sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

December 1, 2006

candy canes
posted by soe 11:33 am

How long are candy canes good for?

I want to know because I bought a dozen last year to be a centerpiece for our tree-trimming party. I don’t like mint, so it’s up to Rudi to eat the red, white, and green ones afterwards. But Rudi tends not to eat a lot of candy, so the canes are still sitting in the glass I placed them in a year ago.

If I dust them off is it kosher to use them again on Sunday for this year’s festivities? I mean, what are the odds someone is going to want to eat one? And if they do, will the candy still be okay? Or will it have undergone some strange transformation the way chocolate turns white and chalky if left too long? (Sarah, since you’re the only one coming to the party who reads the blog, consider yourself forewarned!)

Or should I just spring for a new $1.20 box for 2006?

Category: life -- uncategorized. There is/are 8 Comments.

They’re probably okay – you might want to open one and see if it’s got that sort of sticky/mushy layer they get when they’re old. Even then, they’re still okay to eat!

Comment by Jenn 12.01.06 @ 12:12 pm

I think they should be okay; sugar doesn’t go bad, right?

Candy canes are pretty icky to start with, if you ask me (which you kinda did) so I don’t know how any one could tell the difference between a fresh one and a stale one. Then again, I can certainly tell when a candy corn has celebrated an anniversary…

there’s always this novel approach:

Comment by Kbee 12.01.06 @ 1:40 pm

Personally, I think they’re best when they are old and soft, but have Rudi eat one to see. If no one ate them last year, you could probably get away without buying new ones this year! However, if you think of them as decorations, buy new and then take the leftovers into work.

Comment by Mum 12.01.06 @ 3:01 pm

Looking at what’s in them, I don’t think they go bad, though they may lose some of the hard candy aspect over time and become gooey messes:

From http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/bldes24.htm

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
red food coloring


Comment by Grey Kitten 12.01.06 @ 3:02 pm

The instructions portion of the comment seems to have vanished, so I’ll add it again:

Cook sugar, corn syrup, water, and cream of tartar to a very hard ball stage (use candy thermometer: 250 to 265 degrees F.). Remove from heat and add peppermint. Divide into two parts and add red coloring to one part and mix well. Pull pieces of each part to form ropes and twist red around the white to make candy canes.

Comment by Grey Kitten 12.01.06 @ 3:10 pm

Thanks for visiting–it’s great to meet you. I can’t wait to try the STR, but I must finish Christmas gifts first.

Comment by Lisa 12.02.06 @ 11:49 am

I think they will be fine! Have a fun party!

Comment by amanda 12.03.06 @ 2:21 pm

I read every once in a while! But I never comment. Except now. FWIW: I didn’t miss the candy canes. S’mores & M&Ms were quite sufficient holiday sweets.

Comment by Julia 12.04.06 @ 11:48 am