Peppermint Power: Candy cane recipes the kids can help with

Emily Arno

When Christmastime rolls around, kids begin munching on candy canes. See this seasonal obsession as an opportunity to get your kids in the kitchen by making the following:

Peppermint bark. Have your kids place candy canes in a plastic bag then crush them with a meat tenderizer (they’ll have a blast doing this). While they do the crushing, melt 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate in the microwave and stir in a few drops of peppermint extract. Pour the melted mixture into a lightly greased pan lined with wax paper. Sprinkle half of candy canes on top. Refrigerate until hardened. Repeat the process with 8 ounces of white chocolate — this time pouring on top of the semi-sweet layer. After topping with the remaining crushed canes, refrigerate for a second time. Once hardened, remove from the pan and break into pieces — better yet, let your little destructos handle that one.

Chocolate dipped peppermint sticks. Have kids dip the sticks of their canes into your favorite melted chocolate. Once coated, let them sprinkle on coconut or chocolate jimmies if desired. Allow the sticks to cool on wax paper. Serve alone or as a tasty companion for hot chocolate.

Peppermintify a classic recipe. Tuck a whole candy cane in a mug of hot cocoa, or add crushed candy canes to timeless cookie and brownie recipes. Be experimental and try adding a cup or sprinkle to your favorite batter.