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When my parents were first married, they kept their first Christmas tree, trimmed, on their unheated porch until March, and then hosted a Procrastinators' First Annual Christmas Party. You may do as my parents did (Procrastinators' Second Annual Christmas Party invitation still, ahem, forthcoming), or you might consider taking your tree down a bit sooner—but either way, you'll need something to do with all the candy canes you pull off the branches. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Whip together a batch of peppermint patties, with crushed candy canes sprinkled on top.
- Give a batch of melted chocolate the same treatment and call it peppermint bark.
- Turn them into a very fine dust, and use them as the base for a simple syrup (one particularly good in homemade hot chocolate).
- Or dust a flourless chocolate cake with the candy dust.
- Roll chocolate caramels in crushed candies.
- They also make a killer ice cream sundae topping.
- Especially when you make your own peppermint ice cream.
- Fold crushed candies into a batch of white chocolate chip cookie dough.
- Or sprinkle onto a dot of chocolate ganache over a sable cookie.
- Make meringues! Either fold the broken candy canes into the meringue before baking, or dip the baked meringues in chocolate and roll in the candy.
- Use the whole candy cane as a stirrer for hot chocolate (or a mocha—it's the holidays, after all).
What's the best way you've found to use up candy canes? (Alternatively, have you taken your tree down yet?) Tell us in the comments.