It’s that time of year – spring – when the sap is running and our thoughts turn to all the yummy things made with maple syrup. Here are a few maple syrup recipes to try with your family.

Crisp edged maple oatmeal cookies

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 egg

1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of allspice

1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)

Sift or thoroughly stir together the flour, salt, soda and allspice. Cream the butter then beat in the syrup, lemon rind and egg. Stir in the dry ingredients, then the oatmeal. Drop by teaspoons on a lightly buttered baking sheet and spread flat with a knife blade.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes, until edges are well browned, then cool on wire racks. Centers will remain slightly cake-like, edges will crisp as they cool. Makes about 3 dozen.

Maple-mustard barbecue sauce

This is a spicy, sweet and sour basting sauce for grilled chicken, pork chops or spare ribs. Recipe makes about three-fourths cup, just enough for 4 servings.

2 tablespoons Dijon Style prepared mustard or other strong mustard

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 garlic clove, crushed through a press

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup peanut oil or other bland oil

Whisk together all ingredients in the order listed. Pork can be prepared by following the preceding barbecue sauce recipe, but omit the oil and add 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind instead.

Old-fashioned baked beans

6 cups dried beans

3/4 to 1 pound lean salt pork or slab bacon on the rind

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 medium-sized onion, peeled and stuck with 2 whole cloves

Cover beans with boiling water; soak 1 hour, then drain. Cover beans with cold water, bring to a slow boil and cook until skins split when the beans are blown on. Drain, saving liquid.

Drop the meat into a pan of boiling water, turn off heat and let sit 5 or 10 minutes to remove excess salt. Drain and cut in half. Put half of the meat, rind down, on the bottom of your bean pot.

Combine 1 cup of bean liquid with the mustard, syrup and pepper, then mix it into the parboiled beans. Transfer this to the bean pot and bury the onion right in the middle. Pour in just enough additional bean-liquid or water to barely show through the top layer of beans. Cap with the remaining meat, set rind side out.

Cover and bake 6 to 8 hours in a very slow (250-degree) oven, adding boiling water if necessary to keep the beans from drying out. Uncover for last hour so top can get brown and crisp.

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