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By Marie from West Dundee, IL
Candy canes may be one of the least expensive holiday decorations and treats you can buy. Purchase a supply to incorporate into your holiday decorations. You can find various craft ideas that include candy canes. But for the craft challenged like myself, or for those who are too busy to be crafty in December, you can simply hang some individually wrapped candy canes on the Christmas tree or place bowls with small candy canes in them around the house for a festive decoration.
When stores discount Christmas candy, candy canes are an even more frugal purchase. Throughout the winter months those candy canes came be used in a variety of ways. Stir your coffee, tea, or hot cocoa with a candy cane to enhance the flavor of the drink. Crush the candy canes and add the pieces to brownies, cheesecake, chocolate cake, or any other dessert you choose. Be sure to keep a few candy canes for the summer. Crushed peppermint is amazingly refreshing sprinkled on ice cream in the hot summer months.
Peppermint is a great energizer when you feel that afternoon slump. I like to keep peppermint on hand to suppress the annoying coughs that come with a winter cold. Keep some peppermint on hand for those times when you overeat or when your stomach is complaining about what you ate.
Stock up on those small individually wrapped candy canes before and after the holidays. They're a bargain you shouldn't resist.
By VeronicaHB from Asheboro, NC
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Tips for using candy canes that are leftover from Christmas. Post your ideas.
I always have a lot leftover after the holidays so I came up with a few ideas.
- Dissolve in mugs of coffee or hot chocolate for a tasty drink.
- Crush & use as a topping for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, ice cream, etc
I buy candy canes in after Christmas sales just so I'll have them to make things like peppermint brownies (crush and stir into the batter). I've seen lots of different flavors of candy canes, so the possibilities are endless.
Use the broken candy canes for making Christmas chocolates... add crushed candy canes to melted white chocolate and pour into candy molds. Let set and pop out of the molds. Enjoy! Very pretty and tasty. If you have too many for next fall's chocolates remember that candy canes do not go "bad". Keep them for the next fall after that.
Use for Valentine's Day heart shaped candy. Unwrap two candy canes, place on a baking sheet in the shape of a heart (hook to hook and tail to tail). Bake at 350 for a couple minutes til they stick to each other. Cool and remove with a spatula. They look great placed on top of frosted cupcakes!
Use almond bark or chocolate bark sold in baking good aisle near chocolate chips. Melt in microwave, add 3-4 Tablespoons (to taste) of peppermint extract. Stir well. Pour onto sheet of tin foil on a cookie sheet (I use the "release" kind of foil) & then sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
I grind hard candies ( red hots, hard fruit flavored, mints, etc.) in my coffee grinder and use the sugar to top cookies and such. I also melt jello into marshmallows and make different flavored marshmallow rice krispy bars. I even mold the different colored into egg shapes for Easter time.