The holiday season brings a lot of cheer and a lot of great food. Baking is a major theme for the holiday season, and peppermint is one of the most popular flavors to use. Candy canes are probably the easiest way to get your peppermint fix this holiday season, but often, people see one crack in the cane, and straight into the trash the candy cane goes.

C'mon now. Candy canes are way too pretty to throw away, and they can turn any average treat into an amazing holiday dessert. There are endless recipes that utilize broken, smashed, and crumbled candy canes — recipes that could hold their own as the centerpiece of Christmas dessert (much better than your great aunt's "famous fruit cake"). Here are six ways to make the best (or even better) of broken, smashed, and crumbled candy canes.

1. Candy Cane Bark

peppermint, sweet, candy, chocolate
Hannah Skiest

Peppermint bark (aka candy cane bark) is one of the most popular things to make during the holiday season. Who would have thought that the special box of Williams Sonoma goodness could actually be so easy to make at home? People go out of their way to break candy canes in order to make this holiday staple. 

2. Homemade Oreos with Candy Cane Cream

macaroon, chocolate, macaron
Kelly McAdam

Oreos can be eaten all day, everyday, but sometimes you need to mix it up and double stuff them, triple stuff them, or just add a whole new stuffing all together. Kiss regular Oreos goodbye, and upgrade with these homemade beauties — because who doesn't love to experiment with Oreos throughout the entire year? 

3. Candy Cane Marshmallows

marshmallow, milk, chocolate, sweet, candy
Anna Heckler

Candy cane marshmallows are an interesting idea and something different than what people usually do with marshmallows. Yet, the idea of adding candy cane mallows to your warm cup of hot chocolate does sound like an incredible addition.

Also, be aware that, even if you don't add the mallows, just crushing up some candy canes will add some exciting flavors to that cup of regular hot cocoa. 

4. Candy Cane Macarons

Everyone loves macarons, and holiday candy cane macarons are a necessary addition to the macaron collection. You can make them at home, and try to rival the fancy ones you can find at Bouchon or Ladurée.

5. Candy Cane Infused Vodka Cocktail

Family, holidays, vodka... these tree things go hand in hand. You might as well drink something that tastes good and sip on some candy cane infused vodka. It'll make telling your aunts and uncles about your major, future job, club involvement, and boyfriends a lot easier.

6. White Chocolate Candy Cane Fortune Cookies

We all know that Chinese food on Christmas is one of the most popular meals for people who don't celebrate Christmas, but that doesn't mean you can't put a holiday spin on your fortune cookies. 

These are just a few of the many ideas for creating unique candy cane related recipes. There are tons of ideas for food creations during the holidays and beyond, so take some time and make sure to try some (or all) of them, and remember, a broken candy cane shouldn't break your heart or end up in the trash. It just means there's an opportunity for a new candy cane treat.