, and top with brandy or whiskey. Screw lid on tightly, and store in a cool, dark place for 3 months.

Maple Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Maple Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Late May brings us abundant rhubarb and the season’s first strawberries. My grandmother had a huge patch of rhubarb and when my family sold her house, I brought part of it to my garden. I have many plants that are special to me based on their history in someone else’s garden. The rhubarb ties me to my childhood, and cool spring nights, visiting my grandparents in Huntington.

You can use any crust recipe you like.

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Maple Sugar Strawberry Sauce

Maple Sugar Strawberry Sauce

It’s May in Vermont and the stores are packed with strawberries. Our own local strawberries won’t be available until June, but it’s hard to resist buying this delicious little fruit as soon as it becomes available. This sauce can be used in a myriad of ways. Try it over cheesecake, ice cream or Greek yogurt. It’s also a fantastic addition to savory dishes. Serve it alongside a roasted pork loin or on a cheese platter.

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Smoked Pulled Pork With Chipotle Maple Barbecue Sauce and Maple Sugar Buns

Maple Spice Rubbed Smoked Pulled Pork

Smoked Pulled Pork served with Maple Sugar Hamburger Buns and Chipotle Maple Barbecue Sauce

This smoked pulled pork takes several hours to make, but will also last several meals (maybe!). Right now we are obeying our governor’s order to stay home, so it feels especially satisfying to spend so much time creating something this delicious. I use a very simple Weber Grill, charcoal and water soaked apple chips. The Chipotle Maple Barbecue Sauce can be used in other meals, as can the Maple Sugar Hamburger Buns. While the trio of pork, barbecue sauce and hamburger buns all include maple, the combination is neither too sweet nor overpowering. In fact, it is comfort food at its best! Enjoy!

3 Pound Pork Shoulder

5 tablespoons Smoked Paprika Maple Spice Rub

The day before you plan to smoke the pork shoulder, rub the spice blend all over it. Refrigerate and remove about an hour before you plan to put it on the smoker. I use a large amount of charcoal and once it’s quite hot, cover it with water soaked apple chips (3-4 large handfuls). Put the pork in a disposable tinfoil pan and then cover tightly with tented foil. Leave a little space between foil and the top of the roast, but fold the foil tightly around the pan. Put the pan on the top grill grate, cover the grill and shut down all vents to within 1/4 inch. Check the grill every 1 1/2 hour. It should maintain a heat of roughly 275-300 degrees with a nice consistent smoke. If it gets too cool, open the grates a bit. If the chips begin to dry and burn, throw in a few more handfuls. Check the roast after 4 1/2-5 hours. It should be tender and pull apart easily. Remove from the grill and put into a clean dish. Cover tightly with foil until you’re ready to shred the meat and mix with barbecue sauce.

Maple Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  •  1/2 cup maple syrup
  •  1/2 cup granulated maple sugar
  •  3 chipotle peppers in adobo (use 2 if your family prefers less spice)
  •  1 cup white vinegar
  •  1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  •  1/2 cup apple cider or hard cider
  •  Juice of 2 lemons
  •  4 garlic cloves, peeled
  •  2 tablespoons dry mustard
  •  2 teaspoons sea salt
  •  2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

In a food processor, blend together the crushed tomatoes, chipotle peppers and 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce. Add this mixture and all other ingredients to a sauce pan. Simmer until the mixture has reduced by one half (about 30-40 minutes).

Mix half of the barbecue sauce in with the shredded pork. Serve extra sauce on the side for those who like a truly messy sandwich!

Maple Sugar Hamburger Buns

  • 3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated maple sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Let it sit about 5 minutes until you see it begin to froth, so you know the yeast is active. Mix in the maple sugar and then the butter and egg. Add 3 cups of flour and mix well until a soft dough forms. Knead until the dough is smooth. Add more flour as necessary. Place in clean, greased bowl, cover and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour). Remove the dough and knead on a floured surface for a few minutes. Divide the dough into 8 equal balls. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to form a hamburger sized disc. Leave discs on a greased cookie sheet for an hour to rise. If desired, brush buns with melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-18 minutes until nicely browned.

Split the warm buns in half and stuff with the pulled pork and any other desired vegetables (onions, peppers, shredded lettuce)

Salted Maple Sugar Caramel Popcorn Crunch

Salted Maple Sugar Caramel Popcorn Crunch

This treat is simply other worldly. It’s a delicious combination of salt and sweet, punctuated by the pleasing crunch of popcorn and peanuts. The Salted Maple Sugar Caramel is a delicious addition, adding the flavor of caramelized maple. This treat is excellent as a packaged gift. Drop some off on a neighbor’s porch, bring a bag to a friend who needs a lift or make a big batch and drop it off at your favorite local hero’s place of work.

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Chocolate Maple Sugar Babka

Chocolate Maple Sugar Babka

We are five weeks into quarantine and teaching from a distance and things are feeling hard! Just in the nick of time I came across a recipe for chocolate babka on the Food and Wine site. I adapted it to include maple sugar and maple syrup and the results are spectacular. The dough sits in the fridge overnight and then needs to rise for 2 hours the next day.

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Maple Sugar Parker House Rolls

Maple Sugar Parker House Rolls

This recipe is based on the classic Parker House Roll, yet uses granulated maple sugar instead of white sugar. The result is mildly sweet, flaky and simply delicious!


1 1/2 cups milk

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for brushing

1/2 cup granulated maple sugar

1 package active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

3 large eggs,

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Maple Shortbread With Maple Glaze

Maple Shortbread With Maple Glaze

This recipe comes to me from a great friend and baker, Joanna Beall. She has created endless delights using maple sugar and maple syrup! This recipe also calls for maple extract, which is a natural flavoring and will enhance the maple-y flavor. Bake up some cookies for those you love!

  • 1 cup cold butter cut into cubes
  • 8 tbsp Couching Lion Maple Sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract

Mix flour and salt,

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Aunt Myra’s Maple Vinaigrette

Aunt Myra’s Maple Vinaigrette

This vinaigrette has been part of family gatherings for as long as I can remember. My aunt Myra is a great cook, with a focus on health and well being. This vinaigrette is amazing on sales butalso great on steamed vegetables.

Maple Vinaigrette


Makes about 1/2 cup


  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic,
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Maple Sugar Peach Cobbler

Maple Sugar Peach Cobbler

Three years ago I planted a couple of peach trees near our house in Vermont. I wasn’t sure they would fruit as we’re at 1500 feet and winters up here can be brutal. These were rated for zone 4, the absolute top of what I can safely plant. They hung on for the last few years, giving us beautiful spring blossoms but no fruit. Then this summer, they absolutely exploded with gorgeous,

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