Homemade Candy Canes

by Kate on December 1, 2013

Homemade Candy Canes - FoodBabbles.com

Happy Sunday! Perhaps you’ve noticed I skipped out on The Weekend Whisk this weekend. Sorry but I’ll be back next weekend with a few pictures from my time at Mixed this past week, recipes galore and of course, a glimpse into the life o’ me from the coming week. I’m sure it will be adventurous and riveting … or not. But this weekend I’m giving you candy. A candy cane recipe!

No candy is quite so classic and iconic as the humble candy cane. Hung from Christmas trees or peeking out of Christmas morning stockings, sprinkled over chocolate to create peppermint bark, stirred into a large cup of hot chocolate or simply licked by the tongues of children, candy canes are a prominent fixture in our holiday traditions each year. It’s never really occurred to me how they’re made or to try making my own. Despite having made several types of candy over the years like cherry-pistachio nougat, vanilla fleur de del caramelstruffles and pate de fruit, I tend to always think that I’m not much of a candy-maker. In fact, each and every time I make candy I find it to be a true challenge in the most wondrous sense of the word. First On The First had tended to lead to a lot of candy making I’ve noticed. It all started with Lavender-Vanilla Bean Marshmallows that were incredible! I remember being so surprised by the ease of making them however, it was a messy project indeed.

We all decided at one point to try making our favorite big name candy. My choice was Peppermint Patties which were another surprisingly easy candy to make. As I type, I think perhaps I need to renege my previous statement about candy making being a true challenge. Perhaps candy making is a challenge most of the time but sometimes, it’s easier than I expected. Maybe I start a candy project thinking I’ll screw it up only to realize that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. But then there was the Pumpkin Spice Penuche Fudge. Not so easy the first time around.

Homemade Candy Canes - FoodBabbles.comWell, this month the First On The First crew is back with another candy challenge. These candy canes. I’m not gonna lie, this is something that takes practice. My first few attempts ended up resulting in a lovely pile of pepperminty mess. That being said, I figured out that if I worked fast and kept on trying that I could indeed create something that looked remarkably candy cane-like! Yes, I screwed up at least half of my candy but the other half yielded 6 wonderful candy canes. I think you really need to have a feel for pulling candy and if you’ve never done it before (like me), you’ll need a few tries to get it working. Now having done it once though, I’m confident that if I were to take on this challenge again I would have a whole batch of candy canes. I also notices that once you start getting the two colors swirled together to stop while you’re ahead otherwise you end up losing the two distinct colors. I really thought that was pretty though!

For someone who clearly has made a bunch of candy over the years but doesn’t particularly enjoy the process, I must say that this was a lot of fun and at the end I felt incredibly accomplished. And really, if I can do this … watch out world, I feel like I can tackle any candy now. Since I had NO previous candy cane making experience I definitely didn’t create an original recipe for this challenge. You can find the recipe I followed HERE.

Homemade Candy Canes - FoodBabbles.comSo now the question remains, how did everyone else fair? I cannot wait to see! Check it out below and we would love to see you attempt candy canes sometime this month as well. Not up for candy making? How about sticky toffee pudding? For January that’s what’s on the menu. Hope to see yours!

Homemade Candy Canes by Anna {Hidden Ponies}

Candy Cane Red Velvet Jars by Suitcases and Suites

Candy Canes for Cheaters by Jenn Larson- Go Running, Mama!

Homemade Candy Canes by poet in the pantry

Homemade Candy Canes by Omeletta



One Year Ago: Vietnamese Cinnamon Rugelach

Two Years Ago: Sourdough Bread (Fail!) but some cute pictures of Molly as a newborn, me pregnant and trick-or-treating in the snow which seems random in a December post but totally wasn’t

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

suzanne December 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Oh my you are adventurous aren’t you. They look really good and I can imagine how difficult they were to make, timing wise with the pulling. I’m very impressed, would never have thought to try that.They look great and I bet they taste delicious.


Kate December 1, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I definitely learned to work quickly and well, since it’s incredibly hot molten sugar the fast thing wasn’t an issue 😉 Thanks Suzanne!


Carrie @ poet in the pantry December 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Nice job! This was my first crack at hard candy (ha!) and it definitely scared me. Even though I’ve made candy before. I think Penuche really put a dent in my confidence. 😉 It’s all about the feel, just like you said, and knowing when it feels right. You did great!


Kate December 1, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Oh man, penuche had me gun shy too! And this challenge I knew would truly be a challenge for me. It’s the very first time I’ve done hard candy as well. But loved it! Now I feel more confident about candy making than I did before 🙂


Jenn- Go Running, Mama! December 1, 2013 at 2:46 pm

As usual, totally impressed!


Kate December 1, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Thank you Jenn!


Terra December 1, 2013 at 6:20 pm

I need to get adventurous and make some delicious candy! I love that you shared the pile of frustration with us, helps us to see candy making is not always easy. Your candy canes look wonderful….wonderfully delicious! Hugs, Terra


Kate December 1, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Thank you so much for your kind words Terra! That’s the thing I love about First on the First best. It’s always a challenge. Whether it challenge my skills in the kitchen or my creativity, it’s always something new.


laurasmess December 1, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Wow, these look seriously difficult to make. I’m always quite scared of hot sugar so I tend to avoid making candy of any kind! Your finished (successful) candy canes look beautiful though, and I am pretty sure that I’d happily crunch my way through the pile of sugary mess too! Awesome job. Very impressed! xx


Kate December 1, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Thanks Laura! I think once you get a groove going, it’s an easy task. But one that clearly takes practice and quick work. It was fun though! And tasty too 🙂


Anna (Hidden Ponies) December 3, 2013 at 1:59 am

I love it, such persistence! So glad I’m not the only one who got a solid 6 candy canes and a pile of pepperminty goodness 🙂


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