The Bangor Metro magazine decided to do a feature in their March issue for Maine Maple Sunday. They decided to interview me for their “food file” section. So I did a recipe for caramels using Maine maple syrup!
Maple Pecan Turtles
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
4 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. pure maple extract
8 oz. chopped pecans
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Maine sea salt (optional)
quarter sheet pan (rimmed baking sheet about 9×13 or smaller)
Line baking sheet with parchment and coat very lightly with butter or cooking spray. Spread all but 2 tablespoons of the pecans evenly and set aside.
In a 3-quart saucepan, combine evaporated milk, maple syrup, corn syrup, butter, and sugar and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. The mixture will take at least 15 minutes to get near 220°, but goes quickly from that point so keep watching. Add the maple extract and continue to cook until the caramel reaches 250° and appears dark caramel in color.
Pour the caramel over the pecans. Toss the chocolate chips over the hot caramel and let sit for 20 seconds or so. Then spread chocolate with an offset spatula to coat evenly.
Toss the remaining pecans over the chocolate. Scatter a few sprinkles of the larger grains of sea salt over the mixture. Let harden at room temperature for a few hours or place in freezer for 30 minutes. Cut into squares. Keep in air-tight container at room temperature.
For best results, Moos suggests wrapping the hearts individually in waxed paper for gifts, as they soften as they warm up.