Winter is officially two months away, and it's never too early to begin planning creative and delicious seasonal treats. If you love snow as much as I do, then you're in for a sweet surprise: snow is the perfect medium for crafting yummy desserts on the fly that are low-cost and super easy.
1. Maple Taffy
I first had maple taffy while on a graduation trip to Québec City. Vendors poured boiling maple syrup onto beds of fresh snow and rolled the hardened taffy onto a popsicle stick. They had a great, concentrated maple flavor that can be easily mimicked at home. If you own a candy thermometer, boil pure maple syrup until it reaches 234ºF before pouring and rolling your lollies.
2. Snow Cones
An obvious choice, snow cones are best made with real, fresh snow. Fresh snow will have a finer crystal texture than chunky store-bought ice and will therefore capture more flavor. Pre-made syrups can be bought in stores, but plain fruit juice also works to add zing and sweetness without a boatload of artificial flavorings or calories.
3. Snow Cream
Similar to snow cones, Snow Creams are the addition of a sweet, milky cream to scoops of fresh snow. Snow Creams mimic the extremely trendy Taiwanese Shaved Ices, and can be made vegan (just switch out the dairy milk for your favorite plant milk). Vanilla or peppermint extracts can add an extra dimension of flavor to this rich treat as well.
4. Snow Popsicles
To make these twice-frozen popsicles, add flavorings, juice, and fresh fruit to a bowl of fresh snow. Pack the snow slush into popsicle molds, and refreeze for several hours.
Many of us spend months looking forward to crisp, white snow to adorn our lawns and signal the coming of the holidays. Now you have an entirely new reason to anticipate this year's snowfall: a free and 100% natural ingredient to use in some inventive wintery creations.