Colorful candy canes are a quintessential part of the Holiday season, but, to be honest, we don’t really want to eat more than one. On their own, candy canes can be a little too sweet and one note. This season we’re channeling our festive energy (and our spare candy canes) into red and white desserts with a peppermint kick. Try these five ideas for cooking with candy canes. 

crushed peppermint candy canes

How to Crush Peppermint Candy Canes

Several of these ideas call for crushed candy canes. To crush candy canes, place several in a heavy-duty plastic bag. Lay the bag down, cover the bag with a clean dish towel, and give them a few firm smacks with a mallet or rolling pin. Check your progress by lifting the dish towel, and keep going until you’ve reached your desired size. For brownies or blondies, you can use pieces slightly smaller than your pinky nail. For the s’mores or the cocktail rim, you’ll want smaller pieces, as larger pieces may be too sharp.

peppermint bark

Peppermint Candy Bark

Creamy white chocolate makes a beautiful canvas for crushed candy canes. Try layering dark and light chocolate to make a two-toned bark with the classic chocolate and peppermint pairing combination. 

peppermint hot chocolate

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

The easiest way to repurpose a candy cane: place it in a mug of hot chocolate. The hot beverage will dissolve the candy, creating a minty chocolate drink that’s perfect for warming up after a day in the snow. 

peppermint smore

Make a Seasonal S’more

Spending your holidays by a roaring fire? Toast up some seasonal s’mores. Candy canes create a wintery twist on this classic summer dessert. Dip your graham crackers in melted chocolate then sprinkle with crushed candy canes for a beautiful chocolate and peppermint dessert. 

peppermint blondie

Peppermint Brownies or Blondies

We love brownies and blondies all year round. During the holiday season, put a wintery spin on your favorite blondie recipe by stirring crushed candy canes into the batter. The peppermint flavor pairs perfectly with either chocolate or vanilla. 

peppermint cocktail

Make a Seasonal Peppermint Cocktail

Use finely crushed candy canes to create a sweet and festive alcoholic drink. To create a cocktail rim, pour the crushed candy canes out onto a flat plate. Brush the outside of the rim of your cocktail glass with lemon juice, simple syrup, or water. Roll the rim of the glass on the plate so that the crush candy canes stick to the outer rim of the glass. Fill up with your favorite cocktail! We used this Candy Cane cocktail recipe from Martha Stewart to stay on theme.