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Beaver Tails and maple syrup for Canada Day

This week's recipes are inspired by Canada Day
From the Kitchen by Joyce Walter

Canada Day celebrations would not be complete without some foods that Canadians have developed and claimed as their own.

In other spots they might be called Elephant Ears or Bear Toes but in Canada they are Beaver Tails and proud of it. 

And what better topping than a maple sauce or syrup from Canadian trees. Mmmm, good. Happy Canada Day to one and all.

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Canadian Beaver Tails

1/2 cup warm water
5 tsps. active dry yeast
1 pinch white sugar
1 cup warm milk at 110 degrees F
1/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsps. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
5 cups whole wheat flour, divided
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
2 cups white sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon to taste

Mix warm water, yeast and pinch of sugar in a large bowl. Let stand until yeast begins to foam and form a creamy layer, about 5 minutes. Stir in milk, 1/3 cups sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and 1/3 cup oil and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Mix in about 1/2 the flour and stir until dough is too stiff to add more flour. Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead in more flour until dough is no longer sticky. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl and cover. Let rise until double in size, about 1 hour. Punch down, knead a few times. Pinch off a piece of dough the size of an egg. Roll into an oval shape (like a beaver tail) about 1/4 inch thick. Place on a cloth and cover until all dough has been rolled.

Heat oil to 375 degrees F in a deep fryer or deep skillet. Oil should be about 4 inches deep. While oil heats, mix 2 cups of sugar and the ground cinnamon in a shallow bowl and set aside.

Lower the tails, one at a time, into the hot oil and fry 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown. Blot excess oil with paper towels. While still warm, press into the sugar mixture and shake off excess sugar. 

Alternately cover tails with a maple spread and drizzle with chocolate. Or spread with jam and whipped cream.

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Maple Syrup Bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour

1 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
2 tbsps. flour
pinch salt

For the base, heat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine butter, brown sugar and flour and stir until mixture is crumbly. Press into an 8 inch pan and bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

For topping, in a saucepan combine syrup, brown sugar and walnuts and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add butter and stir until melted.

In a bowl beat eggs with flour and salt. Add egg mixture to maple syrup mixture and stir to combine. Pour over the base and bake another 25-30 minutes or until set. Cool completely before cutting.

Joyce Walter can be reached at