Thursday, November 8, 2007

Candy Cane Craze

The candy cane has quite a bit of symbolism for the Christian. I have used a variation of things throughout the years. Here are some ideas for your Candy Cane Christmas...use them for Sunday School or Children's Church lesson, Christmas program, family Christmas...anything!

The Meaning of the Candy Cane
The story behind the candy cane ... The birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ are signified through the elements of the candy cane ~

our Good Shepherd (staff shape) ~ 1 Pt. 5:4
our Rock (hard candy) ~ 1 Cor. 10:4
our Sinless Savior (white) ~ 2 Cor. 5:21
our Sacrifical Lamb (red) ~ Eph. 1:7

The STRIPES symbolize pain inflicted upon Jesus before his death on the cross and a bold stripe to represent the blood he shed for mankind. The three stripes can also represent the power and presence of the Trinity (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

The smell and taste of PEPPERMINT relate to the herb hyssop. Psalm 51:7
"Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean, wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."

The candy cane is meant to be shared -- broken into pieces for all to share. That reminds us of Jesus' words, "This is my body which is broken for you" (1 Cor. 11:24).

Candy Cane Poems

Look at the Candy Cane

What do you see?

Stripes that are red

Like the blood shed for me

White is for my Savior

Who's sinless and pure!

"J" is for Jesus My Lord, that's for sure!

Turn it around

And a staff you will see

Jesus my shepherd

Was born for Me!

The LEGEND of the Candy Cane

A Candymaker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would help us remember who Christmas is really about. So he made a Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.

He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus. Hard candy to symbolize the solid rock, the foundation of the Church, and firmness of the promises of God.

The candymaker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the name of Jesus. It also represented the staff of the "Good Shepherd".

The candymaker then included red stripes. He used three small stripes and a large red stripe to represent the suffering Christ endured at the end of his life.

The candy became known as a Candy Cane - a decoration seen at Christmas time. The meaning has faded, but still gives joy to children young and old, whom Jesus loves and treasures

Candy Cane Books

The Legend of the Candy Cane by Laurie Walberg
The "J" Is For Jesus by Alice Joyce Davidson
J Is for Jesus : The Sweetest Story Ever Told by Crystal BowmanThe Candymaker's Gift : The Legend of the Candy Cane by David Haidel

Candy Cane DVD

The Legend of the Candy Cane with Florence Henderson (books and DVD available at

Candy Cane Games
Play Candyland!

Candy Cane Relay
Divide players into two teams. Give each player a chopstick. (The cheap, disposable wooden ones work fine.) Each team forms a line, and each player holds his or her chopstick in front of him or her. Place a candy cane on the chopstick of the first student. At a given signal, the player must turn and pass the chopstick on to the next player who in turn passes it on down the row. Players may touch the candy cane only with their chopstick. If the candy cane falls to the ground, and players cannot retrieve it with their chopsticks, the player who was passing it may pick it up and put it back on his or her chopstick, but a ten-second penalty will be assessed. When the candy cane reaches the last player, the player must run to the front of the line with the candy cane on his or her chopstick. The first team to get the candy cane back to the front of its line wins.

Candy Cane Crafts (including a playdough recipe)

Peppermint Playdough

2 cups water

2 cups flour

1 cup salt

4 teaspoons cream of tartar

4 tablespoons oil

4 tablespoons peppermint extract

glitter (optional, for sparkly playdough)

Mix all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Form dough into a ball, sprinkle with glitter, place on waxed paper, and cool completely. Store in Ziploc baggies.

Candy Cane Reindeer
1 12" pipe cleaner
Ribbon - Christmas Color
Wiggle eyes (4mm or 5mm)
1 1/4" red pom-pom
Scissors, glue

Loop the pipe cleaner underneath the curved end of the candy cane. Twist until it's nice and tight. Spread the ends apart to form the antlers. Glue the eyes and nose in place. Decorate with the ribbon around the reindeer's neck.

Candy Cane Candle
1 small round candle
Enough candy canes to go around the candle.
*** Canes need to be same height as candle ***
Pretty Christmas Ribbon
Glue each of the candy canes to the candle until the candle is completely covered.
Decorate with Christmas ribbon and bow

Candy Cane Recipes

Candy Cane Milkshake
3 scoops vanilla ice cream

1 ½ cups milk (more or less for your taste)

1 candy cane
In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth. (You may want to crush the candy cane before putting it in the blender.)

Make Your Own Candy Canes

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup water

1/8 tsp. cream of tartar

4 drops oil of peppermint or other flavoring

4 drops red or green food coloring
Grease a hard surface.
Simmer the sugar with the corn syrup, water and cream of tartar until the mix reaches a soft crack stage or about 280 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and add the flavoring.
Divide the syrup in half. Add food coloring to one half; pour out separately onto the greased surfaces. Cool for 1 to 2 minutes. Pull each half separately; roll into 1/2" thick ropes. Twist colored batch around the white batch pulling until the colors adhere. Cut with scissors into 6" long lengths; bend to crook one end.

Candy Cane Cocoa

4 cups milk
3 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 peppermint candy canes, crushed
1 cup whipped cream
4 small peppermint candy canes

Heat the milk until steaming hot - NOT boiling. Add the chocolate and crushed peppermint candy and allow them to melt and become smooth.

Pour into Christmas mugs and garnish with whipped cream. Add candy cane for a stirring stick.

Candy Cane Fudge

1 package vanilla milk chips
1 can Pillsbury Vanilla Creamy Supreme Icing
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
4 drops of red food coloring
2 Tablespoons of peppermint candy canes (chopped)

Put vanilla chips in pan on the stove at medium heat. Continue stirring until the chips have melted. Add icing to pan and continue stirring. Take off heat and add peppermint extract until dissolved. Pour mixture into a pan. Take food coloring and add one drop in each corner of pan. Take butter knife and begin stirring until the food coloring has been swirled into the fudge. Add chopped peppermint pieces to top of fudge. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until the fudge has harden. Cut into small pieces.

Chocolate Candy Cane Bites

4 3-oz. chocolate bars, 2 semisweet
1 milk & 1 white chocolate
1/2 c Crushed candy canes

Using 3 separate bowls for the 3 different types of chocolate, melt the candy bars. Stir half of the candy into the semisweet chocolate. Set aside a little of the candy for sprinkling and then stir the remaining candy into the other 2 types of chocolate. Drop by teaspoons onto a parchment lined tray. Top each with a drop of the milk and the white chocolates. Sprinkle with the candy and allow time to harden.

Candy Cane Cookies

1 cup butter - softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup finely crushed candy canes
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, with an electric beater on medium speed, cream the butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the peppermint and vanilla extracts and beat until well blended. Gradually add the flour and salt; mix well. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Coat two baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray. In a shallow bowl, combine the crushed candy canes and the granulated sugar; mix well. Shape the chilled dough into 1-inch balls then roll each ball in the candy cane mixture; place on the baking sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until browned. Immediately remove from the baking sheets and place on wire racks to cool.

Candy Cane Gifts

Cane Bath Salts
Makes 12 jars
12 tall jelly (12-ounce) canning jars with lid and rings
2 4-pound cartons Epsom Salts (approximately 16 cups)
4 pounds sea salt or Kosher salt (approximately 6 cups)
1/2 teaspoon glycerin, divided
12 to 15 drops peppermint essential oil
12 to 15 drops red food color
Make your own gift tags

Wash, rinse and dry canning jars.

Empty one carton Epsom Salts into large mixing bowl or batter bowl. Add 3 cups sea salt, stir well. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon glycerin and 6 to 8 drops essential oil. Mix well.

In second large mixing bowl, empty one carton Epsom Salts, and add 3 cups sea salt. Stir well. Add 1/4 teaspoon glycerin, 6 to 8 drops essential oil, and food color. Stir until completely blended. Color should be even.
Layer the salts in jars, alternating white and colored mixtures. You can decorate the them by using candy cane printed fabric or red and white gingham. To give spread out your gift giving you could even use ziplock bags and put them in those inexpensive paper gift bags. Make it cute!

1/2 lb. opaque melt & pour soap base
1 tsp. Stearic acid
Red food coloring
Candy Cane (or some sort of pepperiment) fragrance oil
Candy cane cookie cutters – you can find them inexpensively at the dollar store or Wal-mart.
Wax paper lined pan or tray

Melt the soap base and Stearic acid separately. Combine them when they are both liquefied. Whisk well. Add the fragrance oil and pour into a wax paper lined pan or tray. Take a bit of red coloring (just a bit on the tip of the toothpick) and swirl into the soap until it is marbleized. When it is firm enough, take cookie cutter and cut out candy cane shapes.

Candy Cane Links

Here are a few links that might be helpful!

This is a cute recipe for a candy cane cake using M&M's.

cute candy cane wands from Betty Crocker

A page that has the candy cane story.
This is a candy cane making factory site.

This has a cute mitton topper pattern for candy canes.

This is a skit about the candy cane from

For all your candy cane needs!

This has site has some inflatable candy canes for sale.

Here is directions for pvc pipe candy canes.,2041,DIY_14058_3352144,00.html

Here are directions for one of those pony bead candy cane ornaments.

This is a good site for a variety of crafts, recipes & coloring pages. Just type in candy cane in the search box.

Here are a few links for candy cane clipart

Candy Cane fonts

Candy cane animations

Here is a link on how to make a candy cane tree. Very cute table decoration!

Jesus candy cane clipart at

1 comment:

tracy monju said...

Thanks so much! I plan to use some of your ideas this week in my Sunday School class. You're a great blessing.