Want to make a gift that is inexpensive, fairly easy, and not cheap-and-tacky looking? Here’s the perfect solution. Hot chocolate stirrers.
Perhaps this gift is a little American considering our typical hot Christmas weather, but if all else fails, they can be eaten raw when it’s too stinking hot to drink hot chocolate.
So let’s get started.
Candy canes (one candy cane per stirrer, and one extra)
Marshmallows (two for each stirrer)
Chocolate (a packet of melts, quantity varies)
Clear or Christmassy cellophane (for gift wrapping)
Get a huge and sharp knife and chop the hook of the candy canes off, leaving as long a stick as possible. Important: Leave the wrappers on. They’ll start to come off as you chop, but make sure you leave the ends wrapped. Very important. Set these aside.
Take the hooks of the candy canes, and the extra one, if you have one, and peel off the wrapper. Tear off some baking paper, and put them inside, folding it into a parcel. Put the parcel in a plastic freezer bag, and take the nearest thing at hand–a rolling pin, or hammer usually works well–and smash the living daylights out of those candy canes. Or, if you don’t feel like exerting your arm, smash them in a Thermomix on high. But it won’t get the chunky effect like the old fashioned way. Put them in a bowl and set aside.
Pick out your marshmallows and thread two on the very end of each stick. Try not to stab all the way through the second one, but make sure it’s secure, and stabbing through won’t wreck it. (Pull the wrapper off the front end of the candy cane first. Even more important.)
Melt your chocolate with what ever method you prefer. Microwaving works well. This may take a while if you’re melting a block of cooking chocolate, so try not to eat all the smashed candy cane bits while your waiting.
Dip the sticks into the melted chocolate. Don’t completely cover them, leave enough of the first marshmallow uncoated to show what it is. Don’t they look tempting?
Sprinkle the crushed candy cane over your stirrer. Don’t roll it or your marshmallows might fall off and you’ll get chocolate all through the candy canes.
If you’re eating these yourself, skip this step. If your giving them away, this is a nice thing to do.
When they’re dry, get your cellophane and cut out a think strip (wider than your candy cane, but and inch or so longer–you can trim later) and peel off the wrapper remains. Twist the cellophane around the stick and secure with sticky tape. Tie ribbon around the bottom, tightly. Cut a large square, big enough to cover both marshmallows, and not too big to over shadow the whole effect, and put cover the top end. Tie the end with a ribbon.
Doesn’t it just look gorgeous? So professional!
This shouldn’t have taken you an hour at the most (unless of course you made a lot and wrapping is taking quite some time. It’s the hardest part) and so it’s easy.
And what’s more, it shouldn’t cost you the earth to make a few elegant presents.
Make yourself a hot chocolate and stir. And you don’t have to wait for the whole thing to collapse. You can eat it as well.