I did come up with a few tricks that helped me...Like tongs. I tried to use my fingers to pinch the bottoms around the stick-but I am a wimp and it burned. Hence the tongs. I do use my fingers to press down after I use the tongs-just so it looks nice.
And, when I place the canes on the cookie sheet, I overlap where they meet at the top and the bottom. Then you do not have to press the tops together because they melt together and it's a little less pinching for the bottom.
Happy Valentine's Day :)