Maple-Infused Recipes from Vermont’s Mad River Valley

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Tonewood and Hen of the Wood share inventive fall recipes

"Using maple products gives us an identity—it’s what connects us to the past, keeps us focused on the current state of Vermont’s agriculture, and helps to ensure our region's future,” says Eric Warnstedt, Executive Chef and Owner of Hen of the Wood.

Maple in its pure form is a guiltless indulgence bursting with sweetness and nutrients. Autumn is the perfect time of year to introduce maple—an ingredient that is under-utilized in food—into everyday meal preparation and baking. Tonewood, a luxury maple company based in Vermont’s Mad River Valley, is celebrating maple’s versatile and healthful qualities by encouraging its use as an everyday sweetener with the help of nearby acclaimed restaraunt Hen of the Wood.

“Maple sugar is the most sensible sweetener for Hen of the Wood. Using maple products gives us an identity—it’s what connects us to the past, keeps us focused on the current state of Vermont’s agriculture, and helps to ensure our region's future,” says Eric Warnstedt, Executive Chef and Owner of the local restaurant. “Maple is extremely versatile in its various forms and seems like the most logical choice of sweetener; it’s fresh, regional, unprocessed and delicious.”

Warnstedt, a James Beard Best Chef finalist, has created four unique maple recipes to showcase the multilateral uses of Vermont maple syrup, ranging from a Maple-Ginger Vinaigrette dressing to a Maple-Hazelnut Fudge.

“It’s time to do away with refined sugars and use a natural, anti-oxidant and nutrient-rich sweetener whenever possible. We should all reduce our sugar intake, and since maple sugar is roughly twice as sweet as refined sugar, you use much less,” says Dori Ross, founder of Tonewood, whose company offers maple tree adoptions in addition to a line of gourmet maple products in liquid and solid form.

Below are Hen of the Wood’s recipes for Maple Barbeque Sauce, Maple Brine, Maple-Ginger Vinaigrette, and Maple-Hazelnut Fudge. For more information on Tonewood’s gourmet maple products and maple tree adoption program, visit

Maple BBQ Sauce

1 onion finely diced
1 cup maple syrup
¼ cup of water
1 cup of ketchup
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Maple Brine

1 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
¼ cup maple syrup

Mix all of the ingredients together until completely dissolved.

*Brining foods in a saltwater mixture before you cook them adds flavor, tenderness, and reduces cooking times. The length of time meat soaks in a flavor brine depends on the type of meat and its size, as well as the amount of salt used in the brine—the saltier the bring e mixture, the shorter the soaking time.

Maple – Ginger Vinaigrette

1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, diced
1-inch piece fresh ginger root, minced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup blended oil
1 pinch of kosher salt

Combine all of the ingredients except the oil. Slowly whisk in the oil and taste for seasoning.

Maple – Hazelnut Fudge

Mix together and stir:
2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup water
½ cup hazelnuts coarsely chopped

Add all of the ingredients except the nuts into a saucepan. Place over medium heat and boil gently – cook to 228 degrees F
Allow to cool in the pan to 110 degrees F. With a wooden spoon beat until it loses its shine and becomes creamy.

Pour into a buttered 8” pan and allow to cool completely.


Tonewood Maple is celebrating maple’s naturally sumptuous flavor and under-realized versatility by redefining a standard for elegance and quality in maple products. Through collaboration with expert sugarmakers, Tonewood produces pure maple syrups and other specialties that are single-sourced, unblended, and free of additives.

By combining a standard for excellence with sleek design and forward-thinking sustainability practices, Tonewood has created a unique tree adoption program in which adopters receive premium artisan maple products produced from the bounty of their adopted tree. Tonewood seeks to preserve maple production by funding climate change research, local farming efforts, and sustainable forest stewardship. Through 1% for the Planet, a portion of every Tonewood sale is donated to climate change research efforts at the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center.

For more information on Tonewood’s tree adoption program and gourmet maple products, visit

About Hen of the Wood
Hen of the Wood is a locally and privately owned and operated restaurant based in Waterbury, Vermont serving seasonal American food celebrating Vermont and the northeast. Hen of the Wood supports local growers that practice environmentally sound agriculture and believe in showcasing the most vibrant foods of the season as well as wild edibles such as Hen of the Woods mushrooms. Visit Hen of the Wood online at and on Facebook.

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Michael Joseph
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