Syrup is one of those very simple things to make that everyone seems to purchase. I can't quite figure out why but I am guilty of doing that myself for years. Recently however, Mountain Man had a craving for pancakes. We really don't eat breakfast around here. Myself, I'm a fruit or oatmeal for breakfast person and Mountain Man, well... breakfast just isn't his thing. I do love pancakes and eggs though! So, once in a while just to mix things up a bit we have breakfast for dinner. Usually this consists of pancakes, eggs, fried potatoes and maybe some sausage. I know! Not good for us! I did say we only have it once in a while....
Anyway I realized we were out of syrup so I figured... well... why not make some? Right now I could just hit my head against a wall for not doing this sooner..... It's so simple and so cheap! What was I thinking? Unless you can afford, or can get your hands on, some real maple syrup making your own is the next best thing and while I am not a fan of eating much sugar, well, there have to be exceptions. My motto is just to do it in moderation.
I browsed though many recipes on line, but really, they are all the same. Water, sugar, flavoring. The only difference is in how much you put in and what type of flavoring to use. So... me being me, one thing led to another and I just made it up as I went along, sort of using the proportions others did. Have I mentioned I have trouble following a recipe?
The first one I made is just a simple vanilla syrup. I don't have any maple flavoring at the moment but think I will put it on my list for next month. I wanted to make it with the least amount of sugar possible and still have it taste good. Maybe I should have used more as it didn't thicken much but the flavor is wonderful and I love the way it sinks into my pancakes. If you like a thick syrup just add more sugar. Many recipes use at least another 1/2 cup to whole cup of sugar per cup of water.
Simple Vanilla Syrup
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Now just put it all in a pot and slowly bring it to a low boil.
Set your timer for 5 minutes
Watch and stir it carefully so it doesn't burn. When the timer goes off set it aside to cool. Once cool store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. It will stay good for weeks.
This is Mountain Man's absolute favorite! He especially likes it in his milk. OK... he likes it on everything! I've never seen anyone love chocolate this much.
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
Put it all in a nice heavy sauce pan and whisk, whisk, whisk. The cocoa is a a bit stubborn about being mixed in.
Bring it to a nice simmer and set the timer for 5 minutes. Don't let it burn or boil over!
Once done let cool before using or bottling. You may need to stir it a few times while it is cooling. It will thicken as it cools. This is the first time I tried chocolate syrup on pancakes. Actually I wasn't going to have any pancakes because I am always watching what I eat. I did make whole wheat pancakes however and I just couldn't help myself. Yum!
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