Chocolate Strawberry S’mores

Strawberry Chocolate SmoresLast week I made chocolate graham crackers and strawberry marshmallows; it was only natural that they came together as s’mores.  It’s February and 20°F outside, so yeah, too cold to start a bonfire in Wisconsin.  I ‘d be lying if I said the thought didn’t cross my mind, but I settled for the broiler.  This was my first time making s’mores in the oven and let me tell you, it was easy peasy.  It was less messy to make than over a fire, but there’s really no way to eat a s’more without getting marshmallows all over your fingers (or your hair – what a pain!).  I decided not to, but you could add a piece of chocolate, or spread nutella /peanut butter on the graham cracker or add your own twist to it.Strawberry Chocolate Smores

The heart graham crackers didn’t break apart in the middle as perfectly as they look, I had to use a knife to help.  The squares did with no problem though.Strawberry Chocolate Smores

 Just let your broiler preheat on high.  Then place the bottom graham cracker on a baking sheet and top it with a marshmallow.  Broil it for 1-2 minutes, remove the pan, and let it cool a bit.  Place the top graham cracker on and you have yourself a s’more!

Homemade Strawberry Marshmallows

Strawberry Marshmallows  I don’t love store-bought marshmallows.  They’re too sweet and spongy, and taste too artificial for me. Yes, they have their use for rice krispies treats and s’mores, but that’s as far as my concern for them goes.  You can understand my confusion then, when I made peppermint marshmallows this past Christmas and fell in love.  It’s a whole different ballgame.  The texture and taste is so much different, and I actually want to eat these by the handful.  These strawberry marshmallows are just as good and PERFECT for Valentine’s Day.  I made the most adorable Strawberry Chocolate S’mores with them!Strawberry Marshmallows

It’s not as hard as it might seem to make them, it just takes a little patience, and if you don’t have a stand mixer, some soapy water to clean the base of your hand mixer.Strawberry Marshmallows

Strawberry Marshmallows (adapted from Betty Crocker)

  • Butter for greasing
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 1/2 tsp strawberry extract
  • 12-15 drops red food color
  1. Generously grease bottom and sides of 9×9 baking dish with butter; dust with 1 tablespoon of the powdered sugar.  In bowl of stand mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water to soften; set aside.
  2. In 2-quart saucepan, heat granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved.  Heat to boiling; cook without stirring 30-45 minutes to 240°F on candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture dropped into cup of very cold water forms a ball that holds its shape but is pliable; remove from heat.  If this is going very slowly, you can increase heat to medium-low.
  3. Slowly pour syrup into softened gelatin while beating on low speed. Increase speed to high; beat 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is white and has almost tripled in volume. Add strawberry extract and food coloring; you can adjust flavor and color to your taste.  Beat on high speed 1 minute.  Pour into baking dish, patting lightly with wet hands.  Let stand uncovered at least 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Dust cutting board with about 1 tablespoon powdered sugar.  Place remaining powdered sugar in small bowl.  To remove marshmallow mixture, loosen sides from dish and gently lift in one piece onto cutting board.  Using sharp knife greased with butter, cut into squares of desired size (1 inch by 1 inch works well).  Dust bottom and sides of each marshmallow by dipping into bowl of powdered sugar.  Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 weeks.

Notes: Don’t worry if your sugar mixture looks yellow as it boils, it will turn bright white when you start to beat it.  I am very impatient, and the heating steps were taking longer than I felt they should have, so I actually had my heat at 3-4/10 to speed it up, and it was fine.  For the heart marshmallows you see above, I sliced a piece in half to reduce the thickness, then pressed down with a buttered cookie cutter.  I tried this with a smaller flower shaped cookie cutter that didn’t work as well – I think because the shape was not as simple as the heart.

Homemade Chocolate Graham Crackers

Chocolate Graham CrackersHow cute are these homemade chocolate graham crackers?  And they were pretty easy to make, too!  Chocolate Graham Crackers
I cut them into hearts for Valentine’s day, but you could do any shape, or just leave them rectangular!  They tasted pretty close to the store-bought ones as far as flavor goes.  They weren’t quite as crispy right out of the oven, but they hardened a bit after they were completely cool.  I think I can safely say I won’t be buying graham crackers again!Chocolate Graham Crackers
Chocolate Graham CrackersChocolate Graham Crackers: (from The Kitchenarian)
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons cold milk
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit in your cookie sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, cocoa, sugar, and baking powder together. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender.
  3. Combine the honey and milk in a small bowl, stir until the honey dissolves completely in the milk.
  4. Add the liquid into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix in with a fork until the dough comes together. Add a little more milk if necessary.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and fold it over gently 10 to 12 times, until smooth.  Divide the dough in half and keep the remaining dough covered in the bowl.  Transfer half the dough to a piece of parchment.
  6. Roll the dough into a rectangle shape until it is 1/16-inch thick. (It will be approx. 10 x 14 inches.) Trim the edges and prick the dough evenly with a fork.  Place the rolled-out dough pieces on the lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough. For the hearts, I rolled the dough, pressed the cookie cutter into it, and peeled up the scrap dough, and added it to the remaining half, which I shaped into a rectangle as instructed.
  7. Bake the crackers for 12-15 minutes, or until you begin to smell chocolate. Halfway through baking, sprinkle top of crackers with sugar.
  8. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with a little more sugar and immediately cut them into rectangles with a pizza wheel or knife if desired. Transfer to a cooling rack.

Notes: Be patient when cutting in the butter, don’t stop until it’s crumbly – it won’t stick together like a dough, but make sure the butter is well distributed.  I ran a pizza cutter gently across the top before baking so the paired pieces would break apart when cooled (and to make the break in the heart), and then cut them into squares after they’d cooled for a couple minutes.

Strawberry Shortcake Rice Krispies Treats

Strawberry Shortcake Rice Krispies TreatsWhen I was buying marshmallows for the Cake Batter Rice Krispies Treats I made last week, a bag of strawberry marshmallows caught my eye.  I immediately thought of the post for strawberry shortcake rice krispies I had seen a couple weeks ago and I knew I had to put my own twist on it!  Strawberry Shortcake Rice Krispies Treats

I was hoping to find dried strawberries, but the closest my go-to grocery store had was strawberry flavored dried cranberries.  I thought I was settling, but they worked marvelously. The slight tartness of the dried cranberries cut the sweetness of the marshmallows in the most delicious way.  The marshmallows have a mild strawberry taste, but you could add 1/2-1 tsp of strawberry extract to enhance it!  Overall, these were a big success!Strawberry Shortcake Rice Krispies TreatsStrawberry Shortcake Rice Krispies Treats

Strawberry Shortcake Rice Krispies Treats

  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 bag of strawberry marshmallows
  • 6 cupscrisped rice cereal
  • 1 heaping cup of cubed angel food cake
  • 1/3 cup strawberry flavored dried cranberries
  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir continuously until melted.  Remove from heat.
  2. Add the cereal and stir to evenly coat.  Add the angel food cake and dried cranberries and fold until distributed throughout.
  3. Use buttered hands or a piece of waxed paper to press the mixture into a 13×9 baking dish.  Let it cool completely before cutting and serving.Strawberry Shortcake Rice Krispies Treats

Cake Batter Rice Krispies Treats

Cake Batter Rice Krispies TreatsCake batter anything easily earns my love, but cake batter rice krispies treats?  Well, now we’re talking some serious delicious business.  It’s a whole new world; one filled with yummy treats so cute you almost don’t want to eat them…and lots of sprinkles!Cake Batter Rice Krispies Treats

Sprinkles make everything better.  When I was younger, I would actually buy quins just to eat them by the handful… What can I say, I love sugar!  Don’t know what a quin is?  They’re the flat-ish sprinkles that come in a million different shapes (I even have a container with cows, dinosaurs, and dolphins).  If you’re craving a thorough explanation on types of sprinkles, check out Love From The Oven’s Sprinkle School.  Cake Batter Rice Krispies Treats

It’s true though, sprinkles do make everything better -especially these cake batter rice krispies treats.  All those sprinkles are so pretty, it just makes me happy!  This is the perfect twist on  traditional Rice Krispies Treats.  They were so delicious with a subtle cake batter flavor and were super marshmallow-y.  See how the marshmallow just stretches apart?Cake Batter Rice Krispies Treats

Ooey, Gooey, Deliciousness!  You could make them in a 9×9 inch pan for a thicker, more traditional treat, but I pressed them into a 9×13 inch pan.  They were a little thinner, which made it easier to cut them out into shapes.  I cut them with heart cookie cutters, dipped them in pink candy melts, and decorated them with -you guessed it- more sprinkles!  Completely adorable.  The perfect Valentine’s Day treat!  Not like they lasted until anywhere near V-Day, they were gone after a couple days.Cake Batter Rice Krispies Treats

Craving more cake batter amazingness?  Check out these Funfetti Cake Batter Pancakes or these No-Bake Cake Batter Truffles or Cupcake Pops!

Cake Batter Rice Krispies Treats

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/3 cup yellow cake mix
  • 3 cups crisped rice cereal
  • 3 Tbsp sprinkles + more for decorating

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir continuously until melted. Remove from heat.
  2. Add cake mix and stir until no clumps remain.
  3. Add the cereal and stir to evenly coat. Add sprinkles and keep stirring until distributed throughout.
  4. Use buttered hands or a piece of waxed paper to press the mixture into a 9x9 baking dish. Cut and serve.
  5. OR press them into a 9x13 dish so they're thinner, then use a buttered cookie cutter to cut shapes out. Dip them in melted candy melts and decorate with sprinkles because that's just way cuter!
http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/01/24/cake-batter-rice-krispies-treats/

*This recipe/post originally appeared on my former blog elisebakes.wordpress.com*

Chocolate Covered Caramels

Homemade Caramels via elisebakesIt’s no secret that I love caramel.  I stumbled across this recipe on pinterest and knew I would be adding these caramels to my list of things to make for Christmas.  I followed the outline exactly.  If you have any hesitation about making caramel (I know I did before my first batch of salted caramel sauce), fret not; they have a video tutorial on the page as well as an extensive tutorial on homemade caramels, again complete with video.  I doubled the recipe and let it set in a 9×9 baking pan – you can never have too much caramel.  I let my sugar/water reach 320 F, but mine had already turned a darker amber color (as opposed to the lighter color on the video); they still tasted great!  Below I have added their recipe (but doubled the ingredients) and added my notes.  It’s easier than it looks and less far tedious than the very long instruction list would suggest!

Chocolate Covered Caramels (from inspiredtaste.net)Homemade Caramels via elisebakes

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups sugar
  • chocolate for dipping, I did both semi-sweet and dark
  • optional: sea salt for sprinkling
  1. Lightly oil a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan then measure and cut a piece of parchment paper that will fit inside the pan and come up the sides by at least 1 inch. Next, lightly oil the parchment paper and place into the pan. Set the pan aside.
  2. Cut each stick of butter into 8 pieces then combine with heavy cream in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 minutes until hot and butter has melted. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan combine the water and corn syrup. Then, add the sugar, but try your best not to splatter the sugar up the sides of the pan. Now, use a spoon to gently stir the sugar into the water and corn syrup, just moistening the sugar.
  4. Heat over medium heat until the sugar has come to a boil. Then, cover with a lid for 1 minute. This adds steam/moisture to the pan, so any sugar that may have stuck to the sides of the pan melts and falls back into the boiling sugar.
  5. Remove lid then attach a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Then, cook sugar for 5 to 10 minutes [closer to 20 for me – maybe I didn’t have the heat high enough], until the sugar reaches a temperature of 320 degrees F (160 degrees C). At this temperature, the sugar will take on a light amber color around the edges of the pan. [Mine was a amber throughout]
  6. The moment the sugar reaches 320 degrees F (160 degrees C), carefully pour about a sixth of the butter and cream mixture then stir [since I doubled it, I added closer to one tenth at a time], using the base of the candy thermometer to incorporate it. Repeat with the remaining cream and butter. The sugar will bubble violently as you add the butter and cream – so do this carefully and slowly to prevent the mixture from bubbling over the sides of the saucepan.
  7. Continue cooking for another 5 to 10 minutes [again, it took me a little longer], until the caramel reaches a temperature of 240 degrees F. This will create a soft caramel, if you want slightly harder caramels, bring the temperature closer to 245 degrees F. [I let mine go until 245, I like a chewy caramel]
  8. The moment the caramel reaches your desired temperature, pour into the prepared loaf pan. Then, let the caramel cool 3 1/2 hours.
  9. Unmold the caramel. If the caramel is too soft to work with, place into the refrigerator 30 to 45 minutes to firm up. Then, use a large sharp knife to cut into your desired shape. We like to cut into 1-inch by 1-inch squares.
  10. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
  11. Use a large knife to chop chocolate into small pieces. Separate about 1/3 cup of the chocolate and set aside then add the remaining chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl. Add the butter then microwave for 30 to 45 seconds, stir then repeat until melted (stirring after every 30 to 45-seconds). Once the chocolate has melted, add the 1/3 cup of chocolate and stir until smooth and shiny.
  12. Use two forks to dip each caramel into the melted chocolate then place onto waxed paper. Place a little salt on top of each caramel then allow chocolate to cool and set.
  13. Wrap caramels in plastic wrap or waxed paper and enjoy immediately, or you can refrigerate or freeze for enjoying later.Homemade Caramels via elisebakes

No-Bake Cake Batter Truffles

Cake Batter TrufflesI can’t tell you how many times I am tempted to leave out the eggs in a cookie recipe and just eat the dough.  No, I mean it; I can’t tell you because it would be impossible to count…it happens every time I make cookies.  These little cake batter truffles are perfect to satisfy that dough/batter craving! Cake Batter Truffles

Depending on what size you make them, you can get anywhere from 30-40 truffles.  I’ve used this recipe four or five times now; it’s perfect!  I used them to make Cupcake-shaped cake pops!Cake Batter Truffles

No-Bake Cake Batter Truffles (from Chef-in-Training)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup yellow cake mix, dry
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3-4 Tbsp milk
  • 2 Tbsp sprinkles
  • 16 oz white candy melts or vanilla chips
  1. Beat butter and sugar until combined.
  2. Add flour, cake mix, vanilla, and salt and beat until combined throughout.
  3. Add milk by the tablespoon until you reach a dough consistency (I usually end up using just 3 tbsp).  The dough will be sort of crumbly, but you should still be able to form balls out of it.
  4. Mix in sprinkles and form balls out of the dough.
  5. Chill balls in the freezer for 15 minutes or so.
  6. Melt candy melts according to package directions and using two forks, dip the balls in the melts.  Let harden before moving.Cake Batter Truffles

Gingersnaps with Orange-Ginger Cream Filling

Cream-Filled GingersnapsThere is something wonderful about Christmas.  Do you know what it is?  COOKIES!  Okay okay…there are lots of wonderful things about Christmas, way too many to count actually!  It is my absolute favorite time of year!!  I’m not one bit embarrassed to start rocking out to Christmas tunes the day after Halloween,  I just can’t help it!   Cream-Filled GingersnapsCream-Filled Gingersnaps

I got this recipe from Recipe Girl; I doubled it and made a couple adjustments, but nothing major, then I dipped them in white chocolate. Yum!  The cookie itself is light and crisp around the outside and gets slightly more dense and almost chewy in the middle of the larger ones.  It has a wonderful flavor that is not too strong/overpowering. Cream-Filled GingersnapsCream-Filled Gingersnaps

The cookies were a little crispy at first, but after they were filled, they became much more soft (for that reason, I wouldn’t make the cookie alone without underbaking it a bit).  The orange-ginger cream had a very mild flavor that paired really well with the cookie and the white chocolate took it to the next level!  These are definitely something I will make again!Cream-Filled Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps:

Yield: 4-5 dozen depending on size

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, and 1 cup granulated sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add molasses, egg, and vanilla, and beat at medium-high until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture and mix until well combined.
  4. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°. Place remaining 1 cup granulated sugar in a shallow bowl.
  6. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough and shape into a ball (I did this for the first batch but I wanted them smaller so I did even tablespoons for the rest); roll in sugar to coat. Arrange about 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
  7. Using the bottom of a glass that has been lightly greased, then dipped in sugar, flatten dough into 1/4-inch-thick disks.
  8. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, or until firm. Remove from oven and immediately transfer cookies to a cooling rack.

Orange-Ginger Cream Filling:

  • 1/4 cup (4 ozs) cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp heavy cream
  • 1/2  ground ginger
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar , plus more as needed
  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients; mix until smooth, adding more powdered sugar as needed (filling should have consistency of very thick frosting).
  2. With a small spatula, frost bottoms of half the cookies (1-2 tsp depending on size of cookie); top with remaining cookie to make sandwich.

White Chocolate Dip

  • 1 package white chocolate chips
  • 1-3 tsp vegetable oil
  1. Melt white chocolate chips and 1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil in a microwave safe dish for a minute at 70% power.
  2. Stir well, then continue to melt in increments of 15-20 seconds until completely melted.  If your chocolate seems to thick, you can add more vegetable oil to thin it out.
  3. Dip cookies in chocolate and let set.

English Toffee

English Toffee via elisebakesNothing says Christmas like homemade toffee.  Okay, maybe there are a few things that say Christmas better than toffee BUT it’s still delicious!  We’ll let that logic be – gimme a break, it’s the day after Christmas :)  I have been baking and cooking up a storm this past week and am pretty exhausted!

I have to be honest: I screwed this recipe up when I was making it.  I hesitated before cranking the heat up to medium-high, but I did it anyway and overcooked my butter-sugar mixture.  I kept on trucking.  It separated into two layers, so I just poured off the liquid ‘butter’ layer and added the vanilla to the bottom.  It foamed, I poured off the liquid again, mixed up the caramel like layer and spread it out and did everything else as listed.  And hey, it turned out great!  Tasted like toffee, looked like toffee, crunched like toffee – I’d say it’s still toffee.

What you should do is listed below:

English Toffee via elisebakesEnglish Toffee (from in-la-la-land.com)

  • 1/2 cup sugarEnglish Toffee via elisebakes
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • Dash salt
  • 1/2  tsp vanilla
  • 1/2  cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3  cup finely chopped nuts
  1. Cover a baking dish with foil.
  2. Melt butter and sugar over low heat a couple (4-5) drops of water.  When combined, turn heat up to medium (/medium-high), stirring constantly. It will foam rapidly while the water boils out.  Continue to stir as the mixture collapses and thickens – don’t stop until you reach a dark caramel color.
  3. Remove from heat and add vanilla; the mixture will foam again then collapse.
  4. Pour over foil and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  5. When the chocolate chips have melted enough, spread them evenly across the toffee and sprinkle with nuts.

Peppermint Marshmallows and Chocolate Covered Candy Canes

    Homemade Peppermint MarshmallowsThese peppermint marshmallows and chocolate covered candy canes make perfect Christmas gifts with a jar of hot chocolate mix! Chocolate-Dipped Candy CanesHomemade Peppermint Marshmallows

I was a little hesitant about making homemade marshmallows, but it was actually very easy – a little time consuming, but easy!  It got a little messy because I used a hand mixer as opposed to a stand mixer, but my mixer came clean with some warm water and soap.  Definitely something I will do again!Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

Peppermint Marshmallows (from Betty Crocker)

  • Butter for greasing
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 8 to 10 drops red food colorHomemade Peppermint Marshmallows
  1. Generously grease bottom and sides of 11×7-inch (2-quart) glass baking ish with butter; dust with 1 tablespoon of the powdered sugar. In bowl of stand mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water to soften; set aside.
  2. In 2-quart saucepan, heat granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Heat to boiling [it was taking a long time for it to get to boiling, so I turned the heat up to medium, stirring constantly – when it started boiling, I turned it back down]; cook without stirring about 30 minutes to 240°F on candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture dropped into cup of very cold water forms a ball that holds its shape but is pliable; remove from heat. [It took longer than 30 minutes on low, and I stopped mine at 235°F or so and it worked fine.  I was concerned because mine had taken on a slightly yellow color, but once I started beating it, it was completely white.]
  3. Slowly pour syrup into softened gelatin while beating on low speed. Increase speed to high; beat 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is white and has almost tripled in volume. Add peppermint extract; beat on high speed 1 minute. Pour into baking dish, patting lightly with wet hands. Drop food color randomly onto top of marshmallow mixture. Pull table knife through food color to create swirl pattern over top. Let stand uncovered at least 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Dust cutting board with about 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Place remaining powdered sugar in small bowl. To remove marshmallow mixture, loosen sides from dish and gently lift in one piece onto cutting board. Using sharp knife greased with butter, cut into squares of desired size (1 inch by 1 inch works well). Dust bottom and sides of each marshmallow by dipping into bowl of powdered sugar. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 weeks.Chocolate-Dipped Candy Canes

Chocolate-Dipped Candy CanesShaped Candy Canes dipped in Chocolate

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.  Cover a baking pan with parchment paper.  Lay out candy canes on parchment paper leaving 1/2 – 1 inch between each.  It is easier to work with a couple at a time.
  2. Heat for 5-10 minutes and remove pan from oven.  Keep an eye on them; if you overheat, they will melt and flatten!
  3. Pick up a candy cane and gently pull to shape it with your hands.  If you don’t pick it up, it may stick to the parchment paper and stretch the swirls/stripes on the back side.  If it becomes to hard to shape, just place it back in the oven for a couple minutes.  I found it helpful to heat for a smaller amount of time, shape a little, heat again and continue to shape.
  4. Allow to cool completely before handling.
  5. Dip in melted chocolate if you’d like to.