Peppermint and chocolate are common combinations during the winter season. They seem to just go together like peanut butter and jelly. I asked mikeasaurus to pick me up some candy canes to use in a picture and he ended up grabbing me two boxes so I knew I'd have to do something with all the extra canes. I'm a big fan of hot chocolate, so I thought making candy cane stirrers would be perfect. These would also be great with coffee or any number of drinks.
Step 1: Supplies
Like usual, to get started, you need supplies. What you use is up to you as these supplies are very easy to swap out with your ingredients of choice.
- Candy Canes - I also tried dunking a little peppermint candy and those could work too, Peppermint sticks are also an option - If you want to end up with a certain number of candy cane stirrers, make sure you buy more than you need. Candy canes are delicate and could break while coming out of the box, while you are unwrapping them, while you are decorating them, or even just by looking at them wrong!
- Chocolates you can melt - [PLEASE READ] I found that chocolate chips didn't melt the best, but that was PERFECT for this as it stuck to the candy canes really, really well. The almond bark I used melted amazingly, but because of that it kept wanting to slide right off the cane. I would suggest melting regular and white chocolate chips for this as it seemed pretty goopy to me which made it the perfect consistency for coating the canes.
Toppings and my opinion on them:
- Using brown chocolate to drizzle over the white chocolate and vice versa looks good.
- Jet Puffed Mallow Bits - I've been wanting to buy these forever and never had a reason, this was a great reason to buy them and try them out
- Candy Cane (peppermint candy) bits - candy canes are fragile, so some will inevitably break while you are unwrapping them for this project, save the small broken bits and smash them up to use for decorating the candy canes.
- Red, light green, and dark green sprinkles - totally cute. Really any red, green, and white sprinkles that are not transparent.
- Chocolate bar shavings could look cute against a white chocolate coated cane. I forgot to try this when I made these.
- I didn't get to try it, but if you use white chocolate chips or almond bark, you can also dye it red or green with food coloring for even more decorating options (coating the candy canes or drizzling for decoration).
- I DO NOT SUGGEST USING red, white and green sugary crystals, they became "lost" in the chocolate and didn't stand out much at all, you can see this in the step on decorating.
- Microwavable containers or double boiler or chocolate melting pot or really whatever supplies you like to use to melt your chocolate.
- Spoons - for stirring your chocolate and coating your canes
- Wax Paper or some kind of contraption to let the canes dry on - I put a cake pan on top of a metal mixer cup so I could hang the candy canes and wouldn't have to lay them flat - check out the last image to see my contraption
- Plates - helpful for catching sprinkles while decorating the canes
- Knife - if you want to take off just some of the plastic from the cane - next step will go into this.
Step 2: Preparing Your Workstation and Candy Canes
Okay, to get started, I set out all the ingredients I would be using - chocolate chips and measuring cups, and plates with sprinkles.
You are going to need to remove the wrapper from the canes before you can coat them. Your options are to remove all of the wrapper (which is the easiest way to do it), or just remove the part of the wrapper on the long part of the cane. That is the part you are going to put chocolate on and if you don't remove it all you can easily handle the cane by the wrapper and not worry about touching it too much.
If you remove part of the wrapper, I suggest scoring the wrapper all the way around the cane at about the spot or the top part of the cane hangs down and then just pull off that part of the wrapper. The second picture shows you where.
Remember, if you break your candy canes, save the little bits for smashing for decorating your candy canes, and if you can salvage most of the long part of the cane, you can use them for mini candy cane stirring sticks. You can see the ones I saved in the cake pan at the top of the last image.
Step 3: Melt Chocolate
I started by just melting my normal chocolate and then did the almond bark later, but you can melt everything right away. If the choclates start to get too thick, just remelt them in the microwave.
Melt your chocolate in any way you want, I used glass containers and microwaved in 30 second incraments at half power and stirred each time I took it out.
Instead of trying to dip the canes (since I didn't have enough chocolate melted to dip the canes) I used a spoon to kind of pour the chocolate on the canes and then used the back of the spoon to paint it on the canes. Try to cover them enough so you can't see the colors of the cane, but if you get it too thick, it will goop right off the cane.
If you left part of the wrapper on, make sure you don't get the chocolate up over the wrapper. It could make it harder to get the wrapper off later when you are ready to use it.
If you are going to drizzle more chocolate on the cane, hang it to dry now, if you want to decorate them with sprinkles, hold onto it and move on to the next step on decorating.
Step 4: Coat Canes in Candy
If you plan on coating the canes in chocolate and then drizzling chocolate, you can hang them to dry after they are coated, but if you want to put on sprinkles, you have to decorate them right away before the chocolate hardens.
I sprinkled sprinkles on the chocolate over plates and then lightly pressed the sprinkles into the chocolate. This is particularily important for larger sprinkles and the little marshmallows. You want to stick them in or they'll fall off very easily.
Step 5: Give Them Away or Enjoy Them Yourself.
Just a warning, the sprinkles are delicate. They are going to want to fall off fairly easily especially the marshmallows. Be careful with them and wrap them up delicatly if you want to give them to people. I would say that the smaller the sprinkles, the better they stay on. But the mini marshmallows are still so darn cute!
I would suggest storing these in a container until you use them and maybe lay down paper towels to try to make it so they don't bang into each other a lot.
I have seen some people stick these in with hot cocoa kits and that is pretty cute as a gift.
Second picture shows the broken canes I coated in chocolate.