Sambuca and Fennel Infused Maple Syrup

          Infused maple syrups are quick and delicious, you can make your own creation in minutes! Always use what you like. For intense flavor, use dark maple syrup (always the real thing, NOT pancake syrup), and dark Sambuca. For a lighter touch, use a lighter syrup and white Sambuca 

1 cup dark maple syrup

¼ cup sambuca

1 tsp. crushed fennel seeds or 1 star anise

Place the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low and bring to a simmer, just below boiling. Reduce heat, and simmer for five minutes. Remove from the burner and let sit until cool. Strain. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for months.

Other favorites: For an adult ice cream topping, make a batch of mocha maple syrup. Simmer 1 cup of darkest maple syrup with 2 tsp. instant espresso powder and 4 tsp. unsweetened cocoa. Add 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper if you like. Whisk well, and heat for just a minute or two. Rest until cool. I’ve no idea how long this one lasts refrigerated since it is consumed quickly. This is one of my granddaughter’s favorite! She doesn’t even mind the subtle heat.

            Apple forward: To top or enhance anything apple, infuse 1 cup golden maple syrup with a cinnamon stick, a few grates of nutmeg, and ¼ cup calvados. Heat to a simmer, then let cool.

    Snappy! For ginger and lemon, infuse 1 cup of golden maple syrup with a few slices of fresh lemon and a one-inch knob of ginger, sliced lengthwise in half. As with the other recipes, heat, rest, enjoy.