A bit of history, a recipe, a photo and a personal observation for you on National Candy Cane Day:

(1)History: If the internet can be trusted, candy canes were originally sticks without the bendy bits at the top, but were co-opted to be a Cristian symbol by making them look like a [Good] Shepard’s  crook. If that doesn’t sit well with you, you can choose to think of them as pre-formed for easy tree decoration.

(2) Recipe: I learned tonight that you could make candy canes, if, you know, you were house bound and crazy or something. This is definitely one of those things where I would never spend the time to try to replicate. But I have a hard candy-making phobia, so it just might be my neurosis talking! 🙂 If you are jonesing for something pepperminty, I would instead suggest that you try this lovely recipe my pal Stephanie put me on to, for Peppermint Marshmallows. Aren’t they pretty?

Stephanie’s tips, if you attempt this recipie, are:

– Don’t beat the final mixture for as long as is written, as it gets too thick and you can’t properly marble the colouring (as is evidenced by my mushy pink tops and white bottoms).
– Work quickly once you pour into the pan, as the mixture sets fairly quickly and you can’t smooth it down fast enough.
– Use spray oil very sparingly – it leaves a yucky taste on the marshmallows. Go for something very light and pat it off the marshmallow block before you cut it.

Stephanie’s marshmallows:

Pretty Packaging!

(3) I did take some photos of candy canes at my house. Only one candy cane was eaten in the process, which I thought was an entirely acceptable casualty ratio:

(4) Random Personal Observation: I like to eat candy canes by peeling back the plastic wrap a few inches, then sucking on them until I’ve made a very sharp point. That’s right- candy cane as weapon.

As I write this, there is 27 min left of Christmas Day. Hope yours was jolly, yummy, and bright, and that you find yourself with a little room left in your tummy on boxing day to try a candy cane. They will bring you back to your childhood. Try it, you’ll see! 🙂


ps- this has nothing to do with candy canes, but while taking photos of them I took this photo of my mom’s center-piece, which I love, so I’m posting it too!