Niagara Gazette


December 27, 2012

Holiday recipes: Candy cane lollipop brownies and more

Niagara Gazette — This holiday season, reduce stress and be a less hectic hostess by planning ahead.

The last thing you want to do when guests arrive is spend time in the kitchen mixing ingredients, when you should be mixing and mingling. Here are a few simple solutions to survive the holidays:

• Get a head start. Choose dishes that can be made in advance, and get all of your chopping, dicing and mixing out of the way the day before. Keep fresh cut produce from oxidizing by refrigerating fruits, like apples and pears, in lemon-lime soda and vegetables, such as potatoes, celery and carrots in water.

• Refresh a favorite. For the hostess short on time, stick with favorite recipes and add some holiday flair. For a spin on seasonal staples, use your brownie pan or muffin pan to make personal-size stuffing, rolls or cornbread. Not only will you be practicing portion control, but the bite-size versions also cut down on total cooking time.

• Save time, make two.  Get your holiday baking and gift-giving done all at once. Prepare one batch for you, and make a second batch to give as a gift to a friend or family member. Homemade gifts offer an extra personal touch to gift-giving and when decorated with holiday ribbon and other cheery colors, they become the season’s most special presents.

Candy Cane Brownie Lollipops

      These irresistible treats make adorable hostess gifts or take-home goodies.

      24 Servings

      1  pkg (18-21 oz or 450 g) fudge brownie mix (plus ingredients to make brownies)

      24  candy canes

      10 oz  chocolate-flavored almond bark (crushed)

      Additional decorations such as red jimmies (optional)

      Line medium sheet pan with a 13-inch piece of parchment paper; lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions; pour batter into pan. Bake 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Remove from oven to stackable cooling rack; cool 20 minutes or until still slightly warm.  

      Meanwhile, cut straight ends of candy canes off to form 4½-inch sticks using utility knife. Place candy cane tops into resealable plastic bag and crush using flat side of meat tenderizer; set aside.

      Using medium scoop, scoop brownie into 24 rounded scoops, packing brownie into scoop using hands. (Entire brownie will be used.) Roll brownie scoops into smooth balls. Insert candy cane sticks into centers of balls, mounding brownie around each stick.

      Place almond bark into small batter bowl; microwave according to package directions until smooth. Spoon melted bark evenly over each brownie ball, turning to coat completely. Allow excess bark to drip off. Dip into reserved crushed candy canes or jimmies and stand upright on a piece of parchment paper. Repeat with remaining almond bark, lollipops and crushed candy. Let stand until set. Place into miniature cupcake liners.  Makes 24 servings.

Cook’s Tips: Although the edges of the brownies are crusty, they don’t need to be discarded. Simply scoop the edges along with the center; they’ll soften as they stand.  

      If desired, lollipop sticks or stick candies can be substituted for the candy canes.  

      Wrap lollipops in cellophane, tie with ribbon and use as table décor, place cards or take-home goodies for a special holiday touch.

      Batter Bowl Brownie Mix

      Looking for an easy and unique gift? Start with a small batter bowl and layer the brownie ingredients.

      11⁄3     cups sugar, divided

      1 tsp ground cinnamon

      1/2 tsp salt

      1/2 tsp baking powder

      1½ cups all-purpose flour, divided

      1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

      1 cup candy-coated chocolate miniature baking bits

      1/2  cup white chocolate morsels

      1/2  cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped

      In small bowl, combine 2/3 cup of the sugar and cinnamon; mix well and set aside. In small batter bowl, layer ingredients as follows, gently patting each layer before adding the next ingredient: salt, baking powder, 1/2 cup of the flour, cocoa powder, remaining 2/3 cup sugar, baking bits and remaining 1 cup flour. Top with reserved cinnamon-sugar mixture, chocolate morsels and walnuts. Cover with lid. Attach gift tag that includes directions for cooking Batter Bowl Brownies (see box) and give it as a gift.

Batter Bowl Brownies

      1  recipe Batter Bowl Brownie Mix

      1/2  cup (250 mL) vegetable oil

      3   eggs

      1/4   cup (50 mL) water

      1  teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla

      Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly spray square baker pan with vegetable oil. In large bowl, combine brownie mix, oil, eggs, water and vanilla; mix until well blended. Spread mixture into baker. Bake 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.

      Makes 20 brownies.

Christmas Tree Brownies

      To make Christmas Tree Brownies:  Bake brownies in a square pan. Once cooled, cut brownies into squares, then cut each piece on the diagonal to create triangles.  Use a candy cane stick as a tree stem and ice with festive frosting to decorate each brownie tree.

      Recipes courtesy of The Pampered Chef.  For more holiday recipes and free homemade gift how-to’s and gift tags, visit


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • SUN LIFE Opera intern 072714.jpg [Duplicate] Singing her heart out: Newfane woman wins prestigious apprenticeship twice. Rebecca Witty says she started singing in the womb. That might be an exaggeration, but the Newfane woman's love of music began at a very early age. "Music has always been in my life since I was a kid," she said. "My family is made up of musicians so that has played a big part of my love for music since the beginning."

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Chef cooking demos 2 072714.jpg [Duplicate] F-BITES: Celebrity chef Bobby Anderson wants kids to learn more than just cooking. As a loudspeaker played "Waiting for the World to Change," Chef Bobby Anderson was busy changing it, just the other day. For Anderson, the cooking lessons he's conducting with local students this summer on Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls are entertaining crowds and giving young chefs life-changing exposure to new foods, new flavors and new experiences.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • SUN LIFE fair story 6 072714.jpg [Duplicate] More than rides and food at the Niagara County Fair

    July 28, 2014 8 Photos

  • mug - stack, catherine RGB [Duplicate] [Duplicate] NATURAL HEALTH: Taking a closer look at migraine causes and treatments

    Headaches come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from a mild tension headache to a migraine that has you locked up in a dark room afraid to move. Migraine and cluster headaches are by far the worst. 

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE tattoo 3 072714.jpg [Duplicate] Behind the tattoo gun — Niagara Tatoo Expo coming up

    Tattoos can be a touchy subject. Of course, people have heard they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; still, people continue to report being denied jobs and being judged harshly for proudly displaying their ink. 

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • mug - Jennings, Thom RGB [Duplicate] JENNINGS: It's the end of an era for fans of The Ramones

    Jeffrey Hyman, John Cummings, Douglas Colvin and Thomas Erdelyi formed one of the most influential bands in music history in 1974 — better known by their stage names Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy Ramone. The last surviving member, Tommy, passed away July 11.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE TOPS woman 2 072714 .jpg [Duplicate] Local woman honored for weight-loss success

    After Carolyn Sherman’s husband passed away, she became depressed, and her weight ballooned to more than 300 pounds. Wheelchair-bound, she ended up at Odd Fellow & Rebekah Health Care Facility in Lockport.


    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • NIA Biz logo 072814 IN BUSINESS: ReNU director named to '30 Under 30' list Tom Lowe, director of ReNU Niagara, has been named to the 2014 class of Buffalo Business First's 30 Under 30 honorees. The award recognizes 30 Western New Yorkers in the early stages of their careers who are achieving at high levels at work and in the community.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUNLIFELexisPlace1072014jpg (1).jpg Lexi's Place: A safe haven for teens battling suicide, sexual abuse and depression

    In a perfect world, a 14-year-old wouldn’t know exactly how it feels to try suicide.
    An 11-year-old who reaches out to the unwanted kids at school would not be thrown against a locker and bullied by other teens trying to make her feel small.
    And surely no teen would have a father who, when she was small, would give her to his friends for sex.
    All those things happened to the teens at Lexi’s Place.

    July 22, 2014 8 Photos

  • SUN LIFE wine fest 3 072014.jpg [Duplicate] Sip the Niagara Wine Trail's best in one location The Niagara Wine Trail reveals it's sweetness slowly, and only to those dedicated enough to spend the time. There are 27 wineries and to sample a taste of each requires much driving through the backroads of the Niagara region, and far too much sipping to make driving a logical possibility. That's what makes the trail's 6th annual Wine and Culinary event such a good idea. Wine lovers who've always wanted to explore the new and unusual offerings of the 14-year-old wine trail, can do so next weekend, all in one place.

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page