Candy Cane's and Christmas go hand in hand. But only in recent years it would seem. It's not something that I remember at all from the Christmases of my childhood. I suspected they were an American import but a wee bit of Googling showed that their history appears to stretch back much further. The story goes that in 1670 the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral, Germany wished to keep the children quiet during the Christmas Nativity service. A local candy maker was commissioned to make some candy sticks and a curve was added to signify the shepherd's crooks. Alternative theories include the shape being a J for Jesus, the red and white symbolising blood and purity and the peppermint flavour from the biblical hyssop plant. It could of course be that they got their shape simply because it makes them easier to hang on a tree. Whatever their origins they have now firmly established themselves as an integral part of festive food and decor.
Necessity is the mother of invention and when I ran out of the crafty bits I needed to make Candy Cane Reindeer for the Cake & Candy stall at the School Christmas Fair, Candy Cane Rocky Road was born to use up the remaining sweets. If you fancy making some Rudolph's they are really very simple. Glue two candy canes together, hot glue gun works best. Wind brown pipe cleaners around them then glue on a pair of googly eyes and a red pom pom. Best to buy enough candy canes so you can make plenty of both.
Candy Cane Rocky Road
300g Milk Chocolate
300g Digestive Biscuits (I used Chocolate ones)
100g Mini Marshmallows
8 Candy Canes
Candy Cane Sprinkles (mine came from Home Bargains)
Red Edible Glitter
Put the digestives in a freezer bag and bash them with a rolling pin. You are aiming for a good mix of crumbs and chunks.
Do the same with the candy canes in a separate bag and remove a couple of tablespoonfuls of crushed canes and set them aside to use as a topping.
Melt the milk chocolate in a large bowl and fold through the crushed digestives and candy cane pieces, then add the mini marshmallows.
Tip into a lined traybake tin.
Flatten with a spatula and sprinkle over a mixture of the reserved candy cane pieces, candy cane sprinkles and red edible glitter.
Refrigerate until set and then cut into squares with a sharp knife.
Some more great festive ideas using Candy Canes from me and my food blogging friends below:
Peppermint Candy Cane Christmas Chocolates - Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary
Candy Cane Bark - Foodie Quine
Santa's Mintshake (A Peppermint Candy Cane Milkshake!) - Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary
Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies - Taming Twins
Two Ingredient Chocolate Fudge topped with Candy Canes - Eats Amazing