Tag Archives: Candy cane

Homemade Peppermint Hot Cocoa Mix

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If you like making homemade Christmas gifts, here’s a great idea I found at MyRecipes. Just about everyone loves hot cocoa, so you really can’t go wrong giving this! You can get jars like the one above at Wal-Mart, or you can use whatever kind of jars you like. This recipe makes enough to fill a 1-quart jar (12 servings; I upped the amount of the mini chocolate chips and crushed peppermint candy from the original recipe, since I had some extra room in my jar). If you want to use smaller jars, you can divide the mixture up equally between those. A ribbon tied around the neck of the jar makes this hot cocoa gift really festive, too. And you’ll need to add a tag that gives directions on how to make the cocoa (directions are included in the recipe below).

This is a rich, chocolatey cocoa mix that makes a great cup of hot cocoa! And it has a nice touch of peppermint, so it’s perfect for the holidays. If I have the time, I may just make my own hot cocoa mix from now on!

HOMEMADE PEPPERMINT HOT COCOA MIX adapted from MyRecipes.com

Makes about 12 servings, enough to fill a 1-quart (32-ounce) jar

  • 1 cup powdered milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy or candy canes (I used 3/4 cup)

In a 1-quart jar, layer powdered milk, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, chocolate chips, and last of all, the peppermint candy on top. Cover jar with lid, tie a pretty holiday ribbon around the neck of the jar if desired, and attach a homemade gift tag with cocoa-making instructions on the back.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BACK OF GIFT TAG: “Mix contents of jar in a large bowl. For each serving, place a slightly heaping 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug and stir in 1 cup boiling water. Store remaining mix back in jar or another airtight container.”

NOTE: This mix will fill a 1-quart jar (about 12 servings, with each serving being a slightly heaping 1/3 cup), but if your containers are different sizes, just keep the ratio of ingredients constant.

Are you making any homemade Christmas gifts this year?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Bars

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I was wanting to bake something that I could use my extra candy canes in, so I modified a chocolate chip recipe of mine, using dark chocolate chips and adding in some crushed candy canes. I decided to make these into cookie bars, so they’re really easy to make and bake. The dark chocolate and peppermint flavors combined with the cookie dough is a really yummy combination! The bars are nice and thick…they’re chewy on the inside, but also a little crispy on the outside. These are a great treat, whether you make them during or after the holidays…and if you don’t have any extra candy canes, you can use peppermint candies instead. Have them with some hot cocoa or coffee!

DARK CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT COOKIE BARS by NancyCreative

Makes a 9×13″ pan of cookie bars

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 cup granulated (white) sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag (or 1 3/4 cups) dark chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup crushed peppermint candy canes (about 6 to 7 regular size) or peppermint candy
  • parchment paper, for lining your pan

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 9×13″ baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.

In large bowl, cream butter, granulated (white) sugar, and light brown sugar until well blended. Beat in peppermint extract, vanilla extract, and eggs, blending everything well.

In medium bowl, stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, blending well. Stir in the dark chocolate chips and the crushed peppermint candy canes or candy, blending so these are evenly mixed into the dough. Note: The dough will be very thick and even crumbly, so it’s easier if you  use your hands to work the chocolate chips and crushed peppermint candy into the dough.

Pat dough evenly into your prepared 9×13″ baking pan. Even though the dough is crumbly, it will press together nicely in the pan. Bake at 350˚F for 20 to 22 minutes, or just until very lightly browned. Let bars cool completely in pan (or, if you want to eat these warm, cool for at least 10 minutes). Remove from pan by picking up edges of parchment paper and placing on a cutting surface. Cut into large or small  squares or bars.

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From the top, clockwise, here’s the dough… (1) patted in the pan before baking, (2) baked and fresh out of the oven, (3) lifted out of the pan by the parchment paper edges, and (4) being cut into squares.

You can cut these into squares or bars, big or small.

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It’s a great way to use those holiday candy canes or peppermint candies! Do you have a favorite candy cane recipe?

Linked to Christmas Cookie Swap at Katherine’s Corner.

Chocolate Peppermint Muffins with Peppermint Glaze

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Chocolate and peppermint is a great combination for the holidays! I was wanting to make a Christmasy kind of muffin, so I thought I’d experiment a little with chocolate and peppermint and I came up with this Chocolate Peppermint Muffin recipe. It’s very rich and chocolatey, with some mini semi-sweet chocolate chips added in for good measure! 😉 And it has a nice, mild peppermint flavor. Topped off with a peppermint glaze and crushed candy canes, this is more of a dessert muffin than a breakfast muffin…but if you want one for breakfast, go ahead…it’s Christmastime, after all! 🙂

CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT MUFFINS by NancyCreative

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (6-ounce ) container plain or vanilla yogurt (or about 2/3 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s®)
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Peppermint Glaze (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners; set aside.

In medium bowl, blend flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the yogurt, then add the vanilla and peppermint extracts, mixing well. Add the cocoa powder and blend everything well.

Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, half the amount at a time, until well blended. Fold in the mini chocolate chips and stir just until the chocolate chips are evenly distributed in batter.

ncChocPepMufs1Spoon mixture into the 12 muffin liners (the muffin batter is thick, so you won’t be able to pour it!). Bake at 350˚F for 22-24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (your toothpick may not come out totally clean because of the mini chips being in there–you may want to poke your muffin in a couple of places). Let muffins cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then remove to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

When these are completely cooled, you can add the peppermint glaze…

PEPPERMINT GLAZE

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons half and half (or milk)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 3 regular-size candy canes, crushed (about 1/4 cup)

In medium bowl, blend the powdered sugar with the milk or half and half, stirring until smooth. Add the peppermint extract and blend well. This will be a thicker, creamy glaze. Top each muffin with a spoonful of glaze, then add the crushed candy canes on top…as much or as little as you want.

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There…don’t these look like Christmasy kind of muffins? It’s one of my new favorite flavors now…you just can’t go wrong with chocolate and peppermint!

Do you have a favorite holiday muffin recipe?

Peppermint Hot Cocoa

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This is a quick, easy treat you can enjoy on a cold day or evening during the holiday season. It’s always fun to use candy canes in recipes, too…they make everything seem more festive! This recipe is made with a packet of your favorite hot cocoa mix. Only you make it with milk instead of water, which gives you a hot cocoa that’s really rich and creamy. This recipe makes 1 mug of hot cocoa.

PEPPERMINT HOT COCOA

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 packet of your favorite hot cocoa mix (I used Nestle® Rich Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa)
  • a drop or two of peppermint extract (you don’t need much!)
  • a small candy cane, for garnish

Heat milk in microwave-safe mug for about 1 1/2 minutes or until hot. Remove from microwave and stir in packet of hot cocoa mix. Add a little drop or two of peppermint extract and blend well. Top with whipped cream and hook a little candy cane over the rim of your cup–you can stir the candy cane while you’re sipping the hot cocoa for some extra sweet, peppermint flavor!

Linked to Motivate Me Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Tuesdays at the Table.

Peppermint Pound Cake

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I’ve been on a peppermint roll lately! Recipes with peppermint have been sounding really good to me this holiday season. I started out making Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes, then Easy Peppermint Bark, and now Peppermint Pound Cake! This recipe did not come from a cookbook or from the internet…it came from a Christmas kitchen towel a friend had given me. I added a glaze and crushed candy canes as a finishing touch. The rich, dense pound cake has a light, subtle peppermint flavor which is nicely enhanced by the Creamy Peppermint Glaze. If you like peppermint, you’ll enjoy this, and even if you are not a big peppermint fan, I think you’ll still like this because the peppermint flavor is definitely on the lighter side. Hope you get a chance to try this out!

PEPPERMINT POUND CAKE

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 sticks butter (1 1/2 cups), softened
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1-2 teaspoons peppermint extract (just use one teaspoon for a light peppermint flavor, or 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons for a stronger peppermint flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt or tube pan (I used a 12-cup bundt pan, but I think it would work fine in a 10-cup pan, too–the baking time would be slightly longer).

In large bowl, blend sugar and softened butter. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Alternate adding flour and milk to mixture, blending well. Add peppermint and vanilla extracts, and stir until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 70-80 minutes (for a 12-cup pan, baking time will be about 70-75 minutes; for a 10-cup pan, it will be more like 80 minutes). Let cake cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely. While cake is cooling, you can make the glaze…

CREAMY PEPPERMINT GLAZE

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup marshmallow creme (half of a 7-oz. container)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons milk or half and half
  • 3 crushed candy canes, for garnish

Blend softened butter and marshmallow creme together until smooth, then add peppermint extract and mix well. Add in powdered sugar a cup at a time, blending well after each addition. Add milk or half and half and blend well.

Shortly before you are ready to serve the cake, spoon the glaze over the top, letting it run down the sides (you’ll have some glaze left over). Then sprinkle top of cake with crushed candy canes, and serve. (Note: this glaze is a little gooey because of the marshmallow creme, so you may need to wipe your knife occasionally as you’re slicing the cake).

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Now if you’d like to glaze your cake well ahead of time and don’t want a gooey glaze (although it is really yummy), you can always make this powdered sugar glaze with peppermint extract…

PEPPERMINT GLAZE

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons milk or half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 crushed candy canes, for garnish

Mix first three ingredients together, blending well. Drizzle over cooled pound cake. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes, and let glaze set.

Linked to Sunday Showcase, Sundae Scoop, Motivate Me Monday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Delicious Dishes, Rednesday, Show and Tell,  Three Sisterz.