Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Hearts

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Peppermint bark is a classic Christmas candy. Candy canes are a classic Christmas candy. And when these two classics collide? You get an entirely new (but soon-to-be-classic!) Christmas candy that looks beautiful, tastes delicious, and is perfect for gift giving! I mean, really. Have you ever seen anything cuter than this?

Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Hearts | From OhNuts.com

These candy cane hearts are dead simple to make, but they look so impressive that you can give them to your friends, family, coworkers–heck, even your boss–and bask in the knowledge that they will think you’re a culinary genius. Make mini ones to use as cake or cupcake toppers, or make large ones and package them individually as edible gifts. You can also omit the peppermint bark and just make candy cane hearts to hang on your Christmas tree.

Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Hearts | From OhNuts.com

Ready to learn the simple secret to making these awesome candy cane hearts? Read on!

Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Hearts | From OhNuts.com

Peppermint Candy Cane Hearts
yield: 12 large candy cane hearts

Ingredients

 

Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Hearts | From OhNuts.com

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F (120 C), and line two baking sheets with foil sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, or silicone liners.

Unwrap the candy canes. It’s okay if some of them break during this process, because they can be fused back together—just place the broken pieces next to each other as if they had not broken. Arrange the candy canes on the baking sheet in pairs, with 2 candy canes facing each other like a heart shape. You can make this recipe with all large candy canes, all small ones, or do what I did and make a mix of both! Leave a bit of room between the candy cane pairs because they will expand a bit and will need some wiggle room.

Bake the candy canes in the 250 F oven for 5-8 minutes, checking them after every few minutes. They will gradually soften as they heat up, and the trick is to soften them enough so that you can bend and shape them, but not to let them get so warm that they start to melt and get misshapen. The exact time will vary depending on your canes and your oven, so keep a close eye on them.

Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Hearts | From OhNuts.com

Remove the trays from the oven. Work carefully, because the canes and baking trays will be warm, and gently form them into a heart shape. Firmly press the points of the heart together, where the two candy canes join, to fuse them together, and pull the sides out a bit to make them more round. Leave the candy canes on the warm baking sheet until you are ready to use them, since they get hard fairly quickly once they cool down.

If at any point the candy canes get too cool and become too difficult to shape, return them to the oven to soften for a few additional minutes. Once all of the hearts are formed, let them cool completely at room temperature before proceeding.

Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Hearts | From OhNuts.com

Unwrap the mini candy canes and place them in a large plastic zip-top bag. Crush the candy canes with a rolling pin or meat mallet until they are in small pieces.

Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Hearts | From OhNuts.com

Melt both candy coatings in separate microwave-safe bowls, heating them in short bursts and stirring frequently to prevent overheating. If you want to intensify the peppermint flavor in this candy, add a drop or two of peppermint oil (not extract! Be sure that your flavoring is oil-based instead of water-based, so you don’t ruin your chocolate)  to the chocolate during this step.

Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Hearts | From OhNuts.com

To make single-flavor peppermint bark, spoon white or dark chocolate into the center of a candy cane heart and smooth it into an even layer. You don’t need to fill chocolate all the way to the top of the heart–reaching about halfway or two-thirds to the top of the candy cane is just fine.

Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Hearts | From OhNuts.com

While the coating is still wet, top the bark with a generous sprinkle of candy cane pieces all over the top of the heart.

Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Hearts | From OhNuts.com

To make swirled bark, drop alternating spoonfuls of white and dark chocolate coating inside the candy cane heart. Again, you don’t have to fill the chocolate to the top of the heart, so a single layer of white and dark chocolate inside should be fine.

Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Hearts | From OhNuts.com

Drag a toothpick through the chocolates to create a swirled pattern, and top the swirls with crushed candy canes. Repeat until all of the hearts have peppermint bark inside.

Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Hearts | From OhNuts.com

Refrigerate the trays to set the coating completely. Once set, you can serve the candy cane hearts or package them to give as gifts. The candy canes will become soft and sticky as they are exposed to moisture or humidity, so it is best to package them in individual bags and store them in an airtight container if you’re making them in advance. They will keep for up to a month.

Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Hearts | From OhNuts.com

As always, I’ve included an easily printable recipe and pin-able image below. Enjoy, and have a very Merry Christmas!

Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Hearts
 
This recipe yields 12 large hearts, or up to 120 miniature hearts if you only use small candy canes. You can also make a mix of large and small, and use all dark or all white chocolate to suit your tastes. I recommend making a few extra candy cane hearts with each batch, in case any of them break during assembly.
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F (120 C), and line two baking sheets with foil sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, or silicone liners.
  2. Unwrap the candy canes. It's okay if some of them break during this process, because they can be fused back together—just place the broken pieces next to each other as if they had not broken. Arrange the candy canes on the baking sheet in pairs, with 2 candy canes facing each other like a heart shape.
  3. Bake the candy canes in the 250 F oven for 5-8 minutes, checking them after every few minutes. They will gradually soften as they heat up, and the trick is to soften them enough so that you can bend and shape them, but not to let them get so warm that they start to melt and get misshapen. The exact time will vary depending on your canes and your oven, so keep a close eye on them.
  4. Remove the trays from the oven. Work carefully, because the canes will be warm, and gently form them into a heart shape. Firmly press the points of the heart together, where the two candy canes join, to fuse them together. Set it aside to cool as you move on to another warm candy cane. Leave the candy canes on the warm baking sheet until you are ready to use them, since they get hard fairly quickly once they cool down.
  5. If at any point the candy canes get too cool and become too difficult to shape, return them to the oven to soften for a few additional minutes. Once all of the hearts are formed, let them cool completely at room temperature before proceeding.
  6. Unwrap the mini candy canes and place them in a large plastic zip-top bag. Crush the candy canes with a rolling pin or meat mallet until they are in small pieces.
  7. Melt both candy coatings in separate microwave-safe bowls, heating them in short bursts and stirring frequently to prevent overheating. To make single-flavor peppermint bark, spoon white or dark chocolate into the center of a candy cane heart and smooth it into an even layer. Top the bark with a generous sprinkle of candy cane pieces while the chocolate is still wet.
  8. To make swirled bark, drop alternating spoonfuls of white and dark chocolate coating inside the candy cane heart. Drag a toothpick through the chocolates to create a swirled pattern, and top the swirls with crushed candy canes. Repeat until all of the hearts have peppermint bark inside.
  9. Refrigerate the trays to set the coating completely. Once set, you can serve the candy cane hearts or package them to give as gifts. The candy canes will become soft and sticky as they are exposed to moisture or humidity, so it is best to package them in individual bags and store them in an airtight container if you're making them in advance. They will keep for up to a month.

 

How to Make Peppermint Bark Candy Cane Hearts | From OhNuts.com

All text and images (c) Elizabeth LaBau

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