Pinstriped Puff-brellas

COOKING ADVENTURE #49: Candy Cane Marshmallow Mug Treats

Candy cane Marshmallows

So, I may have grossly over-estimated how difficult this Cooking Adventure was going to be. It was originally supposed to be part of last week’s post, but because of finishing up Book 2, work, and Christmas parties, it was just too many things to try and do. However, if you are looking for a ridiculously simple and festive Christmas treat to make either with friends, kids, or even by yourself, I think you’ll enjoy this one very much.

Marshmallows, mini candy canes, Hershey’s chocolate chips, and parchment paper; its the basic ingredients to a sugar fest of fun. I’d found this neat little treat whilst browsing on Pinterest a few weeks ago. It comes from this blog. I’ve found that Pinterest is its own attention-sucking dimension that is near impossible to escape from once you’ve entered. So many irresistible crafts and recipes, hilarious jokes, and cute kitty pictures. (Yes, I go there for the cat photos, too. I can’t help it.) But since I’ve joined the site, I’ve found tons and tons of ideas for future cooking adventures, so that will most definitely spill over into next year. It is a powerful resource and every bit as valuable as other social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Anyway, enough about that. Assembling these delicious mug-dipping delicacies is probably the easiest thing I’ve done since I started Cooking Adventures. First, you must unwrap a bunch of mini candy canes. Simple enough right? Candy canes have officially joined the ranks of evil, presided over by onions, hot peppers, and Matilda. All because of their wrappers. Why must it be so damn difficult to unwrap a candy cane? I’ll tell you why. They use the kind of plastic that has an irresistible attraction to human skin, the stuff that never lets go no matter how much flailing around you do. It took me nearly twice as long to unwrap these candy canes as it should have. Each time I’d manage to pry one wrapper off, one of the old ones would somehow make contact with me and stick to me again. Soaking my hands in cold water finally put a stop to all of that.

Next, I dropped about six or seven of these mini candy canes into a plastic sandwich bag and sealed it. Now: to crush them. My method involves using the step stool in my kitchen and leaning on it to effectively smash the candy canes into oblivion. Well… sort of. It ended up completely crushing certain portions of the candy canes and leaving others fully intact. For a more effective solution, I’d recommend a rolling pin or perhaps your friend having a bad day could do it for you with a hammer. Whatever works.

I then dumped some chocolate chips into a small bowl along with a couple tablespoons of warm water. Then I microwaved it for 30 seconds until the chocolate chips were soft and shiny. I mixed them with a spoon, allowing them to lose their shape and swirl into a rich brown smooth paste. I added a little cocoa powder to thicken it. I ripped open a package of marshmallows. I love marshmallows. Memories of sitting at friend’s campfires, toasting them on chilly summer nights run rampant in my memory. I didn’t get to have any this summer. I’m kind of bummed.

I skewered the marshmallow with a mini candy cane, creating a useless, pinstriped, white, puff umbrella. Then, I dipped it into the chocolate, completely coating the bottom half of the marshmallow. I’d dumped the crushed candy cane pieces into another bowl earlier and placed my choco-fied marshmallow into those. It left the bottom coated with jagged red and white flecks… and sometimes whole chunks. The kitchen smelled of chocolate and peppermint, a combo that always makes me excited to eat whatever creation is being concocted. I placed the finished treat on a sheet of parchment paper and repeated the steps. Finally, I pushed the sheet of finished treats into the freezer and let them set for a few hours.

I took them to work and of course, they were met with oogling eyes and eager mouths within minutes of me placing them on the table. I personally can’t wait to try them with a mug of hot cocoa. Just hang the candy cane over the side of the mug and voila! Your cocoa will instantly absorb some peppermint flavor!

Next week on Cooking Adventures, with the help of a couple friends in this years last co-op adventure, we will be attempting the ultimate gingerbread house-esque creation; The Tardis from Doctor Who in all its blue glory. Stay tuned!

~KSilva

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