Make brand-new treats out of your leftover candy canes.
Step 1: Melt some hearts Melt some hearts on Valentine’s Day: On a baking sheet, arrange candy canes in pairs, side by side, so that they form hearts. Bake at 350 degrees for a few minutes, until they melt just enough to stick together. Let them cool before removing them with a spatula.
Step 2: Pour some candy-cane martinis Rim a martini glass with crushed candy canes; then shake together, with ice, one and a half ounces of vanilla vodka, one half of an ounce of peppermint schnapps, and one ounce of club soda; strain into the martini glass, and hang a little candy cane on the rim.
Step 3: Prepare candy cane cocoa Heat a cup of milk in a saucepan. When it’s hot, but not yet boiling, whisk in a square or two (about half an ounce) of semisweet chocolate and a tablespoon of crushed candy cane until both are melted. Pour into a cup, add a dollop of whipped cream or some mini marshmallows, and add a candy cane for a stirrer.
Step 4: Suck a lemon Break the hook off a candy cane so you just have a peppermint stick. Next, cut a hole in the oval side of a lemon and push the candy cane into it. Now suck on the stick; the acid in the lemon will hollow out the peppermint stick, creating a straw that delivers a sweet and sour treat.
TIP: You can also slice a lemon in half and stick the candy cane in the middle.
Step 5: Prepare peppermint bark Smash candy canes into quarter-inch chunks, stir them into two pounds of melted white chocolate, pour onto a wax-paper-covered baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm, about an hour. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.
Step 6: Make candy cane sugar Put candy canes in a sturdy plastic bag and smash them with a kitchen mallet or a regular hammer until they are the consistency of sugar. Use them to give beverages a minty flavor or sprinkle on ice cream and cupcakes.
FACT: Basketball players who sniffed peppermint oil before a game were more motivated, energetic, and confident, plus they had quicker reaction times and more strength.