I love the holiday season because in my house it means lots of cooking and baking and candy. Everywhere you go, people are handing out candy canes. And if you're like me, you're probably not eating most of those candy canes. So they start to pile up around the dorm. So, what can you do with all these peppermint treats? A lot more than you think. 

Most things you can do with candy canes you can also do with other peppermint candy shapes, like the classic rounds, which are available all year. Peppermint does not have to be a December flavor and I personally vote we consume it more in July. 

Not only is it tasty, but peppermint has great health benefits including helping with indigestion, bloating, headaches, and colds. All the more reason to find something to do with those candy canes besides throw them out.

1. Peppermint Hot Chocolate

cream, chocolate, milk, sweet, coffee, hot chocolate, whipped cream, candy, ice, goody
Julia Muro

You don't have to go to Starbucks to get great peppermint hot chocolate. Make a batch of your favorite hot chocolate and stir your hot drink with a peppermint stick until the stick is melted. You can also pre-melt your peppermint candy by crushing it and melting it in some water on the stove top or in the microwave. If using this method be careful not to get it too hot because burn sugar is very gross. If you prefer a simpler method, add peppermint extract instead of melting candy. This also works well with coffee.

2. Peppermint Bark

Sam Jesner

Peppermint bark is a super tasty and super easy treat. You don't have to be a culinary mastermind for this one. You just have to be able to use a microwave. Melt white chocolate in a bowl. Pour it onto a sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle crushed peppermint candy on top. Let it cool and once it's set break into pieces. The perfect treat to bring to a holiday party or to give as gifts. No one will know it took you all of 5 minutes. 

3. Cookies

cream, sweet, cake, chocolate, dairy product, pastry, candy
Margaret Weinberg

There are endless ways to add peppermint to cookies either with peppermint candy or extract. Chocolate peppermint cookies are super popular. Or peppermint meringues. Peppermint sugar cookies. The possibilities are endless!

4. Candy Cane Reindeer 

beer, wine
Elizabeth Chambers

These adorable little guys make great cheap presents to give to friends and small cousins. Glue two googly eyes and a red or black pomp pomp to the front of the candy cane. Then wrap a pipe cleaner (green, black, and brown work best) around the highest point of the arch and form into antlers. 

5. Truffles

chocolate, candy, sweet, cake, cream, sprinkles
Arden Sarner

There are lots of different ways to make peppermint truffles or similarly peppermint cake balls. Mix up the coating on the outside, decorate with crushed peppermint or sprinkles or Oreos, fill with whatever your heart desires. There are lots of recipes out there.

6. Peppermint Coffee Creamer

Just like hot chocolate, peppermint and coffee go great together. Either mix crushed peppermint bites into half and half or melt about a cup of peppermint in a half cup of water and mix in half and half. Add to your morning coffee and enjoy!

7. Peppermint Ornaments

Sam Jesner

Peppermint candies, like most candy, melt at certain temperatures. Lay out parchment paper on a baking sheet and spray the inside of a metal cookie cutter with cooking spray. Lay peppermint pieces inside the cookie cutter on the parchment. Bake at 350 for 3-7 minutes until the candy has melted and filled the cookie cutter. Use a tooth pick to make a hole to hang them from.

8. Peppermint Spoons

Just like in the peppermint ornaments, you can melt down peppermint in a spoon mold. Once they cool and harder, dip the bottom of the spoon in chocolate for some extra flavor. Use the spoons in coffee, hot chocolate, or just to eat.

9. Candy Sleds

Sam Jesner

These adorable sleds are a great, easy present for any food lover. Glue two candy canes to the bottom of a Kit Kat bar and pile their favorite small candies in the back to make a stack of presents. 

10. Candy Cane Wreath

Sam Jesner

And if you don't really like peppermint, but feel bad throwing out all those candy canes your mom sent you, turn them into an adorable wreath full of love. All you need is some ribbon and hot glue, although tape would probably work too.

11. Peppermint Brownies

chocolate, candy, sweet, cake, brownie, cream, goody
Claire Hayes

Add peppermint pieces in your brownies and on top of them or add peppermint extract to your brownies. Or both for a tasty holiday dessert.

12. Peppermint cheesecake

cake, cream, chocolate
Gabby Phi

We've already determined that peppermint and chocolate are the ultimate combo.  So chocolate peppermint cheesecake should be a no brainer. But if chocolate isn't your thing, peppermint and cheesecake are still a great combo.

With all these recipes and ideas, I hope you can find something to do with all those candy canes that have piled up in your room.