Peppermint is a great tool in your multi-purpose arsenal that can be used for many things. Using extra candy canes this Christmas will help you save money. Instead of throwing them out – find a second use for them.
Peppermint is a great oil to keep on hand during an emergency but is also a great herb that can be grown for multiple uses around your home – allowing you to be more self-sufficient.
If you grow your own peppermint, be sure to grow it in a pot or bed of its own. Peppermint can tend to overgrow its bounds so it’s best to grow it separately.
Upset Stomachs & Congestion
Peppermint is a great way to soothe upset stomachs. Add a few drops of peppermint to a hot drink. You can also dry out peppermint leaves and then crush and boil them in water to create a peppermint tea.
The tea is also great for relieving head colds and congestion. Many times, peppermint is combined with elder flower and yarrow.
Candy Cane Cake
Instead of throwing out all those old candy canes, make a great-tasting candy cane cake!
|• 1 cup sifted cake or pastry flour
• 1 3/4 cups sugar
• 12 egg whites, at room temperature
• 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
|• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon almond extract
• 8 ounces peppermint candy canes
• 2 cups heavy whipping cream
1. Preheat oven to 325°. Sift together flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Sift again and set aside.
2. In a large bowl or standing mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt. Beat until soft peaks form. Add 3/4 cup sugar and the vanilla and almond extracts. Continue beating until egg whites are firm but not dry.
3. Sift 1/3 of the flour-sugar mixture onto the egg whites and, with a rubber or silicone spatula, gently fold the mixture into the egg whites. Add remaining flour in two batches, folding gently after each addition. Turn batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan and bake until browned and firm to the touch, 50 to 60 minutes.
4. Invert cake (in pan) on a cooling rack for at least an hour. When completely cool, run a long, thin, sharp knife between cake and pan to loosen, and remove cake.
Put candy canes in a large sealable plastic bag. Crush them into small pieces with a meat pounder, rolling pin, or the bottom of a small frying pan. Sift crushed candy with a fine-mesh strainer and reserve candy dust for another use. Set crushed candy aside.
5. In a large bowl, beat cream with remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar until soft peaks form. Frost cake with whipped cream using a spatula to form swirls and peaks. Sprinkle frosted cake with crushed candy canes. (To get candy on the sides, hold your hand about 1 in. from the cake and gently toss crushed candy at the sides.) Serve immediately, using a serrated knife to cut slices.
A great way to add festive designs and scents to your home is by creating a candy cane candle. Glue a row of candy canes around the base of a red or white candle.
As the candle grows smaller and smaller, the peppermint will begin to be heated and start to smell even more festive.
You can also make some pretty great-tasting fudge with the help of peppermint.
• 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
• 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
• 1 1/2 cups crushed candy canes
• 1 dash red or green food coloring
1. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, and grease the foil.
2. Combine the vanilla chips and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until almost melted, remove from heat and continue to stir until smooth. When chips are completely melted, stir in the peppermint extract, food coloring, and candy canes.
3. Spread evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Chill for 2 hours, then cut into squares.
What makes you rock around the Christmas tree?
How do you use peppermint or extra candy canes this time of year? Comment below and tell everyone your ideas.