Our Love for Maple Syrup – with Recipes

Our Love for Maple Syrup – with Recipes

We’ve had a long and happy relationship with Maple Hollow pure maple syrup.   It was around 2001 when we were living at our first 5-acre farm in Woodstock, IL.   I read an article in Yankee magazine about the original Hatch granola along with a recipe.   I was interested…for ourselves and to sell at the Naperville Farmer’s Market.

But, the recipe called for honey.  I thought the granola would taste even better with pure maple syrup.   Somehow we found Maple Hollow in Merrill, WI run by Joe and Barbara Polak.   We explained our intention of making granola and we ended up with a few gallons of Baker’s grade syrup delivered right to our doorstep by Joe himself.    The Baker’s Grade was the darkest syrup and ended up being perfect for our granola.

With that delivery, our partnership with Maple Hollow was launched.  We’ve been buying from Joe and Barbara ever since and our love for their syrup has only grown.   First, it was Brian and I, and now our three girls are all devoted fans.   Not only is the syrup so delicious but buying from Joe and Barbara is such a pleasure and we intend to support them as long as possible.

The Baker’s grade is now called Very Dark Strong, but it’s still the same rich maple syrup we love and sell through our Online Store.

Over the years, we’ve used maple syrup for so much more than just pancakes and waffles.   The more maple the better!

Here are a few of our favorites – enjoy!


We use maple syrup in our coffee every morning.   It’s because the maple comes with not only sweetness but flavor as well.   We even travel with a small jar of morning maple when we’re on the road because our coffee just doesn’t taste right without it.

Maple Milk 

This is good stuff!  Combine good cold organic whole milk and maple syrup.  Stir well!   For maximum enjoyment, drink with a cold stainless steel straw. 🙂   Maple milk can be addictive so watch out!  When we had our beloved Jersey cow, Bonnie, her creamy whole milk with Maple Hollow syrup was as good as a milkshake in a glass.

Maple Chocolate Milk & Hot Chocolate

You don’t have to buy powdered mixes to make your chocolate milk or hot chocolate.   You can make it with just a few real ingredients.  First, combine maple syrup and unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder to make a thick syrup.   Stir or whisk well to smooth out any lumps.  Now, combine a spoonful of the chocolate syrup with milk and shake, stir or whisk to combine.   Adjust chocolate syrup/milk ratio to your liking.  That’s it.  Completely real and completely delicious.

Want hot chocolate?   Use the same technique but heat your chocolate milk and add a little pure vanilla extract at the end.  Delicious!

Love Chai?  We have a favorite recipe for our homemade Chai.  It calls for honey, but we often substitute maple syrup.

Chocolate Frosting

We’re not fans of powdered sugar to make frosting for our cakes.  It’s way too sweet.   We’ve found we can make a very good frosting using softened butter, unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder, maple syrup and vanilla.   For a single layer, 9″ round cake, we combine approximately 1 T softened butter, 3 T cocoa powder, 3 T maple syrup and 1/2 tsp vanilla.  If your frosting seems too thin, add more cocoa/cacao powder.  Any of the ingredients can be adjusted to your liking.

The cake in the picture above is one of Lucy’s gorgeous creations with maple sweetened chocolate frosting.

Yogurt & Smoothies

Maple syrup is thinner than honey and will combine well even if your ingredients are cold making it a good choice to use with cold drinks and smoothies.   We might add maple syrup to a bowl of plain yogurt or a smoothie made with frozen fruit and plain yogurt.


Combine maple syrup, pure lemon juice and water to make a quick delicious lemonade.