Homemade Candy Canes
Yes, it’s getting close to that time again! Christmas will soon be here, and what better way to celebrate this than with some festive treats? There are lots of great festive treats that are popular at this time of year, including mince pies and candy canes. In this blog post, we are going to focus on the latter. Not only do candy canes taste delicious but they look fun too! With that being said, read on to discover exactly how to make your own candy canes this Christmas. This is a great activity to enjoy with your family.
Candy Canes at Christmas
Legend has it that candy canes have been around since 1670. It is believed that a candy in the shape of a cane became historical in Germany. This is when a choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral bent sugar sticks into canes to make them look like shepherd’s hooks. When children attended the ceremonies, it is believed that they were given these all-white candy canes.
It was in Massachusetts, in the USA, where the first recorded ‘candy stick’ comes from. This was many years ago, back in 1837. Back then, they were straight white sugar sticks, with the red stripes being added three or so years after this. It was not until 1866 when they were actually called ‘candy canes.’ Moreover, it was later in 1874 when these treats started to be associated with Christmas. We’re now used to these treats being flavored with peppermint. However, early recipes of candy canes simply label them as being ‘sugar’ flavored.
There have been a number of different meanings that have been attributed to candy canes since they became popular. For example, the purity of Jesus Christ can be represented by the white of the cane whereas the blood he shed when he died on the cross can be represented by the white stripes. Moreover, the hyssop plant that was utilised for the purification of the Bible can be represented by the peppermint flavor.
Candy Cane Recipe
Now, let’s take a look at how to make these popular holiday desserts…
What ingredients do you need to make homemade candy canes?
You will need the following:
- 6 drops of green or red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon of spearmint or peppermint extract
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup of light corn syrup
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of butter
How to Make Homemade Candy Canes
Now that you have got your ingredients ready, let’s take a look at the steps you need to follow to make a DIY candy cane…
- Use butter to grease two baking sheets and set them aside.
- Get a large saucepan and bring the following ingredients to the boil; cream of tartar, corn syrup, water, and sugar.
- Cook without stirring until the thermometer reads 280-degrees.
- Remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir in the food coloring and the extract.
- Pour onto the prepared pains in eight eight-inch strips straight away.
- Let it stand until it is cool enough so you can handle it. This should only be a minute or two.
- Roll each strip into a 10-inch log. You will need to work quickly.
- Cut each into two five-inch lengths.
- To form the handle of the cane, curve the top of each.
- Cool completely
- Store in an airtight container.
Extra Information on These Christmas Sweets
Health Benefits of Candy Canes
When someone mentions candy canes, you would not necessarily think of their being any benefits. After all, this is a treat and it does contain sugar. However, the addition of peppermint does bring some health benefits with it. So, while you still need to make sure you indulge in this treat in moderation, you can also feel satisfied that it is going to bring a number of health benefits with it. This includes the following:
- Peppermint is shown to be beneficial for those suffering from IBS. It can decrease the sensation of pain in the GI tract, affect the kinds of bacteria that live naturally in the GI tract, have an anti-inflammatory effect, and relax the smooth muscles of the GI tract.
- Peppermint has also been shown to help with skin conditions. It is used widely for calming itchiness and skin conditions. It can also help to reduce redness.
- Aside from the benefits that have already been discussed, peppermint can also help in terms of fighting flu and colds.
These are just a number of the different benefits that are associated with peppermint. So, you now have the perfect excuse for eating candy canes at Christmas. After all, if it is good for your health, who is going to be able to argue with that?
What if You Have Some Leftover Candy Canes After Christmas?
We’re sure that you will not have any leftover candy canes because they will be so delicious! However, if you do happen to have some leftover candy canes after Christmas, there are a number of different things you can do with them if you don’t want to eat them as they are, of course. There are lots of great recipes that call for the use of candy canes. This includes the following:
- Candy cane scones
- Candy cane coffee creamer
- Candy cane sugar scrub
- Candy cane cookies
- Candy cane milkshake
- Candy cane vodka
- Candy cane hot chocolate mix
- Candy cane cupcakes
- Peppermint simple syrup
- Peppermint leftover candy cane brownies
So there you have it: everything you need to know about making your own delicious homemade candy canes. If you follow the recipe that has been discussed above, you will be able to make your own treats while having a great time with your loved ones or even as a relaxing activity to enjoy on your own!