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I really enjoy making this recipe for oatmeal-raisin cookies: http://viveleveganrecipes.blogspot.co.uk/2007/10/oatmeal-raisin-cookies.html

However, I'm based in the UK, where maple syrup is much more expensive than in the US or Canada. If I make this recipe, I usually substitute golden syrup or honey. However, I've noticed that both of these are much more viscous than maple syrup, which means that when I get to this step:

combine syrup, molasses, and vanilla, then stir in oil to incorporate

I find that the syrup doesn't mix nicely with the oil to give a smooth mixture -- you get more of an emulsion instead, which affects it's ability to lubricate the dry ingredients. The recipe still works if you add a bit more liquid (either more oil / melted butter or a bit of milk), but it leaves me with a couple of questions:

  1. Why is maple syrup less viscous than other liquid sugars? Is it a different ratio of glucose, fructose and other sugars? Or just a higher water content?
  2. Is it possible to thin honey or maple syrup to get it to mix more easily with the oil?
  3. Is there another sugar syrup that would have the same viscosity as maple syrup that would work better? Taste isn't really an issue here -- the spices in the recipe drown the subtle flavour of maple syrup, so any neutral tasting liquid sugar should be fine
  • I'm a bit confused, do you want the maple syrup flavor in your cookies or are does it not matter? Your title asks why maple syrup is less viscous, but the rest of the post seems to be asking for a substitute. – GdD Sep 13 '17 at 10:32
  • @GdD It takes a bit to get there, but point 3 at the end does explicitly say "Taste isn't really an issue here -- the spices in the recipe drown the subtle flavour of maple syrup, so any neutral tasting liquid sugar should be fine." – Cascabel Sep 13 '17 at 17:48
  • simply water down real maple syrup. they spend a lot of time/money removing the water, but it's your syrup... – dandavis Sep 20 '17 at 0:59
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Maple syrup is more liquid because it contains more water.

That also depends on the type (category) of syrup; most consumer syrup will be on the lighter side of it and will contain more water as the darker ones because it will be less concentrated.

You could dillute honey or Golden syrup with water to have a lighter syrup but the cookies will taste different.

Maple syrup grading in Québec http://fpaq.ca/en/federation/quality/grading-system/

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    The grading seems like a red herring here. As the article behind your link begins: "Over the course of the season, maple syrup varies in color (light to dark) as well as taste." Grades aren't about sugar content or viscosity. – Cascabel Sep 13 '17 at 17:56
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If the maple syrup is supposed to be acting as both a liquid and a sweetener. But the flavor is not what your after, why not just use pancake syrup. It's way cheaper than anything else.

  • The OP is already using something akin to pancake syrup because it's a lot cheaper than maple syrup. The problem is that those syrups are a lot thicker than pure maple syrup. – Kareen Sep 14 '17 at 15:30
  • @Kareen Store bought pancake syrups (in the US) are much thinner than honey or golden syrup. Some are actually as thin as pure maple syrup. – Cindy Sep 14 '17 at 15:34
  • @Cindy I've lived here almost 4 years and have yet to see one like that, though I tend to keep to my personal stash of maple syrup from back home when possible. Didn't know they existed, thanks for enlightening me! – Kareen Sep 14 '17 at 15:39

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