the idea comes from laura ingalls wilder's little house in the big woods. at one point in the book laura writes about pouring boiling maple syrup onto freshly fallen snow to make candy... what a treat! if you've never experienced this wintertime delicacy, you just have to try it. it is so simple and fun to make, especially with kids! here is what you do...
first, go outside and gather some fresh, clean snow from outside. make sure to avoid yellow and/or brown snow! pack it into a shallow dish and/or plate.
go back inside, stash your snow in the freezer, and pour some good quality real maple syrup (none of that artificial stuff!) into a saucepan. add just a little bit of butter for a richer, caramel-like treat. then, bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for about 6 to 7 minutes, or until it reaches the soft ball stage (if you are using a candy thermometer, that's about 235 to 240 degrees farenheit).
when the maple syrup mixture is ready, get out your snow again. carefully drizzle the hot mixture onto the snow. the freezing cold snow will cause the boiling liquid to instantly harden into delicious taffy-like candy!
yum! now it's time to enjoy your creation!