With all the 'giving' in the air at the moment, I really felt like unleashing my creative juices and getting a bit adventurous. There really is nothing quite like seeing someone's face light up when they recieve a gift you've made yourself. Ahhhh.
But I didn't want to dip rum-balls. Or coconut balls, or any balls. I have a bit of an aversion to coating things in chocolate myself. There is always some annoyance, besides the fact that it's MESSY. The chocolate gets too gluggy, or it runs out straight away, or it runs off the ball as soon as you put it on the greaseproof paper, resulting in that undesirable flat part on the base of the rum-ball.
So when I saw this ka-yute idea on notsoidlehands.blogspot.com, I didn't think twice.
All it takes is cheap candy canes (I got mine from Aldi... $1 for 12!) and a block (or two) of dark chocolate.
Put the canes on greaseproof baking paper on a tray, and put in the oven on 200.C for around 10mins. I'm not sure exactly how long I left them in there, because I kept opening the oven to touch them for softness. You want them just soft enough to pinch them together so they are stuck in the heart shape. Leave them too long, and you have FLAT canes. Yep I did that...
The tutorial puts a lollypop stick up the middle to give it a handle, but I didn't worry about it. They definitely didn't need it for stablizing.
Once the cane hearts have cooled, pour in melted chocolate. Let it firm up a little before sprinkling on the broken pieces, or they will melt and sink. I smashed up the canes that snapped when I was getting them out of the wrappers with a plastic bag and rolling pin.
So here's mine:
I also found these adorable Martha Stewart tags to label them with:
It only took me an evening, and even then, I wasn't busy the whole time... You have to wait for the candy to cool etc. So I was super pleased with the outcome!! And yes, everyone loved them :)