Prep time: Very easy, but be sure to start it before you start your pancakes/waffles/whatever you're putting the syrup on so that it has a little time to simmer.
Source: Adapted from a classic Ray family recipe!
I have always been a syrup snob. Ever since I was a little girl, I have REALLY hated regular imitation maple syrup. It's nasty stuff! I grew up with my dad's homemade syrup and it will always be my favorite. Lately I've been playing with the recipe a little to see if I could cut down on the sugar a bit, and have ended up loving my end result even better than the original recipe! It's by no means a health food, since it's still highly concentrated sugar, but hey—it's at least a little better. The dash of salt gives it a rich and complex flavor, too.
1 1/2 cups white or brown sugar (brown has a stronger flavor)
1 T cornstarch
A dash of salt (about 1/8 tsp)
1 cup water
1/2 t imitation maple flavoring
1/2 t vanilla flavoring
In a small saucepan, thoroughly mix sugar, salt, and cornstarch together. Add water and bring to a boil on the stove. Once the syrup is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until you're done making your pancakes (or whatever you're going to put the syrup on!)—about 10-20 minutes. Just before serving, remove from heat and add flavor extracts. Stores great in fridge (and also gets thicker as it cools).