{Easy Homemade Candy Canes}

We made easy peasy 'candy canes' this week for Princess Pea to share with her kindergarten class. These were fun to make (at least the first 6 or so were fun - after about 18 she was getting weary! lol) and are a great kid-made gift for preschoolers to make, too, as it's just like playing with playdough - except it's edible!

These are not your traditional hard minty candy canes. We made these out of marzipan! And because marzipan (also known as almond paste) stays fresh for a long time, these can be made well ahead of time (check the expiry date on your marzipan). Or, if you're like me and do everything at the last possible minute, that works too, as these are fast and easy to make.

All you need is a stick of marzipan - that's it! We bought white and red marzipan because it's relatively easy to get in lots of colours here, but it would be easy to make the red yourself just by adding a few drops of food colouring and kneading (much like dying homemade play dough). (You should be able to get marzipan/almond paste in the baking section of your supermarket, at least around Christmas.)

How much marzipan you need depends on how many candy canes you plan to make, but however much white you use, you need about a third of that amount in red.

All you do is squish the marzipan up (again, just like play dough) to soften it, then roll it out into sticks. For each stick we used a ball of white marzipan about the size of a large marble, and about a third of that in red. Make your white stick about candy cane thickness, and then roll out your red stick to about 1 1/2 times the length of your white stick (since you're using about 1/3 of the amount of marzipan for the red stick, it will be much skinnier than the white one). In the picture below, the red is actually a bit longer than it needed to be, but we just pinched off the end and put it back into the ball.

Then wrap the red around the white stick and roll it some more until the stick becomes smooth again and bend the top over. Leave to air dry and harden a bit.

Voila! Cute and tasty homemade candy canes to share with your friends!