Once you make the decision to steer clear of refined sweeteners and artificial flavors, you can't buy the cheap "maple syrup" anymore. However... real maple syrup is expensive! (Think outside the grocery store box and look for a food co-op or a bulk food store in order to get a better deal.)
But what do you do on a perfect Saturday morning with six stacks of pancakes ready for six hungry mouths?
I melt butter in a small saucepan and add the same amount of maple syrup. (So, that may be 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of maple syrup if I need a 1/2 cup of syrup in the end.) As it heats through, I stir it vigorously until it is completely combined and a pretty light brown color.
Not only do I get to skip buttering the pancakes... who wants to butter that many pancakes anyway? The children get more syrup on their pancakes, but only half of it is maple syrup. And the syrup is wonderfully warm, sweet, and buttery. Yum!
I actually got this tip from my dear sister-in-law several years ago. I don't know if she will even remember... but we have done it like this ever since. Thanks, Renee!
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