While taking down our window wreath, putting away Frank Sinatra’s Christmas album and downing our last bit of eggnog, we were left with an abundance of candy canes. While there are only so many sheets of peppermint bark you can make and cookies to bake, we started brainstorming ways to use the red and white spiraled confections in a sweet and soothing dessert.
While traveling through Italy, we remember sitting at a café on the bank of the Arno River in Florence in the mood for an indulgent afternoon sweet. Our charming waiter suggested affogato (“drowned in coffee”) which traditionally is a scoop of gelato with a shot of hot espresso poured on top. The espresso cooled slightly when it hit the cold gelato and created a melted medley of swirled flavors.
Back in our cozy Boston apartment, we decide to crush our collection of candy canes and sprinkle the flurried bits atop our version of affogato. To add a kick, we top the overflowing liquid with a bit of peppermint schnapps, so we could spoon and sip our nightcap and dessert all in one.