Three Holidays in One: Candycane-turned-Valentine’s Dessert Bars on Prez Day

Over the weekend we visited with one of Eric’s old co-workers and her boyfriend. We played Munchkin, drank wine, and ate chili. And, although it was Presidents’ Day Weekend, we ate a Christmas Dessert that I called a Valentine’s Dessert. Still with me?

I give the dessert, as published on snackpicks.com, a two-star food rating, but if you were to go off-recipe and freeze the thing: Four star. Thanks to my sister, Rachel, for her babysitting help and excellent icebox advice. Crazy what a couple dozen degrees can do for a dessert.

In other news, today I learned something that could potentially be fatal for my savings account. I can not say no to adorable little boys asking for my money. Let me explain that a little better: I went to the mall today to pick up my laptop (my AppleCare warranty ran out and I wanted to make sure all was well with my computer. Don’t worry, it is.) and one of the department stores had boy scouts parked at each entrance selling coupon books. The proceeds went to fund their trip to the Boundary Waters. As the little boy at the entrance stopped to get my attention, I knew I would be buying whatever it was that he was selling. He started his spiel, stumbled and started again, paused to add in a rehearsed smile, and finished with puppy dog eyes. COME ON. It was only $5, so I bought one. On my way out another, smaller and wirier little boy – wearing glasses that kept slipping down his nose – gave me the same pitch. Before he even got through half I had my five dollar bill ready and waiting. When I asked if I could just give him the $5 and not get a coupon book, he returned my question with a big smile and a, “Yes ma’am!” I have a feeling my baby boy has something to do with my sudden soft spot. It’s a good thing I didn’t have to go back again for anything, I’m out of cash.


Candy Cane Dessert Bars

Overall: three-star

What a mess. Anyone else wondering if I just spread some Colgate on top of the chocolate?

I wanted a recipe that used up the leftover candy canes I had, but still could pass for a Valentine’s Dessert. I found this recipe on Pinterest and with the number of times I had seen it re-pinned I figured it had to be good. It wasn’t. However, with one small change – freeze it – it goes from a sloppy toothpaste-esque mess to a creamy sweet treat.

Ease to Prepare: three-star

Smash those graham crackers! Angry the weekend went by so fast? Me too! Get the aggression out, yo!

There are a lot of steps to this dessert, and although there isn’t any baking, it still requires stove-top time, crushing graham crackers and peppermints and either chilling or freezing the dish before you can serve it.

Instructions: five-star

The instructions are easy to follow and I really like that it doesn’t require you to stop to wait for each layer to chill fully before you can move forward. I did stick the pan in the freezer for a quick chill after I added the chocolate. Made spreading the cream cheese mixture on top much easier. If only I had just left it in the freezer after that…

Food: two-star

Not good enough? Smashing these candy canes will take some serious aggression. I actually didn’t have enough and had to use the food processor instead.

I thought it was horrible – nearly inedible – though our gracious host, E, and my sister thought I was being a little too harsh. The graham cracker crust could have been twice as thick and perhaps there could have been a bit more chocolate. But more importantly, the top layer was just wrong every which way. It was too pepperminty and tasted like toothpaste to me. The “fluffy” top that the recipe describes was a far cry from the gloppy mess that oozed over the top of each slice of dessert. I whipped the mixture until fluffy, but it didn’t retain it’s form.

Now, that said, if you take my sister’s advice and throw this exact same dessert in the freezer for a couple hours – you have a four star food rating. The peppermint doesn’t blast you as much and allows the cream cheese flavor to come through more. The top no longer is oozing, of course, and is a creamy, melt-in-your mouth, refreshing flavor. I will make this dessert again, but with this change underlined in my recipe.

Clean up: two-star

Yeah, I’m kinda a messy cook.

There was a lot of clean up in this no bake dessert, man! A mixing bowl, saucepan, and a dessert pan. Also, I used a food processor to blend my candy canes to a medium chop.

 Cost: one dollar

It did require two whole blocks of cream cheese, but otherwise it was a modest list of ingredients. Plus – the reason I decided to make it – it makes good use of those leftover Christmas candy canes.


Has anyone seen this dish on Pinterest? What other Pinterest dishes have you pinned, but haven’t had time or interest to try? Tell me here! Do you have a weakness for cute kids in uniform asking for donations? A favorite cause you can’t say no to?

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