Once the tree is all decorated and you’ve finished your mug (or three) of eggnog, you’ll have to figure out what to do with your extra candy canes. There’s no need to throw them away or stuff them in one of your kitchen cabinets — there are a variety of ways you can use them for both crafting and baking.
Candy Cane Crafts
You’ll want to keep your leftover candy canes once you see all the cool crafts you can create with them. Complete your holiday decor with projects that will keep the kids busy and show off your creative side.
1. Christmas Tree Garland
You’re probably used to placing candy canes on the tree by themselves. You can typically use an entire package this way, but in case you have extra minis, you can turn them into a beautiful garland.
2. Candy Cane Reindeer
A good way to keep your kids occupied is to have them turn spare candy canes into reindeer. This project is easy to do and doesn’t require too many tools, either. Some felt and pipe cleaners will help you transform your extra candy canes into these Christmas creatures.
3. Door Wreaths
Store-bought wreaths are expensive, so why not make your own from your spare candy canes? You’ll need ribbon, candy canes, twine, and a glue gun to create these beautiful, festive wreaths.
4. Candy Cane Sleighs
You’ll hear those sleigh bells jingling with this simple craft that turns ordinary candy canes into sleighs for your treats. A glue gun will help keep everything together, and you’ll be able to make a dozen sleighs in about an hour. They can serve as party favors or table decorations.
5. Place Card Or Label Holders
When the aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins all show up at your house this year, you’ll need place cards to show where everyone will sit. Use some spare candy canes to make adorable place cards for your guests. You can also use these as label holders. Have your kids join in on the fun by letting them write the cards.
6. Candy Cane Trees
Forget putting candy canes on the tree — this year, make the whole tree out of candy canes. You’ll only need three ingredients to bring this project to life. Get a few dozen candy canes and line a styrofoam tree with them. You’ll need to bake the canes a bit to make them pliable, and once they are, you can bend them into whatever shape you want.
Candy Cane Goodies
If you’re looking for ways to spruce up your baked goods, you can always use your leftover candy canes.
1. Peppermint Fudge
No one can resist the siren song of fudge, and peppermint only makes the holiday classic better. This fudge recipe only requires five ingredients and 10 minutes to make. Crush some leftover candy canes over the top of some chilled condensed milk and white chocolate. You can crush candy canes over milk chocolate fudge, too!
2. Moscow Reindeer Mule
A Moscow Mule is great on its own, but when you’re looking to spice things up for the holidays, all you’ll need to do is add some crushed candy cane in with the ginger beer and vodka. You can also up the ante by including a whole candy cane in each drink.
3. Candy Cane Snowmen
This recipe combines creativity, whimsy, and those leftover candy canes for one incredible dessert. You can help the munchkins at home make these snowmen for their classmates or for your own party. Nine ingredients are all you’ll need to make these marshmallow snowmen. They sit on candy canes, too, which gives them a cool lollipop-like look.
4. Sugar Cookies
Sugar cookies please almost everyone; they don’t have nuts in them, can easily be tweaked to suit different diets, and can be decorated however you choose. To make the perfect holiday sugar cookies, add some crushed candy canes to your batter. This recipe yields approximately 40 cookies.
5. Peppermint Bark
Fudge is all well and good, but do you know what’s better? Combining two kinds of chocolate in one delicious Christmas treat. Combine white chocolate, milk chocolate, candy canes, and peppermint extract to make this holiday bark, which you can top with candy, marshmallows, or chocolate drizzle.
6. Candy Cane Brownie Trifle
We love candy canes. We love brownies. There’s no need to choose between the two when you can combine them! This recipe yields 16 servings and uses a whole cup of crushed candy canes.