There they sat. 
Each time I opened the pantry the little pile seemed to beg me to pay attention.
It was sad really. 
A reminder of that warm, happy time of year that always produces feelings of love and joy. 
And yet, this left-over pile that was a treat relished during the holiday season  sat abandoned and forlorn just days after.
 
Surely there was something that could be done with my leftover candy canes! 
 

“Round Two” for Candy Canes!

Grandma had always crushed candy canes inside a plastic bag and then sprinkled it through my tapioca pudding.  I suppose the same thing could be done with instant vanilla pudding.

But, I needed more ideas, so the search began.  Here are some ideas you might like to try as we approach Valentine’s Day.

1.  Candy Cane Art – leave messages of love in crazy and unexpected places, and/or on top of
     presents. 

Photo source: 
www.christynelson.net
 

    Place a sweet heart treat on top of your loved one’s pillow
    Tape a candy cane heart to the top of their notebook or briefcase. 
    Arrange a heart in the center of tonight’s dinner plate. 

    Look for other places to leave this “sweet heart” surprise.

Photo Source:  from the book: 
Miraculous, Magical Moments in Minutes:  Over 500 Quick, Easy Activities for Adults and Children to Share
by Becky B. Baxa
 Available from www.Amazon.com
 

 
 
 
2.  Candy Cane Sweet Heart Pops or Candy Cane Sweet Heart Treat
 
How to get started:
 
1.  Collect all of your left-over candy canes from the holiday season.
 


2.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper.

3.  Arrange your left over candy canes on top of a cardboard pop stick (purchased at a craft or cake store) as illustrated in the photos at the bottom of this post.

4.  In a double boiler, melt chocolate wafers  or chocolate bark, usually found at the grocery store in the baked goods aisle.  White, dark or milk chocolate can be used.  You can even add food coloring to the white chocolate and make it any color you want!



Photo source:
 http://www.glorioustreats.com
 

5.  When the chocolate has melted and is a smooth consistency, drop one spoonful at a time into your heart shapes. Smooth the surface within the heart “frame” with the back of the spoon and spread the chocolate to the edges.

Or, you can use a pastry bag to fill the hearts as shown below. 

If you don’t have a pastry bag:

1.  Clip the corner off of a Ziploc baggie and use it as a pastry bag. 
2.  Or, use parchment paper. Cut out a triangle piece, then roll it into a cone shape. Tape the sides, cut off the pointed tip, fill with chocolate and pipe the chocolate into your hearts.


Photo Source: 
www.zimonawhim.com

6.  Sprinkle with crushed candy, commercial sprinkles of any color combination or leave plain.  You could even add a few miniature marshmallows for a variety.

7.  Allow candy to sit until completely cool.  At this point the candy should peel easily off the paper.

8.  Serve pops in a clear glass container filled with colorful candies (like M & M’s) using your heart pops like flowers in a vase.  This would make a fun centerpiece or gift for someone.

Note:  if you don’t have pop sticks, make your sweet hearts without the stick!  These would make lovely favors at each person’s plate on Valentine’s Day.

 
Photo Credit and Original Source for a complete set of instructions
that include using your oven to make these treats,
visit this website.
 
 

Keep in mind…. You don’t have to wait until Valentine’s Day to tell someone you love them! You could surprise your family with these treats any time! 

 
Use candy cane pops or treats as a gift for someone special.
 
Photo source: 
http://barbschram.blogspot.com/2012/01/stamp-simply-ribbon-inspiration.html
see more lovely ideas on this blog site!

 

Photo source:
www.mismbs.wordpress.com
 
 
 
This blog post was inspired by the book: Miraculous, Magical Moments in Minutes : Over 500 Quick, Easy Activities for Adults and Children to Share
by Becky B. Baxa available from Amazon.com
180,full color, pages of non-stop fun!

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