I went a little nuts in the cane section at Target the other day, so this year, we made four varieties:
Candy Cane Kisses with regular green M&Ms
Regular Hugs with mint (green) and white chocolate peppermint (red) M&Ms
Mint Truffle Kisses with regular red and green M&Ms (that's a new one)
Caramel Truffle Kisses with honey-roasted peanuts (another new one)
Peeper was actually a really big help this year. She did the majority of the Kiss-peeling, as she called it (four bags, mind you) and some Kiss placing, as well. And quite a bit of Kiss eating, of course.
Shrike helped out, too but I didn't get any photos of her. By the time she joined us, things were going in the oven, so I was pretty occupied with topping the melted ones while they peeled and placed.
We also tried something new. A while back, I was talking to Peeper about what we'd be making, and maybe I was telling her about the candy cane marshmallow treats that we've made the past couple of years, and she started telling me her idea for a treat that we just had to make.
She said we should take a candy cane and dip it in chocolate, then stick on marshmallows. Hmmm. I considered getting some of those tiny marshmallows like the ones that come in cereal, but then I though about marshmallow fluff. I had to convinc Peeper that it would be ok to put the marshmallow on first, but when I explained that it would stick by itself, and didn't need the chocolate for that, she was okay with it.
When we were shopping, I came across some marshmallow Candy Melts and figured that would have to work better than fluff, and I think it did. For the chocolate, I used melted Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips. I didn't intend to go that fancy with the chocolate. I would've been just fine with Hershey's but the only other option Target had to offer was Nestle and I won't buy that, so Ghirardelli it is.
A day or two ago, I came up with the idea of adding sprinkles, and the plan was finalized, other than figuring out how to actually make it all stick together.
Introducing Marshmallow and Chocolate Enrobed Candy Canes.
These were the experimental ones, before I figured out that you have to dip them in marshmallow, then stick them in the freezer for a couple of minutes to solidify before dipping in the chocolate. (Then sprinkle, and back into the freezer.)
These are the final product. I avoided having a flat side where they were laid down by hanging them from a cooking rack placed over the top of a big mixing bowl, while in the freezer. The ends just barely touched the bottom of the bowl.
I was only able to make ten because out of a box of two dozen candy canes, that's all that weren't broken! Most had almost invisible cracks right at the hook.
I then took the remaining marshmallow and chocolate, along with the broken candy canes, crushed in the blender, and mixed that all together to make a "bark." I way over-mixed, so it's not pretty and swirly with candy canes sitting on top. It's sort of light brown and gritty with some pieces of candy cane embedded in it. But it's pretty yummy.
I still have a variety of chips left - milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter, maybe something else - and M&Ms and small candy canes, as well as both square and regular pretzels. I think I'll be dipping (drizzling) some pretzels and will probably make a bark or two, and I'm kind of considering peppermint fudge. We'll see what I have the oomph to actually accomplish over the next ten days or so.