Leftover Candy Cane Brownies

leftover candy cane browniesI know there are people in this world who can look at something like a half full package of candy canes in January and just throw them away.

But I am not one of those people.

I have a streak of frugality in me that was forged in the many years when we had to stretch every penny as far as it would go. Larry is a carpenter, which in Upstate NY can sometimes mean very lean winter months when there may not be a lot of building going on. I was, for the most part, a stay at home Mom, though I did work part time jobs in restaurants when the girls were in school. No one ever got rich working days in small town restaurants.

I certainly will never regret staying home with my kids, and I’m actually really glad that we are able to live pretty well on a relatively low income. As you can probably guess, we aren’t terribly interested in having a lot of material stuff. Well, except for camera lenses, garden tractors and the occasional re-purposed greenhouse. You know – the important things!

So, this frugal outlook means that I look at a half a package of candy canes and think that there must be some yummy way of using them up. And for that, you should be really glad, because these Leftover Candy Cane Brownies? Freaking amazing.

In fact, next Christmas, I am pretty sure that I will not be waiting for the candy canes to actually be leftover to make these brownies. They will almost certainly find their way to my regular holiday baking in the years to come.

pan of leftover candy cane brownies

Leftover Candy Cane Brownies
Recipe type: Bar Cookies - Brownies
Serves: 8 - 16
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
The Brownies
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup natural cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking poowder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup crushed candy canes [divided - some will be used in the frosting]
The Frosting
  • 2 ounces soft butter
  • 3 ounces soft cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 & ½ cups 10X sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons cream or milk, if needed
  • 1 -2 ounces semi sweet chocolate, melted
  1. Generously butter an 8 x8 or 7 x 10 baking dish and set aside
  2. Preheat oven to 350ΒΊ
The Brownies
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the 4 ounces of butter.
  2. Mix in the granulated sugar and cocoa powder until thoroughly combined. Allow to cool for 5 minutes or so.
  3. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and 2 tablespoons of the crushed candy canes.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, just until combined.
  6. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking dish and place on middle rack in the oven.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs.
  8. Cool completely.
  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese together.
  2. Slowly beat in the sugar.
  3. Beat in the vanilla, and then if needed, the milk or cream until a spreadable consistency is reached.
  4. Stir in 1 & ½ tablespoons of the crushed candy canes.
  1. Spread the frosting over the brownies and drizzle with the melted chocolate. Sprinkle the reserved ½ tablespoon of crushed candy canes over the top. Cut into squares to serve. Store in the refrigerator.

Because of the cream cheese in the frosting, you should keep these refrigerated, but for the best flavor, let them come back to room temperature before serving.pan of leftover candy cane browniesI doubt you will have to worry about them getting stale though, because they will be gone in no time at all. You might to buy extra candy canes next year, to be sure you have some “leftover” to make plenty of these!leftover candy cane brownies

21 thoughts on “Leftover Candy Cane Brownies

  1. Hi Donalyn,

    As a former Long Island girl, I have many fond memories of upstate. I use to hunt up in Bear Mountain, ever so long ago:)

    I think I just grew up in a more frugal time. Not so much because of money but because things were more difficult to get and priorities were different.

    I have to admit, until I put up a Pinterest board dedicated to Candy Canes, for National Candy Cane Day, yes there really is one Dec. 26th, I had no idea of their versatility. People make amazing things with them. Very cool:) As are these Candy Cane Brownies of yours. Who doesn’t love Brownies and that peppermint crunch. I am sooooo pinning these!

    Thank you so much for sharing, Donalyn…

    • Thanks a bunch for the pin Louise – and looking at your board, I am amazed at how many uses people find for candy canes – wow!

      And I agree about priorities – but then, everything changes all the time, no matter what. Have to roll with the punches πŸ™‚

  2. We are on a tight budget this year, so I can’t be throwing away any food either! These brownies look like a great reason to keep some extra candy canes around the house! Thank you for sharing!

  3. This is so funny, because I just grabbed some candy canes from the discount bin at the grocery! I knew I would find something to do with them if I just looked online and then there you were in my feed reader this morning. I can’t wait to try these! -Ani

  4. We have a hard time throwing away food, too! And I know what you mean about reserving money for important things like camera lens! πŸ˜‰ Love this recipe – I’ll bet the flavor is incredible. Good stuff – thanks.

    • 10X sugar is the same as confectioner’s sugar, the white, light powdery kind used for making frosting. Hope you figured this out long ago since I just found this recipe today LOL

    • 10X sugar means confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar). This recipe calls for a cup and a half of it. It usually comes in a clear plastic bag and is often sold next to the brown sugar.

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