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8 Recipes to Use Up Your Leftover Candy Canes

by Dale Dauterive

1. Peppermint Hot Chocolate

There’s a good chance your houseguests will be completely stuffed after the holiday feast. To prevent everyone from exploding, pass on the heavy desserts and serve a smooth cup of hot chocolate. The leftover candy canes are a great touch for that added peppermint flavor. The broken bits of candy will slowly melt into the thick and creamy hot chocolate for a sweet note with every sip. This comforting treat tastes great over the river, through the woods, or to grandma's house you go! It’s delicious anywhere you like to drink it--just be sure to add mini marshmallows and sprinkles on top! 

2. Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars 

This dessert might be this year’s holiday miracle. A chocolate lover’s dream come true--these bars are one-part brownie, one-part cheesecake. That means the rich, chocolaty flavor from a brownie and the smooth, decadent texture from the cheesecake combined in one irresistible holiday treat. The bars are topped with bits of crushed candy canes for a little crunch and a big bite of winter flavor. 

3. Peppermint Patty Sandwich Cookies

Your favorite cookies-n-cream snack has been transformed into an irresistible candy cane dessert. These peppermint patties are filled with a sweet peppermint filling and sandwiched between two chewy chocolate cookies. Dredge in broken bits of candy cane for an added crunch and all cookie fans will surely rejoice. For a treat that’s even more holiday-esque, use peppermint fondant and give them a quick dunk in melted chocolate for a smooth and even coating. 

4. Candy Cane Tower

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the mecca of all holiday desserts. Feast your eyes (and your stomach) on the chocolate candy cane tower. It’s a mile-high treat worthy of royalty--stacks of chocolate pancakes layered with cream cheese frosting and peppermint frosting for a rich, indulgent dessert for winter. This is the only pile of pancakes where maple syrup is not allowed! There’s so much sweet, candy cane flavor from the frosting that you don't need the Aunt Jemima. If you’re feeling extra bold, throw some chocolate chips into the batter for an added chocolate flavor, crush up some candy cane pieces to sprinkle on top, and add a few squirts of whipped cream to ensure you fall into a deep hibernation. 

5. Candy Cane Martini

It’s time to amp up your cocktail game to match the holiday spirit. The candy cane martini is loaded with peppermint flavor! Vodka, vanilla liqueur, peppermint schnapps, and club soda are all you need for this festive beverage. Much like James Bond’s signature order, be sure your drink is shaken, not stirred. Pour into a martini glass with crushed candy canes around the rim, a drop of red food coloring for a bright, holiday hue, and hook a candy cane around the glass for an added minty garnish. 

6. Peppermint Fudge

It’s a classic, easy-to-make dessert that’s always a huge hit at your holiday party. It’s tough to resist these bite-sized hunks of chewy, minty fudge topped with extra candy cane bits. The chocolate is rich, there’s no shortage of peppermint flavor, and just like that, the plate is gone! They taste great chilled or at room temperature, and they make for great treats to take on the go for bake sales and office gatherings. Leave a plate of these out on the counter and Saint Nick might be coming back for more!

7. Peppermint Bark

Peppermint bark is a holiday staple that should be atop the list of all candy cane desserts. If you have an excess of leftover peppermint candies, this is the perfect treat for you. It’s time to get to smashing, breaking, and crunching all those extra minty hooks for your wintery bark. All you need is some white chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, whipping cream, a touch of peppermint extract for added flavor, and of course, candy canes. It’s crunchy, it’s sweet, and it’s a great holiday gift for family and friends. 

8. Peppermint Shortbread

We’re rounding off this list of candy cane desserts with a big slice of peppermint chocolate shortbread. The combination of sweet candy and crumbly cookies are packed into one mouth-watering square. To serve this dish the right way, top the shortbread with a thick layer of silky white chocolate and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Whether you eat them with a fork or shovel them in by hand, you’ll have a mouthful of sweet chocolate, and cool peppermint with each bite. 

If you’re trying to use up the last of your candy canes or you need new kitchen appliances to bring your sweet concoctions to life, stop by our store today and we’ll help you with all your holiday baking needs. We’re here to answer any questions you may have so you can enjoy your kitchen and enjoy your candy canes this holiday season.