Kid Activities
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Christmas Snacks and Goodies: Page 1

November 22, 2011 14:08 by Barbara Shelby

For more ideas visit page 2.

 

WREATH COOKIES
Ingredients:
Round Butter cookies with hole in the middle
White frosting
Green food coloring
Cinnamon candies, M&M's or pieces of gum drops

Directions: Mix food coloring with frosting spread on cookie
Place decorations on cookies (Image by KidActivities.net)

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BAGEL WREATHS
Ingredients:

Bagels
Cream cheese -tinted green
Dried cranberries or dried cherries

Spread half a bagel with green cream cheese to look like the base of a wreath. Decorate the wreath with dried fruit.
(Nice for your program but also nice at home for Christmas brunch!)

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CHEERIOS CHRISTMAS TREE

Ingredients:
6 cups Honey Nut Cheerios cereal
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 1/2cups miniature marshmallows
Green food color
Red cinnamon candies or sliced gumdrops

1. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper
 
2. Pour the cereal into a 4-quart bowl. Set the bowl aside.
 
3. Place the butter and marshmallows in a 3-quart saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
 
4. Stir in the food color until the mixture is evenly colored.
 
5. Pour the marshmallow mixture over the cereal and stir until the cereal is evenly coated.
 
6. Lightly spray your hands with cooking spray. For each tree, shape about 1/4 cup of the cereal mixture into a Christmas tree shape on the cookie sheet.
 
7. Press the candies into the trees to look like ornaments.

8. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store the trees in a loosely covered container. (Photo courtesty of mommyblogspot)

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HOT APPLE DIP   (Great for Winter Holidays!) From Apple Snacking Category
2 cups or 16 servings
Ingredients:
1 tub (8 oz.)Philadelphia cream cheese
2 Tbsp.  brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1  apple, chopped and divided in half
1/4 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Tbsp.  finely chopped Pecan Pieces
Wheat Thin Original Crackers or Cinnamon snack crackers

1. Heat oven to 375°F.
2. Mix cream cheese, sugar and cinnamon or spice in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in half of the apples.
3. Spread into pie plate or small casserole dish. Top with remaining apples, cheddar cheese and nuts.
4. Bake 10 to 12 min. or until heated through.
    Serve with crackers.

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'SANTA FACE' NUTTER BUTTER COOKIES (See 'Reindeer Nutter Butter' at page bottom)

Ingredients for one cookie: 
Nutter Butter Cookies, White Frosting/Icing, Red Sprinkles,  Coconut, 2 Chocolate Chips, 1 Red Hot
 
1. Put frosting on each end of the cookie. 
2. On one end dip the iced cookie into coconut to make Santa's beard. 
3.On the other end of the iced cookie, sprinkle the red sprinkles on for the hat.
4. Place the chips on with icing for the eyes and the red hot for the nose

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REINDEER CHOW
FOR SANTA TO GIVE TO THE REINDEER ON CHRISTMAS EVE... (But of course 'Santa' eats it himself!)
Recipe calls for handfuls-which would be the handful size of a child--be sure to give children plastic gloves if this is the method you will use--or measure what an actual child's handful is and use that amount in a measuring cup. (This activity is for a child care center-but it can be made at home minus the note.)

1 handful Frosted Shredded Wheat (It's hay frosted with the snow of the North Pole)
1 handful pretzel sticks (Tender twigs)
1 handful of raisins (Dried berries)
1 handful of red candy such as M&M's (Fresh berries)
The original recipe call for 1 baby carrot (It's up to you. I don't know if I'd want to mix it in the baggies with the above...)  Be sure to have extra ingredients for kids to munch on while making!

Place ingredients in a zip lock baggie. Shake up and enclose a note that says...

Even Santa's Reindeer need a snack now and then, especially on Christmas Eve, please leave me out with the cookies and milk for Santa!

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SANTA CUPCAKES

Start with 2 cups (or one 16-ounce can) vanilla frosting. Place 2/3 cup in a bowl; tint with red food coloring. Frost part of the cupcake top with white frosting for the face and the other part with red frosting for the hat. If desired, pipe white frosting to create the fur band of the hat. Press a miniature marshmallow on one side of the hat for pom-pom.

Add chocolate chips for the eyes and a red-hot candy for the nose. Gently press flaked coconut below the nose for the bear

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SUGAR CONE CHRISTMAS TREES

Ingredients: Sugar cones, Green frosting, small candies, plastic knives

Give each child a sugar cone and plastic knife. Have the children frost their 'tree base'. You can get green frosting by mixing food coloring with white frosting.
After the tree is frosted, decorate with small candies. Keep, make a scene with the trees, or eat!

Note: Raven and Laney (both age 12) decided to mix it up a bit-by adding spice drops and shredded coconut. 

Also made by 'R and L' is the  above tray of 'mixed winter goodies'.  Directions for each treat are found on this page... as well as 'Winter Snack pages' of  Snowmen and Reindeer. (Images by KidActivities.net)

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GIFT WRAPPED SNACKS (For a festive holiday touch)

1. In a large bowl, mix together such foods as dry cereal pieces, sunflower seeds, M & M's, raisins, nuts, and mini marshmallows.
2. For each child put a serving of the snack mix in the center of a holiday napkin.
3. Bring the sides of the napkin together and tie with ribbon.

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SANDWICH YULE LOG... Looking for a fun but substantial snack? Try this...good for all ages!

1. Remove the crust from a slice of bread--any kind your kids like...
2. Flatten the bread with a rolling pin and spread the bread slice with your children's favorite filling
3. Roll into a log--eat!

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APPLE CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS

Ingredients:
Apples, Marshmallows, Pretzels

Cut and apple in half---into as many slices as you want for your ornament. 
Use halved marshmallows and anything else you'd like) in between the slices.
Break a piece off of a pretzel for the hanger. (Stretch a marshmallow to cover the base of the pretzel piece and 'glue' it to the top of the apple.) Image source littlenummies

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JOLLY S'MORES

Ingredients for one: 2 graham crackers, 1 Tablespoon peanut butter, 1 Tablespoon marshmallow creme, 1/2 chocolate bar

Spread peanut butter with knife on 1 graham cracker square. Top the peanut butter with the chocolate bar. Spread the marshmallow creme on the remaining graham cracker square; place the other cracker--marshmallow side down-- on the chocolate bar.

To make with your children...you may also be interested in the many no-bake cookie and bar recipes in the NO-BAKE CATEGORY...

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TOFFEE CRUNCH GRAHAMS 

Ingredients: 12 whole graham crackers (about 5" x 2.5 "), 1.5 cups butter  (3 sticks) use only butter-no substitutes, 1 cup packaged brown sugar, 2 cups sliced almonds

Line a 13" x 1" baking pan with heavy-duty tin foil. Place graham crackers in the pan. (They fit perfectly!

 In a saucepan, combine butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil--stirring constantly. Carefully pour mixture over the graham crackers.  Sprinkle on the sliced almonds.  Bake at 400 for 6 to 8 minutes. Cool in pan for 4 minutes. Cut each cracker into four sections; transfer to wire racks to cool completely. (Image of candy-cooling on the rack-by KidActivities.net)

This recipe seemed so easy that I had to try it! IT IS EASY...and now sitting all wrapped in my freezer and waiting for the Holidays! Don't let the brown sugar and butter mixture scare you as you stir it in the pot. It comes together wonderfully as it begins to boil. Really nice for the Holidays! Barb

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PEANUTBUTTER AND COCONUT SNOWFLAKES
Ingredients:
Peanut butter, hexagon shaped crackers,  coconut

Spread peanut butter on the crackers.
Sprinkle coconut over them...

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HOLIDAY FRUIT CANDLE

Place a pineapple ring on each child's plate. Cut bananas in half and let each child peel his banana and place standing up in pineapple ring. Give each child a maraschino cherry and a toothpick to put on top of banana. You can put a raisin on top too. Now everyone has a Christmas candle.

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 NO COOK PUMPKIN PIE (Individual Servings)

Give each child a cup.
Into their cup put a big scoop of canned pumpkin, marshmallow creme, cool whip, and pumpkin pie spices.
Have children mix and then spread on graham crackers and eat.

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NO BAKE PUMPKIN PIE

Individual recipe:
Small custard-sized ready to eat--pie crusts
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon marshmallow creme
1 tablespoon prepared whipped topping
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together and pour into the crust. The recipe is then ready to eat; it may be refrigerated or frozen.

Get other ideas in the PUMPKIN SNACKS CATEGORY!

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MICROWAVE FUDGE #1

1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1/4 pound margarine (or butter)
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Blend powdered sugar and cocoa in mixing bowl then add milk and butter, cook in Microwave Oven for 2 minutes. ( do not mix these ingredients, merely place in the bowl)
Remove bowl from microwave and stir  to mix ingredients.
Add vanilla and nuts and stir until blended.
Pour in greased container and place in freezer for 20 minutes or refrigerator for 1 hour.
Cut and serve. Yield: 60 pieces.

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MINUTE MICROWAVE FUDGE #2
From the kitchen of Erica Wilson on Mrs. Clauses' website

 Ingredients:
1 pound of powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 pound butter/margarine
1 cup chopped nuts

• Mix all dry ingredients together.
Put in a 8"x8" inch microwave safe pan (important to use this size pan).
Add milk and vanilla extract.
Place chunk of butter/margarine in center ( leave butter as whole do not chop up).
Microwave on high for 2 minutes until bottom of dish feels warm.
Stir vigorously and blend in chopped nuts.
Put in mold or whatever and chill for 1 hour.
*Use real butter for best results.

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NO BAKE PEANUTTY CLUSTERS

A super-easy sweet treat!
Makes: About 3 dozen goodies

1 bag (about 12 oz) semisweet chocolate, milk chocolate or butterscotch chips (2 cups)
2 cups chow mein noodles or any ready-to-eat cereal
1 cup peanuts
 
1. In large microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips uncovered on High 1 minute.
Stir after 30 seconds- until softened. Keep stirring until smooth.
If not completely softened, continue microwaving 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each microwave time, until smooth.
 
2. Stir noodles and peanuts into chocolate until well coated.

3.Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm. Store covered in refrigerator.

For other EASY CANDY RECIPES...click here!  Many are wonderful for the Holidays!

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FOR HOLIDAY SNACKS...Don't forget  fun and easy...

• Cookie-cutter sandwiches of Holiday shapes 

Star shaped cheese and Holiday crackers

Red and Green Christmas Chips and Salsa

Red and Green Apples

"Little Debbie" Tree shaped individual snack cakes 

Red and Green Grapes

Tomato Soup with Green Goldfish Crackers

Ice Cream with Strawberry Syrup and Green Sprinkles

Decorated cupcakes

Pepperoni and Green Olive Pizza (Christmas Colors)

Rice Crispy Treat Present: Take a treat and tie with Licorice String

Purchased or Homemade Christmas cookies

Hot Cocoa/Chocolate (Check out all the fun recipes!)

Peppermint ice cream

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If your looking for GOODIES THAT MAKE GREAT GIFTS click here!  You'll find such things as Tea mix, Cocoa Mixes, Gourmet Apples, Colored Sugar, Tea Stirrers and Chocolate Covered Spoons!

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REINDEER CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZEL RODS (Pretzel rods with antlers)

Ingredients:
4 ounces chocolate vanilla or butterscotch-flavored almond bark--chopped
12 large pretzel twists
12 pretzel rods
24 miniature semisweet chocolate chips
12 red candy-coated chocolate candies
1 roll Betty Crocker Fruit by the Foot
Cherry or other flavor chewy fruit snack rolls
12 miniature green M & M's

 1. Place candy coating (Almond Bark) in 1-cup microwavable measuring cup. Microwave uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted.
 
2. Dip pretzel twists into melted candy coating. Place on waxed paper. Let stand until coating is set.
 
3. If necessary, re-warm coating. Dip top 2 inches of pretzel rod into melted candy coating; attach pretzel rod to bottom of pretzel twist. Place on waxed paper.
 
4. To make reindeer...
Press on chocolate chips for eyes and red M & M for nose-- using melted candy coating.

  • Cut scarf from fruit roll; attach to reindeer using candy coating.
  • Press on green M & M for button using candy coating. Place on waxed paper. Let stand until coating is set.
  • Store coated pretzel rods loosely covered at room temperature no longer than 2 weeks. Really cute!

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HUGS AND KISSES HOLIDAY PRETZELS

Ingredients: checkerboard, windowpane, square, or round shaped pretzels
M&Ms plain chocolate candies (Use red and green for the Christmas Holiday Season)
Hershey's Hugs chocolates 
Hershey's chocolate kisses (The amoubt of each depends on how many you are making) 

Preheat oven to 170 degrees

Open the bags of pretzels and place them on a parchment or waxed paper-lined cookie sheets in a single layer. DO ONLY ONE TYPE OF CANDY PER SHEET because the Hugs melt faster than the kisses.

Unwrap Hugs or Kisses, place one on each pretzel, repeat for an entire cookie sheet.

Place cookie sheets in the preheated oven, bake 4 MINUTES FOR THE SHEET OF pretzels and HUGS, 5-6 minutes for the pretzels and KISSES. Remove from oven and immediately put a M&M on top of each pretzel/chocolate, pressing down gently. Place cookie sheet in freezer or refrigerator until the chocolate is reset. 

If this is a gift, wrap either in cellophane bags or a candy box. Photo courtesy of cutesassy  (I've actually made these several times and they're wonderful! A picture of some that KidActivities has made is at the top of the page of the 'Dipped Pretzel Recipes' Category...In my experience, they should be eaten within a few days--after that the 'chocolate kiss' candy begins to whiten a bit. Barb)

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M& M PURCHASE TIP...

When the Christmas Holidays are over--buy all the red and green  M&M candies you can. Often they are on sale at 50-75% off and you can use the red for Valentine's Day and save the green for St. Patrick's Day!

#2 PURCHASE TIP: Be sure to buy lots of RITZ SNOWFLAKE CRACKERS during the winter Holidays...You'll then have them to pull out for dips and spreads for other Winter Food Fun! (They're only in stores for the Holidays)

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FROM OUR REINDEER THEME COME THESE GOODIES!

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REINDEER FACE SANDWICH (1 slice bread)
Peanut butter
4 mini pretzels
4 raisins or m&m's
2 mini marshmallows
Maraschino cherries or red-hot cinnamon candies
Plates and knife

 

1. Cut bread in half from corner to corner, making two equal triangles.
2. Spread peanut butter over bread.
3. Decorate as follows:

Place it in front of you, with the point facing you and the long side of triangle facing away from you. Place one mini pretzel on each upper corner for the antlers; two raisins in the center of each slice (the eyes) and one mini marshmallow for the nose...if you are making Rudolf, use a maraschino cherry or cinnamon candy -- on the tip of each short point nearest you for the nose). You now have two reindeer faces...

REINDEER SANDWICHES in general...
Just put  variety of bread slices, cheese, meat or peanut butter. Add and a good selection of veggies and fruit...Raisins, carrot strips, celery, olives, slices of red pepper,etc. This sample idea  from
hamptonroads

 

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REINDEER NUTTER BUTTER COOKIE

Ingredients: Nutter Butter Cookies, Peanut Butter, Raisins, Small Pretzel Twists, Red M & M Candies

Directions:
1. Place a small amount of peanut butter on the top of a Nutter Butter cookie.
2. Put a small pretzel twist on the peanut butter, letting it stick beyond the cookie for antlers.
3. Put two more dots of peanut butter and add raisins for eyes.
4. Finally put a dot of peanut butter on the bottom part of the cookie and add a red M&M for a nose

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REINDEER POOP (These are NO-BAKE COOKIES)...Enjoy with the kids... or  give out for gifts!  Put some in a zip-lock baggie and attach one of the  "Reindeer Poop" poems from the "Reindeer Theme" page.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons cocoa
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups oatmeal -- not instant
1/2 cup chopped nuts -- optional

1. In a large saucepan, mix butter, sugar, milk and cocoa together.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.
4. Drop by the teaspoon-full onto wax paper and allow to harden.
5. They will set up in approximately 30-60 minutes.
6. This will keep for several days without refrigerating, up to 2 weeks refrigerated and 2-3 months frozen. Make 72...

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REINDEER CUPCAKES

Ingredients:
24 large pretzel twists,
24 miniature marshmallows or M&M's for eyes
24 red cinnamon candies for nose 
Optional: 24 small red gumdrops for mouth 
Make 24 cupcakes (or double or triple batch as box directs)
Can also purchase plain frosted cupcakes. 
  

1. Frost cupcakes with frosting. (Chocolate would most likely resemble deer)
2. For each cupcake, cut pretzel twist in half; arrange it on cupcake for reindeer antlers.
3. Cut miniature marshmallow in half; arrange on cupcake for eyes. 4. Center a gumdrop below marshmallow halves for nose.
5. Optional: Place red cinnamon candy below gumdrop for mouth. Store loosely covered.

Also check out these other decorating ideas...Reindeer with straight 'pretzel antlers' courtesy of ziggityzoom  and reindeer with 'candy cane antlers' from carpercupcakes

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 REINDEER CHOW... MAKE 'PUPPY CHOW' AND CALL IT 'REINDEER CHOW'! 

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
12 ounces chocolate chips
1 large box Crispix
2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
 
1. Melt peanut butter, margarine and chocolate chips. ( I melt it in the microwave-checking frequently)
2. Pour mixture over large box Crispix; coat well.
3. In a paper bag put 2 1/2 cups confectioner sugar.
4. Add coated cereal. Shake well and pour onto wax paper.

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 MARSHMALLOW REINDEER...A snack and craft in one!
Ingredients:
Large Marshmallows and a dab of white frosting to hold on eyes and nose 
Stick Pretzels
Red Licorice strings (optional) 
Gummy candies, mini-chocolate chips or mini M&M's for eyes/tail

1. Assemble Reindeer bodies by sliding a pretzel stick through two marshmallows, one from either end.
2. Use 4 whole pretzel sticks for legs and a half of a pretzel stick for each antler.
3. Fold a 1 inch piece of licorice string in half and insert into face of reindeer for a red nose. 
4. Attach head with half of a pretzel stick and then tie a piece of red licorice around neck for decoration. (Sample and image by KidActivities.net)

NOTE: These should be eaten rather quickly. As our two 12 year old  crafty cooks learned-- the reindeer have a mind of their own and want to sit or lean after a bit...

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 This is page 1-Visit page 2 for more Christmas Snack ideas!

 FOR OTHER WINTER HOLIDAY & GOOD ALL-WINTER TIME SNACKS visit...

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Candy Canes and Peppermint Candy Ideas

November 21, 2011 15:56 by Barbara Shelby

Updated December 2012

Of course you can eat them as they are... but you can also... 

1. USE AS STIR STICKS...
Use candy canes instead of spoons and stir sticks in all of your favorite beverages! They're yummy and add a bit of sweet peppermint taste to hot chocolate/cocoa, tea, coffee and hot apple cider. They're also great in milk shakes!

 

2. CRUSH THEM AND...
   • Use as SPRINKLES on top of: ice-cream and frosted cookies, cupcakes and cakes. Put them on top of the whipped cream on your hot cocoa!

   • MAKE CANDY CANE SUGAR...
Pulverize candy canes into a finer powder and use for: Sweetening your tea, cocoa, iced tea and coffe drinks!

 

3. CRUSH AND MIX INTO FAVORITE RECIPES... Crushed canes mixed with melted chocolate or white chocolate make a delicious chocolate peppermint bark or fudge...make Peppermint Ice Cream, Candy Cane Brownies...add them to Rice Kripie Treats! (Recipes for Wands and Brittle are below)
   TIP: If you're going to 'MIX IN' crushed candy canes--blend or puree them. It makes a much finer taste as it's baked or mixed into another dessert. You can do this with candy canes or peppermint round candies. Using a blender, crush them to powder. Be prepared...it gets loud!

 

4. MAKE PEPPERMINT WHIPPED CREAM FOR HOT CHOCOLATE...

  → Buy peppermint candy canes or peppermint round candies. Using a blender, crush them to powder.
  → Using either 16 oz. of 'Cool Whip' or your own whipped--whipping cream-- use a 1/2 cup of powdered peppermint candy.
  → Stir the crushed candy into the cream topping. It makes a fun pink cream and the tiny chunks that didn't crush add to the yummy!
  →Top each mug of cocoa with one or two spoonfuls of peppermint pink topping.
Notes:
To store left over cream, put into freezer baggies or a freezing container; freeze until needed again.
To thaw--place in refrigerator.
To store leftover peppermint powder--place in a plastic bag or covered container.

 

5. Use them as KABOB STICKS or as a dessert fondue SKEWER. (Great to spear those marshmallows and dip in chocolate and roll in special coatings!)

 

6. USE AS HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS, GIFTS, and EMBELLISHMENTS

 HOT GLUE CANES AROUND a basket, container, or candles. Preserve them with a cover of clear acrylic coating.

Another wonderful idea is from oodlekadoodle...Using a glue gun, glue candy canes, side-by-side (standing on end with their hooks at the top) to the outside of a terra cotta pot. Tie a red ribbon around the pot. Place a small poinsettia or greens inside the pot... or fill the pot with wrapped candy. (Note: I don't see the hooks. It appears as oddlekadoodle used peppermint sticks-but either way would be lovely. Barb)

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Canes are pretty just put in a glass jar-and grouped with other candy. Or use this idea at Holiday time from classytreats (I needed to disable the link. When I tried it the url had changed)...  

Just hang wrapped candy canes from the edge of a bowled-dish! Put a  jar candle inside. (You could also fill the inside with peppermint candies or any other Christmas candy instead of using a candle.)

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Use Candy Canes along with other Christmas ornaments and hang on your tree...

• Scatter 'round red and white peppermint candies' inbetween your candles and Holiday table decorating items. It adds a nice touch to your dinner table and guests can enjoy after dining.

 

 7. 'CANDY  CANE' RECIPES...

MAKE CANDY CANE WANDS...Special candy canes for the holidays! Dip them in chocolate and sprinkle with candies ready for tasty festivities! Start to Finish takes 30 min

Ingredients:
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips or white vanilla baking chips
2 teaspoons shortening
16 candy canes or peppermint sticks---about 6 inches long
Crushed hard peppermint candies
Miniature chocolate chips, candy decorations
Colored glitter sugars or coarse sugar crystals (decorating sugar), if desired

1. Line jelly roll pan, 15 1/2 x 101/2 x 1 inch, with waxed paper.
In 1-quart saucepan, heat 1/2 cup chocolate chips and the shortening over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted.
 
2. Tip saucepan so chocolate runs to one side. Dip 1 candy cane at a time into chocolate, coating about half of each cane. Place on waxed paper in pan. Let stand about 2 minutes or until chocolate is partially dry.
 
3. Roll chocolate-dipped ends in candies. Place on waxed paper in pan. Let stand about 10 minutes or until chocolate is dry. Store loosely covered at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

FOR A SPECIAL TOUCH...
Double-Dipped Candy Cane Wands: Dip candy canes into one kind of chocolate and allow to dry, then dip into a second chocolate, leaving part of the first chocolate to show. A Better Crocker Recipe

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CHOCOLATE DIPPED CANDY CANES (Great to stir Hot Cocoa!)
Ingredients:
Candy canes
Chocolate chips or favorite melting chocolate
Hot Chocolate Drink Mix

 1. Melt chocolate in microwave. If using semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips-melt it in the microwave and check it each minute.
2. Dip the candy canes half-way into the chocolate.
3. Lay on wax paper to cool. You'll now have the yummiest stir sticks around! (Visit the wonderful Hot Cocoa Category!)

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• How cute are these?! REINDEER CUPCAKES

 Use small candy canes (take wrappers off) to decorate and make 'Reindeer' cupcakes! Your kids will love doing this one!

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CANDY CANE (Hot Chocolate) MINT FLOAT   
Ingredients:

3/4  cup (6 oz.) prepared hot chocolate
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2  cup  Mint Chip Ice Cream
Whipping cream, whipped
Mint candy cane, crushed
(OK...If you're an adult loking for a yummy holiday drink--you can add 2 tablespoons peppermint schnapps or creme de cocao liqueur instead of the extract)
 
In large  mug, pour hot chocolate and extract or liqueur; stir to mix. Spoon ice cream into hot chocolate mixture. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle of candy..Or top with whipped cream and a peppermint candy cane or stick. Yumm...
Makes 1 serving...

TIP: For 4 servings, use 3 cups (24 oz.) hot chocolate, 1/2 cup liqueur or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract and 1 carton (14 fl. oz.) of ice cream. Follow directions above.

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HAPPY HOLIDAY  HOT COCOA with pulverized Candy Canes mixed in... 

 Ingredients: 8 cups dry instant skim milk
4 3/4 cups powdered sugar (note: can use 1/2 Splenda & 1/2 icing/confectioners sugar)
1 3/4 cups cocoa
1 1/2 cup Light non-dairy creamer
1 small package Low-fat instant chocolate pudding mix
1 box of 12 candy canes, pulverized (See dirtions at top of page on how to pulverize) 
Combine above ingredients in a large mixing bowl and fold together well-- or place into a food processor and mix to make it a fine powder.
To Serve:
Mix 2 tablespoons in a mug of hot water, top with marshmallows ...can put a candy cane in cup as stirrer... Source: celebrating-christmas.com

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PEPPERMINT FLOATS

Ingredients:
Vanilla ice-cream
Ginger Ale
Miniature candy canes
Red and green sugar sprinkles (crystals)
Large opening straws

Add one scoop of vanilla ice-cream to cup.
Pour ginger Ale over top of ice-cream.
Add a candy cane and sprinkle the colored sugar on top
Submitted by Gerri/Illinois

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POPCORN BALLS ON 'CANDY CANE' HOOKS

Make popcorn balls and put the straight end of a miniature candy cane into each one.
Sprinkle colored sugar onto the balls before they harden.
Wrap in colorful cellophane.
The popcorn ball ornaments will have built-in peppermint tree hooks.
Note: These make great gifts!

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MAKE 'CANDY CANE' BRITTLE
Makes 2 pounds
From the kitchen of Cheree Bailey

Ingredients:
1/2 cup light corn syrup and 1 cup sugar
1 cup crushed candy canes OR 1-1/2 cups nuts of your choice
1 teaspoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. In a round 1-1/2 quart microwave safe dish, combine corn syrup and sugar. Stir well until blended. Microwave on high for 4 minutes.

2. Stir mixture (if using nuts instead of candy canes, stir nuts in now).

3. Microwave on high 4-5 minutes or until light brown.

4. Stir in butter and vanilla-blend well. Microwave on high 1-2 minutes.

5. Add baking soda--stir lightly until foamy.

6. Quickly pour onto lightly greased baking sheet (you can use Pam or shortening). Pour crushed candy canes over brittle while warm and press lightly onto surface. Let cool.

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MAKE CANDY CANE SYRUP
Ingredeints:
2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of water, 6 to 8 candy canes.

1. Put sugar and water into a saucepan; with stove-top at medium heat stir.
 
2. Add the candy cane pieces to the pan and continue stirring frequently as the mixture heats.The candy canes will start dissolving, and  the syrup will begin to turn a creamy pink color. (Or whatever color the canes are--when all the sugar and candy canes are dissolved, it will turn clear and take on a deep pink color.
 
3. Continue cooking until syrup comes to a boil. Let it boil for about 2-3 minutes and then let  syrup to cool in the pan.

4. When cooled, pour into a jar with a lid.

Wonderful for adding to hot chocolate, drizzling over ice cream or putting in pretty jars and bottles (with a candy can attached of course!) for a 'sweet' gift.

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CANDY CANE REINDEER FEED

6 cups Rice Chex® or Chocolate Chex® cereal
1 bag (12 oz) white vanilla baking chips (2 cups)
1/3 cup coarsely crushed peppermint candy canes (14 miniature, unwrapped)
 
1. Line cookie sheet with foil or waxed paper. Place cereal in large bowl.
2. In microwavable bowl, microwave white vanilla baking chips uncovered on high about 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until chips can be stirred smooth. Stir in half the crushed peppermint candy.
3. Pour over cereal; toss to evenly coat. Spread mixture in single layer on cookie sheet. 

Immediately sprinkle with remaining candy. Let stand until set, about 20 minutes. Gently break up coated cereal. Store in airtight container. 

 

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OTHER IDEAS...

  VALENTINE CANDY CANES... Remember this one when you have left-over Christmas Candy Canes!

 

Hot glue two candy canes together at the tips. They make a perfectly shaped heart! Put out construction paper, paper doilies, the candy canes, markers, ribbons, etc. Next, challenge the children  to use their imagination in creating cards!  If you have small photos of the children, you could glue these in the center of the hearts. Image byMs. Jane at the Kansas City Public Library

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CANDY CANE CAPPUCCINO  (Gift Jar)

1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup instant coffee
1 cup hot cocoa mix
8 regular sized candy canes, crushed

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until it becomes a smooth powder. Place mixture in small jars and decorate with fabric and ribbon-- and attach the tag.

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR TAG (attach to jar/bag)... Candy Cane Cappuccino...
Stir 1 tablespoon of cappuccino mix into 1 cup boiling water. For a richer cup of cappuccino, place 1 tablespoon of mix into 1 cup of hot milk.

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 GROW CANDY CANES FROM 'CANDY CANE SEEDS' (A cute, easy, and quick Holiday gift) 

 

 Put round, red and white peppermint candies into a pretty container or a small bag--tie with this poem attached.

I once knew a gardener who knew how to grow-
Bright tasty candies, right out of the snow.

I asked him to share his secret with me-
And this is what he said quite readily.

To garden in winter is difficult you see
It takes lots of care and a  special seed.

I'll give you a couple to grow your own treats-
And you'll soon reap a harvest of candy cane treats

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'PEPPERMINT CANDY' SPOONS

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 candy cane or 5 peppermint candies, crushed
12 heavy-duty plastic spoons in Christmas colors

1.  Put candy in a baggie and crush with a rolling pin.
2.  Melt chocolate.
3.  Dip spoons into chocolate to fill.
4.  Sprinkle with crushed candy.
5.  Place on waxed paper covered cookie sheet to cool.
Wrap with cellophane and tie with ribbons for gifts.

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CANDY CANE REINDEER

 

Materials:
2 pipe cleaners, candy cane, two 6 mm google eyes, 1/4" pom pom, glue, scissors
 
This has been around awhile--but great fun for first-timers!

 

1. Cut one long pipe cleaner in fourths.
2. Twist the other long pipe cleaner around the top of the cane to make 2 large antlers.
3. Wrap 2 pieces of the cut pipe cleaner pieces --around each antler to make the "branches" on the antler.
4. Glue the eyes to each side of the cane "hook.
5. Glue the pom pom at the end of the cane for the nose. You have a reindeer!

NOTE: Oops!  I didn't look at the 'antler' directions when this was made. This sample shows one half of a pipe-cleaner twisted and then bent a bit...Depending on your age group--do which ever is easier...(Image by KidActivities.net)

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