Peppermint candy canes inspire holiday treats
As pumpkin spice is the taste of fall, the cool taste of peppermint flavors everything from coffee to desserts in winter.
Candy canes alone are a little too much peppermint at once for some of us in my family, but chocolate is perfect companion to tone it down. Even the little one cannot resist ordering a peppermint hot chocolate at the coffee shop during the winter months.
At home, we make peppermint hot chocolates and mochas by adding a candy cane. (If you have a Keurig, like me, brew over the candy cane.)
Peppermint bark is also popular and fairly easy to make by layering the two types of chocolate and sprinkling crushed candy cane on top. Here are a few other ways to add peppermint and candy canes to your holiday treats:
Peppermint Bark Brownies
Peppermint bark is a favorite treat for my family, but it disappears quickly. Making peppermint bark brownies allows the snack to last longer. It can be used as an after school snack to prevent children from breaking into the Christmas cookies, or can even be used as cookies.
Because I'm making so many other things this time of year, boxed brownie mix and frosting make things a little bit simpler- I prefer Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie Mix with the Hershey fudge packet and Betty Crocker White Frosting. When making brownies from scratch, I use the recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. For the frosting, white chocolate frosting can be made replacing chocolate with white chocolate in the recipe.
Pour the brownie mix in an 8x12 or similar size pan for thin brownies. Cook as directed. Once nearly cool, spread frosting across the top of the brownies. Place two full-size candy canes in a plastic sandwich bag and smash with a rolling pin. Sprinkle the candy cane pieces over the frosting. The remaining heat from the brownies will help melt the candy just enough so it mixes and sticks well to the frosting. Once completely cooled, cut into 24 squares.
Candy Cane Blossom Cookies
Candy Cane Blossom Cookies are like Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies dressed up for the holidays. Instead of peanut butter, the base is chocolate, and instead of a Hershey's Kiss, the topper is a Hershey's Candy Cane Kiss.
I created this recipe in 2010, and include these cookies with my holiday mix every year.
- 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 squares Baker's unsweetened chocolate, melted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Beat the butter with sugar in a mixer for 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in eggs and melted chocolate.
- In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients- flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Add to the mixer on low speed, and combine until a dough forms.
- Scoop balls of dough with a cookie scoop onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-9 minutes. As the cookies bake, unwrap the Kisses.
- Transfer the baked cookies to a cooling rack where they will not have to be moved for about an hour. Carefully push a Kiss in each cookie. The heated peppermint is very fragile, and the Kiss will collapse with the smallest movement when still warm. Makes about 36 cookies.
Candy Cane Cupcakes
Some people think a cupcake with green frosting piled on top to look like a tree is the way to make a holiday cupcake. Adding a little crushed candy cane on top is right (and less messy way, by the way) to do it.
Simply make your favorite devil's food cake mix and bake in lined muffin tins. Frost with chocolate frosting. Sprinkle the crushed candy cane (place a few candy canes into a baggie, and smash the candy into pieces with a rolling pin) on top.
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