SIZZLE SIMMER SAUTÉ–Maple sugaring season is short but sweet

Jennifer Alexander Ruple

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Maple sugaring season is that magical time of year, signaling the end of winter and the arrival of spring. The season occurs when temperatures dip below freezing at night and daytime temperatures rise above it. This fluctuation causes pressure to build up inside sugar maple trees and the sap begins to flow from the tap holes. To celebrate, here are three recipes – all using pure maple syrup as the signature ingredient. Warm Maple and Apple Overnight Oats make for a quick breakfast on a busy morning. Crumbly Maple Cranberry Scones are a terrific addition to a brunch buffet. And Maple Soy Glazed Chicken makes a fun, Asian-inspired dinner. Cheers to the arrival of spring! 

Maple Soy Glazed Chicken

Sticky, sweet and perfectly caramelized, you’ll want seconds of this glazed chicken. Hoisin and soy sauces complement the pure maple syrup in this quick-cook chicken dish. Serve it over a bed of brown rice, stir fry vegetables or Trader Joe’s Vegetable Fried Rice as shown in picture. Serves 3-4

  • 2  pounds chicken tenders
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Generously season chicken with salt. In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, soy sauce, hoisin and apple cider vinegar.

Heat oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sear. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add sauce then flip chicken. Keep heat at medium-high and let sauce boil, cooking down for another 2-3 minutes.

Cook the chicken about 10 more minutes until most of the liquid has cooked off and the sauce creates a glaze on the chicken. Chicken is done when it reaches 165 degrees and is no longer pink inside. 

Serve over rice and garnish with a sprinkle of green onions. 

(Recipe adapted from

Maple Cranberry Scones

Flavored with sweet maple syrup and tart cranberries, these scones are the perfect accompaniment to breakfast or a mid-day snack. Makes 6-8 scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • For brushing:
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon milk

Heat oven to 400 F. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cream of tartar and baking soda. Using a pastry blender, 

cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in rolled oats and dried fruit. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture. 

In a small mixing bowl, combine eggs, 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 1 tablespoon milk. Add the egg mixture to the well of the flour mixture and stir just until moistened. Form dough into a ball (dough may be sticky).

Transfer dough to a cookie sheet. Roll or pat with lightly floured hands into a circle, 3/4 inch thick and about 7 inches in diameter. Cut into 6 to 8 wedges (do not separate wedges). Brush scones with mixture of 1 teaspoon maple syrup and 1 teaspoon milk. 

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. 

(Recipe adapted from Country Home Magazine, February 2001)

Maple Apple Overnight Oats

Overnight oats make the perfect breakfast when you are on the go. Prepared the night before, just reach into the fridge, grab a jar and be on your way. Enjoy oats cold or warmed in the microwave. 
Serves 2

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 apple
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Peel, core and chop the apple. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent from browning.

In a bowl, combine rolled oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract and maple syrup.

Divide mixture between two mason jars. Pour 3/4 cup almond milk into each jar.

Top each with chopped apples and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Refrigerate overnight, stir and top with additional maple syrup, if desired.

(Recipe by Jennifer Alexander Ruple)

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