5 Ways To Add Peppermint To Your Holidays

5 Ways To Add Peppermint To Your Holidays

Peppermint and holiday celebrations go together hand in hand. Beautifully decorative with the delicious, sweet taste of peppermint enhances everything from luscious desserts to warm and soul-satisfying beverages. Whether you’re looking to add a brand new recipe to your repertoire, or re-discover a beloved Christmas classic, these peppermint confections will fill your guests, and home, with holiday spirit.

Rainbow Peppermint Bark
Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

What you will need:

  • 1 ½ cups crushed, multi-colored candy canes
  • 2 pounds white chocolate, melted
  • ½ teaspoon natural peppermint extract

Break up the candy canes into small, ¼ inch pieces by placing in a paper bag and crushing with a kitchen mallet or rolling pin. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Gently combine all ingredients and pour onto the cookie sheet. Chill in the refrigerator until hard, for about an hour. Break the bark into pieces and serve as is, or use as a tasty, colorful trim on chocolate mousse cups or cheesecake.

Peppermint Popcorn
Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

What you will need:

  • 15 cups air popped or natural flavor microwave popcorn
  • 1 cup white chocolate candy coating  
  • 1 cup crushed peppermint candies

Melt the white chocolate candy coating according to package directions, making sure it is completely smooth. Crush the peppermint candies into very fine, tiny pieces. Combine the popcorn and peppermint candy together in a bowl or cookie sheet, lined with wax paper. Pour the candy coating over the popcorn-candy mixture, toss thoroughly and let set.   

White Chocolate Peppermint Sparkle Cookies
Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

What you will need:

  • 1 package white chocolate mini-chips
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup finely crushed peppermint candy
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie tray with wax or parchment paper, set aside. Mix together the sugar, butter, egg, vanilla and peppermint extracts on medium speed until completely blended and smooth. Texture should be creamy. Add the flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar, mixing until completely blended together, about 3 minutes on low speed. Gently fold the crushed candy and mini chips into the batter. Shape the dough into small ball shapes or use a cookie cutter. Place on cookie tray to bake, spacing each cookie 2 inches apart. Bake for 6 -8 minutes or until cookie edges are lightly browned. Do not over bake.

Peppermint Eggnog Punch
Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

What you will need:

  • 2 quarts peppermint ice cream
  • 2 quarts eggnog, homemade or store bought
  • 24 ounces cold ginger ale
  • 2 cups rum (optional)
  • 10 – 20 candy canes

Soften the ice cream, being careful to maintain a slightly solid consistency. Stir in the egg nog, ginger ale and rum, stirring gently. Pour the mixture into a punch bowl. Hang the candy canes on the outside of the bowl as decoration, or use as stirrers in each glass.

Peppermintini
Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

What you will need:

  • 2 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 2 ounces white crème de cacao
  • 1 ounce peppermint schnapps
  • Crushed ice
  • 1 small candy cane, crushed

Place all ingredients except the crushed candy cane into a shaker and mix vigorously. Pour into a glass and use the crushed candy cane as a garnish.   

Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.