If you asked me if I like candy canes, I would probably say no. I don't ever just eat a candy cane, or anything else peppermint. But if you asked me if I like candy cane ice cream...well, then I would say "this half gallon is all for me, right?" One of my favorite things about this time of year is candy cane ice cream.
A few weeks ago, my friend Rachel, shared with me a store bought candy covered almond. It was good, it was crunch-y, cream-y, candy cane-y and delicious. She told me how much she paid for a small bag of them...and then I said, "we can make these". So we did. And this is how:
First you need some peppermint candy canes. To my surprise, it is much easier to find cherry flavored than peppermint. I wouldn't recommend cherry for this recipe.
You need raw almonds.
And you need white chocolate.
Start by cutting or shaving your chocolate. A serrated knife works best. (ha-ha Tara, serrated knife...good times).
If you just put a big hunk of chocolate in the microwave or double broiler, you will end up with some of the chocolate starting to burn, while you still have a big chunk un-melted. This allows the chocolate to melt evenly.
Next, you smash up a candy cane. I put mine in a zippy bag and smash with a big spoon.
I wish I had some vanilla ice cream on hand...
Another thing about the chocolate. You need to put about 3/4 of the chocolate in either a double broiler or you can do what I did and put it in a bowl, microwave for 15 mins (CORRECTION: 15 seconds!), stir, microwave for 15 mins seconds, stir. (If I was doing a big batch I would use a double broiler. This was a small batch since I wasn't really sure if it would turn out well.)
Once your chocolate starts to melt stir it all until it's smooth. Now you add the remaining 1/4 of your chocolate to the melted chocolate and stir. This "tempers" the chocolate. It helps it not burn or get lumpy while you dip.
Now that you have tempered your chocolate, go ahead and add your candy cane dust. I saved a little bit of mine to sprinkle on top at the end, but you don't have to do that. Stir the candy cane into the chocolate.
Add your almonds.
Stir and stir until they are all coated.
I dumped the bowl onto my cookie cooling rack that I had placed on top of a cookie sheet. This allowed the chocolate to drip down instead of puddle. I used a spoon to help spread them out. I wanted them to be individual almonds, not a big cluster. Once they are all spread out, you can sprinkle your left over dust on top.
You can let them dry on the counter like this for a bit, but if you have your son and the neighbor boys doing their best to contain themselves before digging in, you can put them in the freezer for a few minutes and they will harden up real fast.
Give the kids a few to hold them off while you get a couple last photos...and then try to taste one yourself before they are gone!
These would make a great thank-you or small holiday gift. Put them in a clear baggie, tied with a ribbon. I have a few other candy cane treats in mind this year. I will keep a list of them as they post in my recipe section under "Candy Cane Love".