Peppermint candy is a popular confectionery made from sugar, corn syrup, and peppermint oil or extracts. These hard candies are characterized by their smooth texture, eye-catching red and white stripes, and refreshing, minty flavor. They are often used as breath fresheners, after-dinner treats, and festive holiday decorations.
The versatility of peppermint candy allows it to be used in various culinary applications, such as crushed and incorporated into cookies, brownies, ice cream, and hot chocolate for a delightful burst of cool, minty sweetness. They also make attractive and edible adorning for cakes and desserts.
Peppermint candy is a minty-sweet treat that has many uses beyond just a cool and refreshing snack. They can elevate the taste of various desserts and drinks, however, it's crucial to use them with caution as their strong flavor can accidentally overpower other ingredients. The most common issue when cooking with peppermint candy is the delicate balance of flavor; they need to be used sparingly. It's recommend to start with a small amount and gradually add more according to the taste.
To get the most out of them, you can crush them into a fine powder or larger chunks depending on the texture you desire. To crush, simply put the candies in a sealed plastic bag or between sheets of parchment paper and use a rolling pin or the flat side of a mallet. Some prefer to use a food processor for more uniform crumbs.
Plus, a little-known tip: If you're trying to dissolve peppermint candy into a liquid, it's better done on low heat for an extended period of time. High heat can cause the sugar in the candy to caramelize and change the taste.
How can I use whole peppermint candies in baking?
Why does my peppermint candy turn sticky and tough when baking?
How can I prevent peppermint candy from sticking to my teeth?
Is there a way to soften hard peppermint candies?
How can I avoid clumping when crushing peppermint candies?
My recipes with peppermint candy are too sweet, what can I do?
Can I use peppermint extract instead of crushed peppermint candy?
What can I do if I added too much peppermint candy to my dish?
Can I use peppermint candy as a garnish?
Is there a technique to crush peppermint candies uniformly?
Expiration & Storage Tips
When does peppermint candy expire?
On average, peppermint candies are good for about one year. But peppermint candies are hard and have low moisture content, so their shelf life can be extended if they are kept in a cool, dry place. Once opened, a peppermint candy should be consumed within twelve months for the best flavor and texture. If the candies are homemade, we recommend consuming them within two weeks. If they're frozen, they can last beyond a year.
How do you tell if peppermint candy is bad?
Telling if a peppermint candy has gone bad is easy. First, if it's older than a year, it may have lost its flavor and can taste bland or stale. Secondly, if the candy has any unusual odors or discolorations, it has likely gone bad. Also, if the candy is sticky, or acts like it's melting, it's likely expired. Lastly, if it's hard and crumbly when you try to bite into it, this is an indication it's no longer good. Always trust your senses - if it looks, smells, or tastes off, better to err on the side of caution and discard it.
Tips for storing peppermint candy to extend shelf life
• Always store your peppermint candies in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. A pantry or a cabinet is perfect.
• Keep your candies in a tightly sealed container after you've opened their original packaging. This protects them from moisture and keeps them fresh for longer.
• If you live in a humid area, consider storing them in a jar with a silica gel packet. The packet will absorb moisture and further extend the freshness of your candies.
• Frozen peppermint candies last longer. You can freeze these candies in a zip-lock bag, and defrost them by simply leaving them at room temperature for a few hours before consuming.