Christmas seems to inspire creativity and craft, whether it’s decorations for the tree or handmade cards. That’s all very lovely but I’m afraid it has to be food related for me. And I’m one of those people who, if the urge takes me, enjoys making something that I like to the look of but once the creation is done I’m not too bothered about eating it myself. So the perfect output for scratching this itch is to make edible Christmas gifts for friends. Or basically anyone who will take them.
As my earlier posts have established, my thirst for feasting on Good Food magazines reaches a fever pitch at this festive time of year and that is the publication I have to blame – I mean, thank – for this latest offering: Chocolate candy cane lollipops.
Initially I was just drawn to the aesthetically pleasing aspect of this gimmick, but once I saw that:
- There were hardly any ingredients involved, and
- It was incredibly simple…
…it just had to be done. So I made 2 versions, one with normal sized candy canes and one with those cute little mini ones. Here’s what to do – it’s so easy, like taking Christmas candy from a baby.
Pre-heat the oven to around 150°C (apparently that’s about gas mark 2 or 3) and line a baking tray with a piece of baking parchment, or more than one tray if you plan to make lots (be careful, you want to give a nice gift for Christmas, not diabetes).
For each lolly, arrange two candy canes in a heart shape around a lolly stick. Place in the oven – the original recipe said for 5 minutes but when I extracted the mini canes after 4 they had started to boil – so I would recommend checking them every 2 mins.
When the canes are beginning to go soft, whip them out of the oven and with asbestos fingers, or just with a lot of blaspheming, gently squeeze the canes together at the top and around the stick at the bottom, until they feel like they will set to make a complete heart shape attached to the stick.
While you leave the canes to cool, break your chocolate of choice (you can use milk or dark, but I think for Christmas white looks most festive) into a bowl and melt in the microwave, or over a pan of water.
Check if the canes are set by gently easing them off the greaseproof paper with a palette knife – they should come off easily and ideally in once piece! Leaving them on the lined tray, spoon the melted chocolate into each heart, making sure there are no gaps.
Now comes the even more fun bit – the decorating. You can go to tinsel town here and why not? It’s one of the only times of the year when you can get away with it. Admittedly I was a bit boring and just sprinkled over edible gold sugar balls, but it was all I could route out of the cupboard. You could use a rainbow of coloured sprinkles, traditional festive silver and gold balls or an assortment of small sweeties like Jelly Tots or even better, Popping Candy! Why didn’t I think of that when I made mine?!?
Again using your trusty palette knife, extract the lollies from the paper and if you can refrain from eating them yourself, pop them into a cellophane bag and tie with some lovely looking festive ribbon or gift tags.
Then ta-dah! Your very own professional looking chocolate candy cane lollies, the perfect Christmas present.