It is the season of the candy cane. They’re a tree ornament and a gift tie-on. But there are other uses for candy canes too.
There are some terrifically simple ways to use the candy cane to sweeten some favorite treats. For example:
- Serve a candy cane as a stirring stick with a cup of hot cocoa or coffee.
- Crush a candy and sprinkle it on vanilla ice cream.
- Sprinkle them on iced Christmas cookies.
- Dip the curved end into melted chocolate and cool on a wax paper line tray for a new twist.
At our apartments in Ridgeland, SC, we have collected some of our favorite seasonal recipes highlighting candy canes. If you have cookie swaps in your future, there is a great peppermint snowball cookie and peppermint brownie recipe, both are perfect. The fun cocktail recipe, candy cane martini, will be delicious at your holiday party, you will enjoy those at the cookie swap too!
Peppermint Snowball Cookies
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 1/4 cups butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white sugar, or as needed
- 1 cup finely crushed peppermint candy
- 3 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheets, or line with parchment paper.
Beat 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar with the butter, peppermint extract, vanilla extract, and egg in a mixing bowl at Medium speed until well blended and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to Low, and gradually mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt until well blended, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy using a wooden spoon.
Place the white sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll a small amount of cookie dough between your hands to make 3/4 inch diameter balls. Roll in sugar. Place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets.
Bake in preheated oven until light brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and cool on racks.
Meanwhile, to make the glaze, stir the remaining 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar together with the milk in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle cooled cookies with the glaze, and sprinkle immediately with the remaining crushed peppermint candy.
- 4 ounces Unsweetened Chocolate
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 5-6 ounces of chocolate squares with peppermint filling, unwrapped
- 4 small candy canes, crushed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
In the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt the unsweetened chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer or whisk, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, peppermint extract, and salt until combined. Beat in the chocolate mixture. Gently stir in the flour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the brownies comes out clean. Arrange the mint squares on top in one layer and return the brownies to the oven until they are just melted, about 1 minute. Evenly spread the chocolate with a spatula and sprinkle with the crushed candy canes. Cool completely before cutting into 2-inch squares.
Candy Cane Martini
- 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 2 ounces vanilla vodka
- ½ ounce white creme de menthe
- 1 teaspoon whole milk
- 1 small candy cane (for garnish)
In a microwave-safe cup, heat the sugar and water for 30 seconds or until the sugar dissolves.
Spread crushed candy canes on a piece of waxed paper.
Fill a martini glass with ice cubes, swirl it around, then tip out the ice.
Fill a metal shaker with ice and add the vodka, creme de menthe, sugar mixture, and milk. Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass. Decorate with the candy cane.
While you are relaxing after the holidays, now you know what to do with all the extra candy canes.