Five Festive Uses for Candy Canes

By Amanda Flower

Candy canes are synonymous with Christmas, so when I wanted to write a Christmas book for the Amish Candy Shop Mysteries, I knew they were the perfect choice. They are the featured treat in my Christmas novella Candy Cane Crime. What makes them even better for this novella is that they are used in a candy cane exchange that leads to a mystery. Although there is no murder in the story, there is a lot of intrigue as Amish candy shop assistant Charlotte Weaver tries to discover who is sending her secret messages through the village of Harvest’s candy cane exchange. She has several suspects and not all of them are appealing. Will she find her secret admirer? And if she does what tough choices will she have to make? You have to read the novella to find out, but I will say that this novella was so much fun to write. I can’t wait for you to dive into the story. In the meantime, check out these uses for candy canes.

1. Decorate the Christmas tree. My Grandpa Flower passed away long before I was born, but his family had a tradition of hanging candy canes on the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve night. It was something that my father did every year. He came home from work on Christmas Eve with boxes of candy canes, and we would hang them on the tree. He always talked about his dad when we did this. Now that my father has also passed away, I continue the tradition and think about my father and grandfather every time.

2. Make reindeer. I think we have all seen these and made them in elementary school, but they stand the test of time for cuteness. All you need is a candy cane, a small red pompom ball for the nose, one brown pipe cleaner for antlers, two googly eyes, and a hot glue gun. Make a reindeer face on your candy canes and give them as gifts or use for decoration.

3. Spruce up your wrapping. Don’t have bows and don’t want to try to make them when wrapping presents? Use candy canes instead as gift toppers. It’s festive and easy. Just a couple of candy canes and tape will make your gift look extra special.

4. Cocoa spoon. This might be my favorite. Does anything say Christmas more that peppermint hot chocolate? If you don’t have any peppermint extract, don’t worry! Use a candy cane to stir your hot chocolate or cocoa and you have an instant peppermint-flavored treat.

5. Make a wreath, using candy canes of varying sizes. A candy cane wreath is the perfect accent for your front door this season. There are many ways to make a candy cane wreath, so I highly recommend clicking over to Pinterest to find the wreath that appeals to you most. There are great how-tos that are easy and fun!

I hope you enjoyed this list. Whatever your holiday tradition, I wish you a wonderful holiday season, especially this year. May you and your family be happy, healthy, and safe.

A candy-striped caper . . .

Christmas is coming all too quickly for Harvest, Ohio’s famous chocolatier, Bailey King. Thanks to her new cable TV show, her shop has more candy orders than she can handle this holiday season. Fortunately, her beloved Cousin Charlotte is happy to take the Candy Cane Exchange off Bailey’s to-do list. After all, Charlotte has come to Harvest from her conservative home district to find her future outside of her family’s influence. What better way than by taking on the Englisch task of pairing the sweet notes everyone is exchanging with a peppermint treat, just in time for Christmas Eve delivery? But when Charlotte discovers some of those delicious missives are for her, suddenly she’s staking out the festive postbox, hoping to catch her secret admirer in his intriguing tracks . . .

When Charlotte sees something underhanded going on beneath the merrymaking, she enlists the help of Sheriff Deputy Luke Little to find out if her unknown correspondent is none other than the town’s biggest suspect. And the surprising truth about her suitor’s identity has her contemplating leaving her Amish roots behind forever . . .

Recipe Included!