I get a lot of candy canes during the holidays. I like to hang them on my Christmas tree and stir them into my coffee and hot chocolate to give some holiday flavor to my drinks. Candy canes can also be a surprisingly fun ingredient to bake with. They are a great way to infuse a little bit of holiday spirit into baked goods or to add a little color as a finishing touch when decorating. These recipes should give you a few good ideas for putting your own leftover candy canes to good use for the holidays.
- Peppermint Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite candy cane-kissed recipes. These tasty cookies are rolled in mixture of finely crushed peppermint, cinnamon and sugar before being baked. This gives them a great, swirling red and white look and just the right amount of peppermint in each bite.
- White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Blondies get both texture and flavor from crushed up candy canes. My blondies are actually made with peppermint bark – chocolate topped with crushed candy canes – so they have a little bit of chocolate and a little bit of peppermint, but regular chocolate chips and a handful of crushed peppermint make an easy substitute. Sliced almonds add even more crunch, since they tend to stay a little crispier after baking than candy cane bits do.
- This Candy Cane Angel Food Cake primarily uses candy canes for decoration. The angel food cake – peppermint if you want an all mint dessert, or simple vanilla – is covered all over in whipped cream and decorated with crushed peppermint. The finished effect is lovely, although the dessert really should be assembled shortly before serving to ensure that you get the best finished look.
- Peppermint and Cacao Nib Bark is my new favorite variation on a plain peppermint bark. The chocolate bark starts out with two layers of dark and white chocolate, and is topped generously with peppermint and cacao nibs before the chocolate has set. The result is an addictive candy with lots of chocolate flavor, just the right amount of mint and a good crunch from the cacao nibs.
- Finally, my Candy Cane Christmas Cupcakes are a candy cane inspired dessert, with brilliant red stripes swirling through a white cupcake batter. There is no crushed up peppermint in these cupcakes, though I typically add some peppermint extract to give them a minty flavor. Just like a real candy cane, they are very festive looking and a great way to dress up a dessert table – as well as being a tasty seasonal dessert to indulge in.