HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Can one soften purchased candy canes?

1
1cup Nov 2, 2010 01:27 PM

I know Thanksgiving is the current focus for many, but I need to plan Christmas tree decorations. I work in research so would like to shape candy canes into question marks for our theme tree. Can that be done? I'm thinking about just softening purchased candy canes just enough to adjust their already crooked shape into the question mark and then squishing the end enough to a ball. Would this be best done in a low oven? a low wattage on the microwave? Has anyone tried this?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. wekick RE: 1cup Nov 2, 2010 01:37 PM

    I would think if you warmed them in a warm oven and watched closely so they don't melt, you could do this. Maybe lay them on parchment paper.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wekick
      g
      GertieHound RE: wekick Nov 2, 2010 10:27 PM

      A greased sheet would be preferable to parchment I think. I'll grant you I never tried it, but you never see it used in commercial hard candy factory videos. I know wax paper won't work. Sticking and burning up issues. Found that one out by accident while making old fashioned hard tack candy, which we make every Christmas in mass quantities.

    2. j
      jvanderh RE: 1cup Nov 2, 2010 02:09 PM

      From my experience cleaning up after making hard candy, I think sugar is pretty hard to manipulate once heated to the hard crack stage and cooled. I think you'd have to get them very, very hot to bend them. Even if you did, I'm not sure it would work. Maybe someone who's tried it can tell you better.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jvanderh
        wekick RE: jvanderh Nov 2, 2010 03:00 PM

        Have you ever made decorations with cut rock candy? I used to do it with the kids. You arrange either cut rock candy or life savers on foil or in the bottom of a small pie pan. I think it is greased a little. Put it in a 325 oven and it will soften and eventually melt. I'm sure you could do it with candy canes. Maybe use a kelly clamp to manipulate the candy cane.

      2. pdxgastro RE: 1cup Nov 2, 2010 04:18 PM

        I think warming them in the oven would make the whole thing too hard to handle. I would get/borrow a plumber's torch or a cook's torch (the kind used to caramelize the sugar on top of creme brulee). Then you can heat and bend only the parts you want to work on at any one time. I've seen them do this on Food Network's Sugar competitions. And on lampwork beads too.

        Think about getting the larger candy canes, not the small ones. It will be a lot safer.

        1. m
          maxie RE: 1cup Nov 2, 2010 04:27 PM

          This link purports you can by heating them in the oven at relatively low heat. http://www.makeandtakes.com/love-shap...

          1. Cherylptw RE: 1cup Nov 2, 2010 07:28 PM

            You can melt down those candy canes & spoon the mixture into a question mark shaped candy mold or make hard candy to use in the molds. This link will take you to a candymaking site where you could buy a mold with a ? on it if you were making chocolate but perhaps with a little more browsing online, you'll find one for making hard candy; this is just to give you an idea: http://www.getsuckered.com/Product/Y-...

            1. t
              teemo RE: 1cup Nov 2, 2010 08:07 PM

              You could always get those little round peppermints and stick them on for the dot.

              1 Reply
              1. re: teemo
                chef chicklet RE: teemo Nov 27, 2010 03:10 PM

                Or a white nonpariel, they come in the regular and small sizes.

              2. ipsedixit RE: 1cup Nov 2, 2010 09:48 PM

                You're better off either (1) making your own (not recommended); or (2) finding a candy maker to custom make you some.

                1. sunshine842 RE: 1cup Nov 3, 2010 02:49 AM

                  Okay, I'll ask the question no one else has: why question marks?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sunshine842
                    FoodChic RE: sunshine842 Nov 3, 2010 09:40 AM

                    Thanks, sunshine. I was wondering the same thing.

                    1. re: sunshine842
                      Caitlin McGrath RE: sunshine842 Nov 27, 2010 02:24 PM

                      Because the OP works in research and is decorating a theme tree, and researchers are in the business of asking and answering questions.

                    2. l
                      lulou23 RE: 1cup Nov 3, 2010 09:34 AM

                      How about making candy cane cookies? You twist together ropes of red and white cookie dough. Then you can form them any way you like and attach dot to end. Many recipes online, heres one:

                      http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/c...

                      1. wekick RE: 1cup Nov 27, 2010 01:33 PM

                        Somebody brought some candy canes to my house so I put them in the original cellophane wrap on a paper plate in the oven. I heated it to 160 and it was somewhat pliable and then to 170 and it was pliable. They do cool off fairly quickly when you remove them from the oven.

                        1. s
                          sushigirlie RE: 1cup Nov 27, 2010 08:21 PM

                          Me personally, I'd go with this this. http://www.emblibrary.com/el/Products...

                          Show Hidden Posts