Candy Canes: Over 3 Dozen Creative Uses
bought too many candy canes or purchased them at greatly reduced costs after
Christmas, try some of these creative ideas for all those candy canes.
Candy canes do not go bad if stored in an airtight container, away from extreme
temperatures. Hot humid environments, however, make candy canes look as if
they've melted in the wrapper, Stored properly, candy canes can keep for the
next year. (Yes, I've done it!) More...
Hang your candy canes on a Christmas tree for an attractive decoration.
Use candy canes in decorative ornaments such as Stained
Glass Cookies. (This recipe is edible, although I don't recommend eating
them if you've had them on the tree all season.)
String a row of candy canes across the top of an entryway or fireplace mantle
for a festive look.
Candy canes add great finishing touches to gingerbread houses.
Add candy canes to wreaths and center pieces for a unique decoration.
Make a centerpiece decoration with candy canes. One year a friend made one by
using 5/8-inch size dowels cut into four-inch sections. After painting them red,
she used hot glue to attach the candy canes to the dowel (upside down with the
hook away from the dowel). The bottom of the candle rests on the dowel in the
center of the candy canes. She added some greenery to the bottom, but you could
also add a ribbon around the center. Be creative and make your own centerpiece.
Glue candy canes, curved side up and facing out, around the outside of an empty
coffee can for an attractive candy cane vase. Fill with red flowers for a unique
An alternative to gluing candy canes would be to hang candy canes on the side of
a glass vase. Insert a candle or red flowers into the vase.
If you're having a sit-down Christmas party, try using candy canes as part of
each place setting.
If you enjoy crafts, try one of these two ideas:
Cane Reindeer Ornament
My kids and I have been making candy cane reindeer ornaments for years, they are
so cute! If you like those, you may also want to check out this cute Candy
Cane Heart Ornament from our homemade Christmas ornament contest last year!)
Cards and Gifts
Add candy canes and a ribbon as decoration on top of your Christmas gifts
Tie a candy cane or two to a gift bag.
Create homemade Christmas cards using candy canes. Glue two candy canes together
with the hooked part facing inward and touching to form a heart.
You can also attach candy cane hearts to homemade Valentines.
Spice up Your Beverage
Break up candy canes and drop them into a two-liter bottle of ginger ale. Add
this to your punch for a wonderful beverage at your next party.
Crush some candy canes and add them to hot apple cider.
Candy canes make great stirrers for your hot chocolate, tea, and coffee. The
flavor of your beverage can change depending on whether you choose peppermint,
chocolate mint, cinnamon, cherry or any other flavor.
Add candy cane sprinkles to your milkshake.
Use crushed candy canes as decoration on cut-out Christmas cookies
Add finely crushed candy canes to cookie batter or make Stained
Glass Cookies. The candy adds a unique flavor and crunch and also makes a
Form candy canes into a heart and place on top of a cake or cupcakes for
Christmas or Valentine's Day. (See
for a picture.)
Chop up candy canes and sprinkle them on an ice cream sundae.
Mix coarsely crushed candy cane sprinkles with vanilla ice cream to create your
own mint ice cream.
Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top of your brownies
Mix candy cane sprinkles in crispy rice treats.
Also try adding crushed candy canes to your frosting for a unique candy cane
White Almond and Candy Cane Bark
Melt ˝ package of white almond bark (or any type of chocolate you prefer). Stir
in 6 to 8 crushed candy canes. Pour the mixture onto wax paper and cool to room
temperature. Break into serving size pieces.
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
˝ cup white sugar
2 peppermint candy canes, crushed
Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with foil. In a large glass
or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar to soft peaks.
Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until whites form stiff peaks. Drop by
spoonfuls 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle crushed
peppermint candy over the cookies. Bake for 1 ˝ hours in preheated oven.
Meringues should be completely dry on the inside. Do not allow them to brown.
Turn off oven. Keep oven door ajar, and let meringues sit in the oven until
completely cool. Loosen from foil with metal spatula. Store loosely covered in
cool dry place for up to 2 months.
This is a yummy way to use those candy canes!
Reinforce math concepts with candy canes. Here are some ideas to get you
Place a pile of small candy canes on the table. Have your child estimate how
many candy canes are in the pile.
We have ___ boxes of candy canes. Each box has 12 candy canes. How many candy
canes do we have in all?
We have ___ candy canes. ___ are red and white striped, ___ are green and white
striped, and ___ are multi-striped. What fraction of the candy canes are red and
white striped, green and white striped, etc.
We have ___ candy canes on the Christmas tree and ___ candy canes in a basket on
our table. How many candy canes do we have altogether?
We have ___ candy canes for our whole family (or to divide with your friends).
How many does each person get to eat?
How many more red and white striped candy canes do we have than green and white
We have removed ___ candy canes out of the box. How many are still in the box?
We have ___ candy canes. If we eat ___ candy canes? How many will we have left?
History of the Candy Cane
Do you know why the candy cane was created? Many believe the candy cane's origin
is Christian, but is this really true? Read for yourself the interesting history
of the candy cane. Even though much surrounding the candy cane's origins are myth, you
can still use the simple candy cane to teach great biblical concepts and
illustrations which is yet another great way to use those candy canes!
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© 2008 by Rachel Keller. All rights reserved.