From the iconic maple leaf flag to the maple syrup cookies you can find throughout the country, Canada’s history and culinary culture are closely tied to the maple tree. This super quick and easy concoction of syrup and butter can be spread on pancakes, waffles, muffins, or even a batch of homemade scones. Not only will your child be able to create a special treat all on his own, but he will also get a culinary science lesson in states of matter.
What You Need:
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) refrigerated butter
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
Before you start: Have your child remove the butter from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and place it in a bowl. Examine the butter with your child. Allow him to cut it with a table knife and try to spread it around the bowl. Explain how butter is hard when it is cold, but will soften and become easier to work with if it sits out at room temperature. Once he's done experimenting, allow the butter to come to room temperature. Be sure to ask him to guess how long he thinks it will take for the butter to become soft.
What You Do:
- As you allow the butter to reach room temperature, check its progress periodically with your child. You can also have him experiment with placing it in different locations (on top of a warm oven, by a sunny window, on the counter top) to see how that affects the rate of change.
- Once the butter has softened, have your child combine the maple syrup and butter together using an electric mixer until it is light and fluffy. (You can help with this part if necessary.)
- Help your child use a rubber spatula to remove the maple butter from the bowl and place it in small containers. To create fun butter shapes, you can use flexible candy molds or decorative silicone ice cube trays.
- Place the maple butter in the refrigerator until it has hardened. Carefully remove from molds and enjoy on top of your favorite breakfast treat!