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During sugaring season which is normally late February to early March, maple farmers in New England and the Southeast region of Canada, tap sugar maple trees to draw out the clear, slightly sweet sap.
This sap is most commonly used to make maple syrup, but a portion is also used to make maple sugar. Through a process of heating and evaporation, the sap will turn into a syrup. When boiled longer to the point where most all of the water has evaporated, it becomes a block of sugar. The block is then ground into a fine powder which is composed of about 90% sucrose and 10% glucose and fructose.
With a distinct sweet maple flavor and light caramel color, maple sugar is used both as a flavoring and a sweetener. The low moisture content makes it perfect for recipes or formulations requiring the sweetness and flavor of pure maple but that can't support the added moisture of maple syrup. It can be used in place of cane sugar in any recipe, however, maple sugar is about twice as sweet so it is recommended to use 3/4 cups of maple sugar in place of 1 cup of cane sugar.
Maple sugar works great as an ingredient to make cakes, cookies, sauces and rubs.