Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Candy Trifecta

A couple of years ago, my friend Tanya and I went to a little cafe for lunch called Two Saints. It was the type of place my boys, more often than not, would probably describe as "kinda girlie, Mom." It was girlie and darling and I used to invent reasons to go there as often as possible. Inside, each table was decorated with fresh flowers in these tiny little vases and there was chick food to be had in abundance.  Just to be clear, when I say "chick" I mean as in woman, not baby poultry. Anyway, on this particular day, they were selling these small packages of chocolate covered peppermint sticks at the counter. I remember thinking to myself, "Oohh! So cute! I should buy some." Then I saw the price tag- $3.99 for five sticks! What?? They were cute, but not that cute. Not to be discouraged, I went home and figured out how to make these babies for way cheaper. 
Candy is better than toothpaste:
The beauty of this deliciousness is that it falls into a category known as the Christmas Candy Trifecta. That's not something a girl comes across everyday. In fact, in order to qualify for this distinction, a candy must meet three strict criteria:

*1* It must be incredibly easy to prepare.
*2* It must taste amazing.
*3* It must look like a million bucks, but cost next to nothing to make.

Chocolate Covered Peppermint Sticks covers all three of these bases. And as an early Christmas gift to you, specifically because you've been amazing this year, I'm gonna show you exactly how to make 'em.
Here's what you'll need to buy. When we lived in Texas, I was able to find all 3 of these items at Wal-Mart. But this year, it was a bit more complicated- all because of Bob. Bob is the maker of the peppermint sticks in my picture, and the only brand you should use when making this candy. The sticks are stubby and kinda soft like the dessert mints my Nanny used to keep in her front living room. Listen, I don't mean to be bossy, but you have to use Bob's and only Bob's when making this. When I couldn't find them at my local Wal-Mart, I almost cried. But after a frantic search through New Jersey, I finally found them at Rite Aid. Needless to say, I cleared their shelves.
Because he's so handsome, I drafted Reagan to be my sous chef for this post. He's a keeper like that.

Pour the candy melts into a bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds.

 Here's how it looked after the first 30 seconds- definitely not melted enough. Stir it around, put it back in and heat for another 30 seconds.
Here's what it looked like after three 30 second trips to the microwave- close, but not ready. Even though you'll be super tempted here, do not heat this up for more than 30 seconds at a time. You run the risk of it seizing up and then you'll have to throw it out and start all over.  Be patient and take your time here, people. It's totally worth it.
 Here it is after its fourth trip to the microwave- perfectly smooth and yummy. 

 Make sure to place a piece of wax paper on your counter. Then simply dip half of the peppermint stick in the melted chocolate.  Gently shake off any excess.
 Place that baby on the wax paper.
 Lightly dust with sprinkles. 
Widen your shot and take a moment to admire your sweet son. Realize in that moment that he has somehow managed to pilfer a peppermint stick without your knowledge.  Cross your fingers and pray that OSHA does not read your blog.

 Let everything rest until the chocolate sets up firmly. 

And last, but not least, slide the peppermint sticks into a clear cellophane bag.  Tie it up with a cute bow and you're all done. See what I mean about the Candy Trifecta?? So easy to make, super yummy and looks like something Williams-Sonoma would sell in their stores. So go get busy and start making these ASAP. Please make sure to let me know if I can help in any way. I've checked in with Reagan and he's free all weekend.

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