You had a good run, pumpkin spice, but now it’s time to step aside. This fall, maple is making a serious comeback — in our baked goods and in our hearts. It’s not that we ever forgot about the rich, dark sweetener. But with the rising demand for white-sugar alternatives, pure maple syrup is in the limelight like never before. Keep an eye out for a maple resurgence at local bakeries and cafes this fall, and find out which type of maple syrup you prefer (since there are a few) by experimenting with different syrup grades at home. Although maple is lovely all year round, it’s definitely best in comforting fall dishes. It plays well with other seasonal flavors — apple-maple and maple-cinnamon being classic combinations — but it also complements foods more commonly associated with savory dishes, like bacon or rosemary. Here are a few maple-flavored treats you won’t want to miss as colder weather settles in.
Maple French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes (pictured at top)
Few food unions are as holy as the marriage between maple syrup and bacon. With Food Network Magazine’s breakfast-inspired cupcakes, you get to experience these sweet and savory elements in perfect harmony. When choosing your maple syrup, remember: The lighter the syrup, the more delicate the flavor — so if you want your cupcakes to deliver a robust maple punch, go for a medium or dark amber syrup.