As the Christmas holiday approaches, you will be bombarded with hard candies for gifts, especially peppermint rounds and candy canes. I experience this personally every year. I ask myself, “What am I supposed to do with the rest of these striped treats?”
You take advantage of these hard sweet tweets and transform them into ingredients and garnishments. You are probably asking yourself, “How do I turn peppermint candy rounds and canes into an ingredient?” It is pretty easy actually. Different recipes and garnishments require different types of consistencies.
A lot of you are probably wondering, “How can I properly crush peppermint candy rounds and candy canes for a recipe, and how do I crush them to get the right consistency I need?” There are several ways to crush them and several uses, and I am going to show you how.
The Process of Turning Peppermint Candies Into Pieces or Powder Can Be Frustrating
Professional chefs and pastry chefs know how to minimize the problems and create the fastest method of production for recipes and instructions. Fortunately, the method I am going to show you is easy enough for a first-timer to do with no problems. Once you get through the steps of crushing the amount of peppermint candy needed and the consistency, then everything will flow smoothly when you use the product for your recipe.
Method Use to Crush Peppermint Candy
Here Is the Method I Prefer to Use to Crush Peppermint Candy When I Do Not Have a Food Processor
Use a Ziploc bag and fill it nearly all the way with candy.Skip wrapping your Ziploc bag full of soon-to-be razor candy shards, with a grocery bag like some methods on the Internet suggests.Seal the bag of candy well, but leave a small hole so you can place a straw in to suck out more air. Do not make the bag air tight though, or the bag will perforate on the first smash.Place that Ziploc bag inside of another larger Ziploc bag. This eliminates a lot of mess, and you will have significantly less candy spilling out than if you were to wrap it in just a flimsy grocery bag because it is more durable, and it can handle harder and more frequent hits.Place your double-bagged candy contents on a thick wooden cutting board before hitting it with anything because when you smash the top with something solid it will prevent your candy from just sliding away from the pressure. Also, it prevents the double-bagged mixture from perforating at the bottom and protects your counter or table.It is time to start smashing. I know some people are fond of using heavy duty rolling pins, but they are not practical, spin on impact and smash too unevenly. There are other people who prefer just grabbing a hammer out of the garage and whacking away at it. A hammer is strong, has force and is definitely better than crushing with a rolling pin. Use a hammer if it comes down to either a rolling pin or hammer.I would crush the candy like I do all things in my kitchen. I use a kitchen mallet. Sometimes it is known as a meat tenderizer. Tenderizers will have two sides. One will have spikes that serve other purposes, but the another side of the flat surface area is what I use. It is much larger than a hammer’s side, and it will get the job done much more quickly.
This video is the best visual depiction of how to grind up hard peppermint candy without anything electrical except they could have done it faster with more even pieces using my method Using this method is a great way to get the candy to a size for a Christmas bark cookie though, and a rolling pin can be used to get a finer consistency by making passes over the double bag.
Again, it takes too long in my opinion.
From here, there are so many recipes to apply what you have just learned, including this recipe for brownies using candy canes I personally recommend, and you can find it here. Karen Humphrey at the Yummy Mummy Club has even more recipes using crushed peppermint candy like the candy cane cupcakes and cookies with peppermint bark are exquisite.
Using a Food Processor to Crush Peppermint Candy or Turn It Into Dust
The best way to get your peppermint candies done quickly, really fine or into dust for recipes like brownies, frosting or adding it to drinks is to use a food processor. eHow has a workable method. It is similar to the method above.
You want to do a quick manual smash of your candy, and place it in a food processor until it is to your desired consistency or finely ground into powder. It is certainly quicker to toss in the candy without pounding it before with a hammer or rolling pin for a prolonged period of time. It also beats repeated rolling, which will also prevent a larger mess, but it is hard candy on your blades.
Here is a video where someone achieved a similar consistency as they would have manually, and unfortunately, I was unable to find a video depicting a processor turning candy to dust, but all it would need to do is run longer.
My Steps for the Food Processor Method
I really believe no matter what your intentions are with your hard peppermint candies, you are going to get a better consistency and save time by combining the two methods. I recommend the following:
You want to use the manual method listed above.
The only exception would not be as thorough when pounding. I prefer to do this to get more use out of my processor blades, but it is not necessary.Next, place the roughly smashed pieces in the processor and pulse the processor, and you can check the progress of the consistency, or you can let it run like in this video.To completely pulverize or turn the candy to dust for certain recipes, just do exactly what the maker did in the video above, but let it run until it is dust. It will look just like this picture when it is done.
Unfortunately, there were not as many videos as I would have liked to post, but the instructions were detailed well, and it is a simple process. Remember to grind and check until you get the consistency you need for the recipe no matter what method you use. There are two methods for how to crush peppermint candies, and there are ways to mix them to make the manual quicker and to be kinder to your electrical equipment. Being able to save both time and money in a kitchen is a rarity. Enjoy all of those peppermint treats and drinks.
Thank you so much for reading. I would love to check out some of your comments and answer your questions. Feel free to leave either in the comment section.