16 Fun and Fabulous Ways to Enjoy Candy Canes
Candy canes say "winter fun" like few other treats can, and they come in a range of sizes suitable for enjoying in a number of ways. Here are 16 frugal and fun suggestions for enjoying these tasty tidbits throughout the holiday season. (See also: 7 Savory Holiday Food Gifts)
1. Hang Rice Krispie Treat Snowballs From a Coffee Mug
These small round cereal treats look great hanging from the side of a coffee mug while attached to miniature candy canes. They are a fun alternative to individually-wrapped chocolates and are something you can easily get the kids into if you are prepping for a large family event.
2. Enhance Your Chocolate-Covered Pretzels
I’ve been a fan of chocolate-covered pretzels for many years. Not only do they taste great, but they are incredibly affordable to make. They’re also an easy project that both the tween and teen crowds enjoy working on. To jazz them up and make them even more appropriate to the winter season, crush some candy canes up in a plate to coat the chocolate before cooling your individual pretzels. It will add another layer to the flavor pairing and look great on a platter at your next holiday party.
3. Rim a Glass for a Chocolate-Peppermint Martini
Who doesn’t enjoy a fun holiday beverage? The drink known as the Merry Christi, listed in this roundup of Christmas cocktails, goes down smooth when the glass is rimmed with crushed candy canes and shaved chocolate. Worth a try for a small party or romantic holiday dinner for two.
4. Prepare a Peppermint Bark Hostess Gift
Rustic holiday treats make excellent hostess gifts, and peppermint bark is no exception. Crushed candy canes and chocolate are basically the only ingredients, making it an affordable decadence you can easily whip up on a weeknight.
5. Pair With Short Pine Branches to Fill a Holiday Container
If you’re trying to achieve a classy Christmas on the cheap, filling holiday containers or rustic baskets with a combination of candy canes and small pine branches is a fun start. It will smell great, celebrate the traditional colors of the season, and won’t require a great deal of extra fluff. The canes and a trip to your back yard with a snipping tool should do the trick.
6. Jazz Up Your Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
Enjoy some post snowshoeing fun with this recipe for candy cane hot cocoa mix. It’s a great way to warm up after being in the cold for the afternoon and makes a toasty fire that much more enjoyable.
7. Beverage Stirring Sticks
If crushing up the candy canes to rim a martini glass is too much work, consider keeping a few on hand as beverage stirrers for your stylish winter cocktails. Sure, you’ll need to adjust the size to fit the glasses you are using, but the idea is the same. It’s a simple way to add holiday pizzazz to your next at-home happy hour.
8. Make Reindeer Tree Ornaments
These candy cane reindeer ornaments are more for the kids to enjoy, but they are cute enough to hang on the tree if you’re going with a homemade theme overall. They also make fun tuck-ins for those holiday packages you’re sending to the grandparents.
9. Craft Sleigh Decorations
Using two candy canes as your sleigh base and decorating with miniature chocolate packages results in sleigh ornaments you can use to enhance your gift baskets or as a stand-alone gift for the folks at the office.
10. Gingerbread House Decorating
The holidays are also a great time to dust off all of your gingerbread recipes, including any you have in your repertoire for homemade gingerbread houses. Small candy canes can really come in handy as whimsical yard ornaments or miniature sleighs in the frosting-covered yard as suggested above.
11. Ice Cream or Milk Shake Add-In
Stir in some spirits along with the crushed candy canes, and you’ve got a holiday milkshake suitable for grownups. They also make a great ice cream add-in.
12. Tie One on a Gift
If rocking your gift wrapping efforts is important to you, but you don’t have a great deal of extra time to customize, consider attaching candy canes to your ribbon bows when you wrap up your presents. They’ll add some seasonal flair without a great deal of additional cost.
13. Vegan Candy Cane Brownies
This candy cane brownie recipe from Vegan Chef lets you whip up a compassionate confection that will please traditional baked good fans as well. Besides, who doesn’t love brownies?
14. Factor Fudge Into Your Holiday Treat List
It may not be the healthiest holiday treat out there, but fudge certainly is popular. This candy cane fudge from AllRecipes adds a popular seasonal flavor without a great deal of extra fuss. Because really, isn’t fudge enough work to begin with?
15. Turn Popcorn Balls Into Tree Ornaments
These candy cane popcorn balls from Taste of Home are in essence a larger version of the Rice Krispie treat snowballs suggested at the beginning of the list. Obviously, they use popcorn instead of puffed rice, but the main difference is that since they are larger, they can be hung from the tree instead of from the edge of your tea cup or coffee mug.
16. Name Tags or Food Labels for a Dinner Party
This food label and place holder suggestion from Affordable Décor is precious and uses miniature candy canes in a fresh and unexpected way. Used with holiday china, this could be the extra detail that puts your holiday brunch over the top.
Candy canes are clearly made for more than casual munching. Try some of these ideas on for size this holiday season and let the guest compliments flow.