Almost any dessert can be spruced up for the holidays with the addition of some peppermint candy. If your recipe calls for the candy to be crushed and what you have is whole, you can crush it using basic kitchen items. The key to turning your leftover candy canes or peppermint rounds into a usable ingredient for barks, cookies, cakes or caramels is to make sure the pieces don't go flying in the process.
Set Up for Success
Place the candy inside a heavy-duty zip-close bag. If you don't have a sturdy bag, put the candy in a standard sandwich bag, then seal that bag inside a second one to double its strength. To make sure the candy is as hard and as brittle as possible, freeze it for an hour or two. The more brittle the candy, the easier it will be to crush. When it has chilled thoroughly, remove the bagged candy from the freezer and set it on a solid countertop. Lay a kitchen towel over it to protect the bag and muffle sound.
Crush or Dust
Hit the bag gently several times with a heavy kitchen implement such as a rolling pin or a meat mallet. Don't use anything sharp that might puncture the bag. When you have crushed the candy to your satisfaction, remove it from the bag and pour it through a large sieve to separate out the pieces from the dust. Reserve the dust for adding to other recipes, such as eggnog, brownie batter or cupcake frosting. If your recipe calls for dust, not pieces, pulse the frozen candy in a food processor rather than crushing it by hand.