Napa Cabbage Salad

To date  I’ve focused mostly on maple-infused desserts, perhaps leading to the false impression that this is the only suitable use of  the spring nectar.  Maple syrup is an ideal replacement for all other lesser classes of sweeteners (sugar, karo syrup, molasses, etc), not only addressing the sweet piece of our pallet but also imparting it’s own unique and subtle woodsy/smoky flavor.

Following is a recipe utilizing  spring’s bounty.   Enjoy and explore maple’s possibilities throughout your culinary repertoire.

East meets West in this wonderful salad which encompasses all of the crowd pleasing elements:    crisp, crunchy, sweet and sour.


1 Head Napa Cabbage 1 Bunch Scallions


2 TBS Butter 1 TBS Olive Oil 3 oz Package Ramen Noodles, broken 2 TBS Sesame Seeds (black if you have them for more flavor) 1 Cup Slivered Almonds



1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil 1/4 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar 1 TBS Soy Sauce

1 TBS Sesame Oil 1 TBS Maple Syrup


1.  Finely shred cabbage and combine with minced scallions; cover and refrigerate. 2.  Preheat oven to 350.  Melt butter and oil and toss w/ramen, sesame seeds and almonds.  Spoon onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, shaking often to make sure they don’t burn.  When brown remove from oven and cool. 3.  Combine dressing ingredients and shake. 4.  Combine salad, crunch and dressing immediately before serving.  It is a heavily dressed salad, so be cautious and use a bit at a time to your liking.  Toss when ready to eat otherwise it looses it’s crunch.

Adapted from Bobby Hale’s Napa Cabbage Ramen Salad

—Maple Trout Lilli

Maple Infused Caribbean Almond Cake

A moist, delicious tea cake, perfect for Easter and…… it’s wheat and gluten free!     If I close my eyes and take a bite I’m transported to a breezy, warm beach.  I can almost hear the soft lapping sound of the surf retreating back to the blue sea.  It must be the coconut flour, the taste and smell bringing back memories of a “Black Cake” discovered completely by accident in a little shop on the side of the road on the island of Virgin Gorda.   With the addition of Vermont golden maple sugar this concoction is destined to create fond memories.



3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter

1 Cup Maple Sugar 4 Eggs 1/2 Cup Almond Milk

1 Teaspoon Vanilla 1 1/2 Cups Almond Meal Flour 1/2 Cup Coconut Flour 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Coconut 1/4 Teaspoon Salt 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

Cream together butter and sugar until smooth.  Add in eggs, one at a time and beat until fully blended.  Add milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Combine flours, coconut,  salt and baking powder and add to the wet mixture.  Spread into greased cake pan (9×13) or small bundt pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Serve plain with toasted, shredded coconut; or make a maple glaze (confectionary sugar and maple syrup until you reach the consistency of frosting; ) I tried the glaze for this post, but I would opt to leave it plain next time, as the flavor stands alone subperbly.

—Maple Trout Lilli

Bostock The Best French Toast You’ve Never Heard Of

French Toast gets a makeover.  What to do with stale bread?  You take that stale, old bread (preferably Challah or Brioche), soak it in a simple syrup made with, well you guessed it, maple syrup, as well as other ingredients listed below, top it with frangipane – sweetened, buttery almond paste – and bake it until the syrup forms a crisp, lightly carmelized sheen.  It’s moist and rich inside, like bread pudding you can hold, but only so much better because anything  made with maple syrup and topped with frangipane has got to be this good.

To my mind, it’s the ultimate french toast replacement — no more batter and soggy bread; no more burning slices.. as you try and feed a table full of starving breakfasters.  My reaction after sampling for the first time was to question whether Bostock is in fact a breakfast food.   Something this delicious will definitely give your taste buds a jump start in the morning.  Dessert for breakfast anyone?



*Stale Brioche or Challah Bread

*Simple Maple Syrup

1 Cup Maple Sugar 1 Cup Water Pinch of Salt

Bring everything to a boil and let cool.  Will keep in the fridge for weeks… that’s it


6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened 1/2 Cup Maple Sugar 1 Large Egg 3/4 Cup Toasted Almonds, Ground Fine 1 teaspoon Almond Extract 1 Tablespoon Amaretto 1 Tablespoon Flour

Cream butter and sugar, beat in the egg, almonds, extract, amaretto and flour… that’s it!


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees 2.  Lightly grease a baking sheet 3.  Cut bread into 1.5 inch slices.  Don’t stress over the precision… but do it right 4.  Dunk slices of bread in warm syrup and squeeze out like a sponge. Place two inches apart on your pan.  Bread really needs to be stale or it will turn to mush right about now. 5.  Spread frangipane from edge to edge at about the same thickness as a peanut butter sandwich 6.  Sprinkle slivered almonds on top and bake for about 15-20 minutes,  just enough to set the frangipane.

Serve with pureed strawberries if you dare…. That’s it.  It takes hardly any time and even less effort and it’s so good you might be persuaded to have it every Sunday…. Happy Easter

—Maple Trout Lilli

Maple Blossom Cookies

Maple syrup is just so much of what’s right with the world.   Making it into a cookie can only make it more so.

These Maple Blossom cookies are an extraordinary treat.  Light, crisp and chewy with a distinct maple flavor.   This is a unique treat and one which challenges you to eat just one.

Heck………it’s spring, the sun’s shining, sap’s running and the snow is melting!  It’s the time of year to enjoy winter’s final chapter, visualize the pending  summer’s joys and indulge yourself today utilizing the quintessential ingredient of spring……………MAPLE SYRUP!




Maple Blossom Cookies

2 Cups Maple Syrup 1/2 Cup Butter 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 Egg 2 cups sifted white flour

Boil the syrup down to one third the amount in a large pot. The syrup will foam up so keep a close eye on it. This took me about 1/2 an hour.  Using a candy thermometer, make sure the temperature doesn’t exceed 250 degrees.

Cool to 212 degrees before stirring in the butter.  If the melted butter pools on the top of the syrup, heat, stirring constantly until butter is incorporated.  Cool again, stirring, until the temperature is below 120 degrees, then add vanilla, baking powder and egg (make sure temp is below 120 or the egg will cook.)  Add flour and mix until combined.  Chill overnight or until thick enough to scoop out solid-like balls of dough.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop out chestnut-sized balls onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake 12-15 minutes until pale gold.  They will be soft when they come out.  Carefully transfer to a cooling rack.

Yield: 36 

Adapted from a recipe in the Burlington Free Press

K-19 Golden Elixir 

Some two thousand plus years ago during Hippocraties' time,  a medicinal drink called Oxymel originated.  It was the Greek's  version of  an electrolyte-boosting beverage containing apple cider vinegar, honey and water.  Fast forward to agrarian 19th century New England where making hay was a life sustaining necessity.    Cutting, raking, drying and stacking hay all day made a hike to the summit of Mount Mansfield seem like a leisurely stroll.    Continuous,  hot, sweaty,  work (or play) requires a person to be energized from dawn to dusk.  Switchel or Haymaker's punch was born via common household ingredients; necessity is the mother of invention after all.    As you'll see, all of the ingredients are dietary sources of potassium, an essential mineral important in the transmission of nerve impulses, building muscle tissue, beating of your heart and metabolizing carbohydrates and proteins.  And you thought you were reading about the making of maple syrup.   If you can make it with sap, all the better, if not, water will do fine.  Make a batch, leave in your frig and use instead of gatorade or vitamin water.


K-19 Golden Elixir 

4 1/2 cups Sap or Water 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup 3 teaspoons fresh squeezed Lemon 2 teaspoons Honey 2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar 1 teaspoon fresh grated Ginger Root pinch of turmeric pinch of cayenne

Bring all of above ingredients to a boil and stir until dissolved; remove from stove and store in refrigerator.  Whet your whistle, as often as you like.

-Maple Trout-Lilly

Turnips/Rutabagas/Maple, Oh My

Confused about the difference between a turnip and a rutabaga?  So was I.  Some quick Google research revealed that turnips are a Paleolithic food, cultivated around the world and revered by the Romans.  Rutabagas are an 18th century result of crossing turnips with cabbages.  Which got me thinking... maple syrup is a Neolithic, North American product.  Like the transformation of sap to syrup the following recipe morphs common ingredients into an unexpectedly delicious dish, one which combines the earthy, nutty flavors and creamy, fibrous textures of turnips and rutabagas, with a healthy dose of Maple Syrup.  Maple Syrup binds all the ingredients while adding a unique, smoky, woodsy flavor, thus eliminating the bitterness often associated with turnips and rutabagas.


TURNIPS/RUTABAGAS/MAPLE, OH MY 2 medium turnips 2 medium rutabagas 3 cups half and half 1/4 cup maple syrup 1 pinch cayenne 1 pinch ground nutmeg 1 tablespoon butter Salt and pepper 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme 1/2 cup grated parmesan


Preheat oven 400 Grease and 8" cast iron skillet or 8X8 baking pan w/butter Peel turnips and rutabagas and slice as thin as possible, using a mandoline if you've got one.  Toss in a bowl with salt and pepper, celery seed and thyme. Combine half and half, maple syrup, cayenne and nutmeg and heat over medium flame.  Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Arrange 1/3 turnips and rutabagas in bottom of greased skillet.  Pour 1/3 cream mixture over veges and sprinkle w/cheese, dot with butter; then add another 1/3 turnip/rutabagas, repeating above steps until you've used up all your vegetables.  Don't overfill the dish; the cream mixture should stop just below the top so it doesn't bubble over in the oven... you may have a bit left over.

Cover with foil and cook for 1/2 hour.  Uncover and cook an additional 45 minutes or until the top is brown and liquid is absorbed.

Melt-in-your-mouth Maple Shortbread

Here’s an ordinary and traditional treat, familiar to many and elevated to the extraordinary, with the addition of Nebraska Knoll Maple Syrup and Maple Sugar. Now that you’ve created these delectable morsels, what to do with them? Here are just a few possibilities: toss in your lumberjack’s lunch bucket, place on a doily at your next afternoon tea, bring to Town Meet’n………you’ll think of something! Regardless of the manner of presentation this will put smiles on faces. Sweet, buttery, slightly salty, flaky cookie with the wonderful essence of maple crowned with or without a maple cream cheese glaze……yes, this cookie will take you to the next level.

1 cup soft butter 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup powdered sugar 1 tablespoon Nebraska Knoll Maple Syrup 2 cups flour 3 teaspoons Nebraska Knoll Maple Sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly butter a 9? spring form tart pan with removable sides.

Combine butter, salt and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat til fluffy. Add the maple syrup and combine completely.

Add flour a little at a time until just combined. Press into a 9? spring form tart pan. Refrigerate for an hour or up to overnight.

Sprinkle w/ 3 teaspoons maple sugar. With a very sharp knife, slice the dough into 16 wedges and pierce the top of the wedges with a fork’s tines. Bake for about an hour or until it is barely golden on the edges. Cool and remove the outer ring of pan. Re-slice the cookies along the same lines with a sharp knife. Remove from pan. As they cool they will crisp up.

Maple Shortbread

Maple Shortbread


To Frost or Not to Frost. Well, I happened to have some left0ver maple cream cheese frosting in the frig from last week’s project, so I thought I’d slather some on the shortbread and the result was kind of like shortbread gone to finishing school, not necessary but well worth the small amount of effort.


1/2 Cup VT unsalted butter 1/2 Cup cream cheese 2-3 Cups powdered sugar depending on how sweet you like it 2 tsp. vanilla 1/4 cup Nebraska Knoll Maple Syrup 1-2 TBS milk of your choice

1. Cream butter and cream cheese til smooth. Add powdered sugar, syrup, vanilla and milk.


Time to put another log on the fire. Until next week…….

Maple Trout-Lilli