I think we can all agree that real maple syrup is best. Yummy and healthy. BUT, expensive.

Why is it that our options are always two extremes? There’s the best stuff ever, and there’s Mrs. Butterworth’s.

maple sugar buckets

Image courtesy of Julia F. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/juliaf

Anyway, my solution is a halfway maple syrup recipe. Super easy to make, fewer chemicals than store-bought fakey syrup, and way cheaper than the real-deal.

My recipe is based off of this recipe from allrecipes.com. If it isn’t your speed, look around for others. Not all of the recipes have corn syrup in them–I like using it because it reduces crystallization.

Homemade Pancake Syrup

3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp maple flavoring
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix sugars in a heavy-bottomed pot.

sugars in pot

Add corn syrup and water. Mix well

uncooked syrup in pot

Bring to boil over medium heat. Boil, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until thickened.

You will know it’s done when the level has come down like this.

reduced syrup

Remove from heat. Add maple and vanilla. Let cool.

maple and vanilla extracts

Homemade syrup is typically stored in the refrigerator. I have the most recent batch in the cupboard with no problems. Because I reduced the corn syrup and cooked it longer, it resulted in a much thicker syrup (yum!) that gets too thick in the fridge. One less thing in the refrigerator and to heat up for meals is fine by me!

finished syrup

Let me know if this halfway solution works for your family too. 🙂