Recipes using candy canes are the perfect way to use up the leftover Christmas candy even after the festive season ends. From sweet desserts with candy canes to delicious drinks that taste like the festive season. These leftover candy cane recipes will inspire plenty of fun in the kitchen and peppermint flavoured treats the whole family will love!
If your household is anything like ours, you always end up with a load of candy canes leftover after Christmas. Neither of my kids enjoys eating candy canes on their own. Which is kind of crazy consider both of them bring home a hefty supply every December with Christmas cards from their friends!
So instead of letting those candy canes go to waste, why not get creative with one of these recipes using candy canes instead!
But first, let’s cover a few candy cane essentials!
How Long Do Candy Canes Last?
As candy canes are made from pure sugar, they can last for 1 to 2 years, if stored correctly.
Individually wrapped candy canes will last longer than unwrapped candy canes unless stored in an airtight container. In hot temperatures, they can be stored in the refrigerator to prolong their life. Find more candy cane storage tips.
How To Crush Candy Canes
There are 2 easy ways to crush candy canes:
Using a food processor
Using a rolling pin or mallet
If using a food processor, simply add your candy canes into the processor and process until they reach the designed consistency. Be careful not to over-process your candy canes if you want larger chunks.
Or, the method I prefer, add a couple of candy canes to a zip lock bag, place on a chopping board and smash with a rolling pin or mallet until you have crushed the pieces small enough. The best part about this method is that there is usually no mess or extra washing up.
How To Melt Candy Canes
Melting candy canes is similar to melting chocolate and you can use either the stovetop or the microwave. However take care, because the process is quick and you don’t want to burn your candy canes!
Using the stovetop, bring a saucepan of water to boil (half-filled). Place a heatproof bowl over the boiling water and add broken candy cane pieces. Stir the candy cane pieces until they begin to melt. Remove before they are completely melted, stirring the remaining pieces.
Alternatively, use a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat in 15-second increments, allowing the last pieces to melt by stirring. Overheating will result in burnt candy that can’t be salvaged so take care not to overheat them.
Recipes Using Candy Canes That Keep The Festivities Going
If you’re wondering what to do with all those leftover candy canes, these dessert recipes and candy cane drinks are the perfect ways to bring sweet peppermint flavours into your cooking after Christmas (or before) for festive treats everyone can enjoy!
These Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies bake up soft, thick and taste just like hot chocolate. The tops are frosted with dark chocolate and then topped with crushed candy canes. These cookies are perfect to enjoy all season long!
Cookie trees work so well as dessert table centerpieces! While you can make them with any kind of cookies, I find that madeleines look particularly beautiful - especially when coated with or made of crushed candy canes.
This Peppermint Bark Recipe is one of the quickest and most delicious holiday treats you can make! Dark Chocolate, candy and white chocolate infused with peppermint is the perfect dessert combination. You’ll love this candy!
Our Candy Cane Fudge recipe is the perfect holiday dessert for gift-giving and serving! A rich chocolate layer is topped with candy cane studded white chocolate making Candy Cane Fudge an easy to make dessert and the perfect Christmas fudge gift to give!
A rich buttery refrigerator cookie to fill with your favourite frosting! These easy chocolate shortbread cookies are filled with a decadent vanilla mint frosting and rolled in candy canes for festive flair.
This homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate recipe is made with 6 ingredients in 6 minutes! It has two kinds of chocolate so it’s ultra-rich and creamy and it’s flavoured with candy canes instead of expensive extracts.
Baileys Candy Cane Cocktail is sure to get you in the festive mood! Creamy Baileys is shaken with creme de menthe and creme de cacao for a mint chocolate taste explosion. And don’t forget that candy cane and dark chocolate rim!
This Candy Cane Hot Chocolate is the best warm drink recipe this winter! Sip in front of the fire on Christmas Eve or all through winter - with whipped cream made from real candy canes and hot chocolate made from only cocoa powder, sugar and milk it's a deliciously simple peppermint treat for kids and adults alike.
After this collection of leftover candy cane recipes and beverages, you may end up rushing to the stores for some post-Christmas sale candy canes just so you can try them all! It’s tempting, right?