Take a Break from Pumpkin Spice Everything with Maple-Flavored Treats
Pumpkin spice-flavored treats had their moment in the spotlight, but classic maple is a flavor worth revisting this fall.
You had a good run, pumpkin spice, but now it’s time to step aside. This fall, maple is making a serious comeback — in our baked goods and in our hearts. It’s not that we ever forgot about the rich, dark sweetener. But with the rising demand for white-sugar alternatives, pure maple syrup is in the limelight like never before.
Although maple is lovely all year round, it’s definitely best in comforting fall dishes. It plays well with other seasonal flavors — apple-maple and maple-cinnamon being classic combinations — but it also complements foods more commonly associated with savory dishes, like bacon or rosemary. Here are a few maple-flavored treats you won’t want to miss as colder weather settles in.
Maple French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes (pictured at top)
Few food unions are as holy as the marriage between maple syrup and bacon. With Food Network Magazine's breakfast-inspired cupcakes, you get to experience these sweet and savory elements in perfect harmony. When choosing your maple syrup, remember: The lighter the syrup, the more delicate the flavor — so if you want your cupcakes to deliver a robust maple punch, go for a medium or dark amber syrup.
The combination of maple syrup and buttery walnuts deserves more recognition. At your next dinner party, try serving this decadent maple cheesecake with a walnut-graham cracker crust and your guests will surely agree.
Speaking of the maple-walnut combination, these slice-and-go shortbread bars are a tasty yet casual dessert alternative. The earthy walnuts and buttery shortbread intensify the maple flavor rather than overpower it, so just a little bit of syrup goes a long way here.
Ina Garten’s maple-kissed scones get a hearty fiber boost from whole-wheat flour and quick-cooking oats. Make a batch over the weekend and have something to look forward to at breakfast on Monday morning.
Fill a cornmeal tart crust with smooth maple custard and voila: You’ve got an instant holiday classic. Those who aren’t a fond of pumpkin pie’s spiciness will likely gravitate toward this rich tart. The individual slices have the same clean, elegant edges as a slice of pumpkin pie, but also have a warm, buttery flavor.