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Peppermint Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Floats

If you're anything like me, you're currently looking at the countless peppermint candy canes laying around wondering what you're going to to with all of them now that the holidays are over. It seems like such a waste to just toss them, but seriously, who actually eats peppermint candy canes?!

Maybe I'm in the minority here, but even so I can tell you that this recipe below will have you searching your local stores for those 90% off leftover candy canes in the picked over Christmas sections. There are substitutions, of course, if you don't have any candy canes laying around your house, or can't get your hands on candy canes anymore. Those red and white peppermint starlight mints would do the trick, or if you just don't want to deal with making your own ice cream you can always buy peppermint ice cream. For us, there's just something fun about stirring the crushed candy canes into the vanilla ice cream. It gets that perfect minty flavor all while maintaining the staple vanilla we all love. It also allows Adelyn to get in on the fun!

Kids can essentially help make this entire thing from start to finish...with help and supervision of course! Adelyn loves adding ingredients, and let's be honest, nothing beats homemade hot cocoa.

If you haven't tried it before, homemade hot cocoa insanely easy to make with just a few simple ingredients: unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar, milk, vanilla & a tiny sprinkling of salt (just trust me on that!). The secret is all in the ingredients. Serve it after an afternoon playing in the snow, in pajamas while watching a movie or brew it & keep it warm in a crock pot for a party. Our new favorite way to serve it is over the peppermint candy cane ice cream (call it a float of sorts).


peppermint candy canes, crushed | vanilla ice cream | 3/4 tsp vanilla

1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder | 3/4 c white sugar | 3 1/2 c milk

  1. Remove wrappers from candy canes. Place in a ziplock bag, wrapped in paper towels.

  2. Crush with the bottom of a cup until broken into small pieces. Reserve about one quarter cup of candy cane pieces for garnish.

  3. Transfer ice cream from carton into a freezer safe bowl & mix in candy cane pieces until well incorporated.

  4. Cover & return to freezer to set (roughly 2 hours).

  5. Combine cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a bowl, set aside.

  6. Boil 1/3 cup of water. Add cocoa mixture and stir while keeping it at an easy boil. Simmer & stir for about 2 minutes (watch that it doesn't burn!).

  7. Stir in milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil.

  8. Remove from heat & add in vanilla.

  9. Scoop peppermint ice cream into bowls or cups.

  10. Garnish with more candy cane pieces & pour hot cocoa around the ice cream.

  11. Serve immediately 😊

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