A single simple candy cane was once a precious holiday treat. Talented mothers could make them with considerable time and trouble for appreciative toddlers.
Now, they come in various colors, sizes, and colors, but candy canes remain a central symbol of the Christmas season. Legend has it that candy sticks were given to children to keep them quiet during Christmas religious services until a candy maker started to shape them with a hook reminiscent of a shepherd’s crook.
But, what can you do besides lick your candy cane to your heart’s desire?
Here are just 5 ideas that put Candy Canes to good and novel use:
1. Crushed Mint: You can start by breaking your candy canes to bits. Slip a few small canes into a sandwich baggie and crush them into powder and chips.
You can use the crushed canes as a float on hot chocolate, a garnish on homemade fudge or brownies, or a topping on a serving of ice cream.
2. Candy Sleds: Using candy canes about 3” long, glue one to each side of the bottom of a flat candy bar. Stack additional miniature wrapped candy bars on the larger base bar, and glue them in place to look like a pile of gifts.
Top with a small bow, and you have individual Santa sleds loaded with candy that can be easily pulled apart.
3. Potted Canes: You can “grow” candy canes in a 6” terracotta flower pot. Fill the pot with enough shredded paper to support about ½” of crushed Oreo cookies.
Stand three or four 5” canes back to back to form a stem and blossom. Finish off with a holiday ribbon around the pot and again around the canes.
4. Candy Cane Candle: A 5” high pillar candle can quickly become a festive holiday centerpiece. According to the folks at SweetServices.com, you might order 6” candy canes in bulk.
You are going to glue the back of the canes to the candle with the bottom flat at the bottom and the curve pointed out towards you as you work. Adding a little glue to the side of the cane will help keep the next cane in place.
Surround the candle with the canes, and then wrap a holiday ribbon around the item and tie it in a bow. Purchasing a pine, cinnamon, or peppermint scented candle will add an aroma to the room.
5. Candy Cane Reindeer: With input from AboutFamilyCrafts.com and a few supplies, you can help the children make this adorable red-nosed tree ornament.
You’ll need your glue and scissors plus burlap and green baker’s twine. Add two googly eyes and two red buttons (one smaller than the other) for each treat.
Place two 6” canes with the straight sides back to back and the curves point out. Glue them together. Wrap the canes snugly in a 4 ½” square of burlap and glue it firmly in a seam on the back side.
Add the eyes to the burlap two-thirds from the bottom and the red-nose at the bottom. (Glue the larger button first, and then add the second.). Tie it up with the green twine just below the top of the burlap.
The candy tastes great, looks festive, and reminds you of holidays in the past. It is flavorful, colorful, and minty fresh. The Christmas season is your opportunity to give, eat, and craft your candy canes.