Old-Fashioned Homemade Peppermint Candy DIYs

by Margaret Darazs | Nov 28, 2018

Then they plunged their hands into the stockings again. And they pulled out two long, long, sticks of candy. It was peppermint candy, striped red and white. They looked and looked at the beautiful candy, and Laura licked her stick, just one lick.

—Little House on the Prairie

Old-Fashioned Homemade Peppermint Candy DIYs

While the peppermint sticks that Mr. Edwards brought to Mary and Laura (on behalf of Santa Claus, of course) came from a store, you can actually make your own at home fairly easily. These are really fun to make for a holiday gathering, and with adult supervision kids can enjoy shaping their own candy sticks. Help your children capture the simple traditions and joy of Christmas with this delicious recipe for a holiday to remember. This recipe is adapted from a pulled-candy recipe with an old-fashioned holiday twist.

Pair this with a selection of our other holiday-themed DIYs for fun-filled days of making memories that your family will cherish for a lifetime.

Homemade peppermint stick recipe

Ingredients to Make Your Own Peppermint Sticks

  • 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups pure cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 3 drops red food coloring (more or less depending on what color you want them to be)
  • You will also need a candy thermometer

How to Make Your Own Peppermint Sticks

Step One – Grease a large baking sheet and set aside.

Step Two – In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the light corn syrup, water, and sugar and stir. Heat until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally.

Melting the sugar for homemade peppermint sticks inspired by Little House on the Prairie

Step Three – Once the sugar is dissolved, increase to medium-high heat and place a candy thermometer in the pan. DO NOT STIR. Keep a close eye on the candy mixture, bringing it to 260° F (hard ball stage) for a peppermint stick that’s not glassy in texture, or bringing it to 270° F (soft crack stage) for a peppermint stick that is harder once cooled. This will take around 10 minutes. I found that the hard ball stage is easier to work with when it comes time to pull the candy. (Hard ball vs soft crack refers to the final texture based on sugar concentration due to temperature. See the sugar stage chart if you want the science behind it.)

Step Four – Working quickly, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peppermint extract and food coloring. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.

Folding your homemade peppermint candy.

Step Five – Let the candy sit for 30 seconds to a minute, or until the top layer has developed a “skin.” Using a silicone spatula, start folding the edges of the candy into the center, pulling from all sides. This will help the candy cool faster and start the stretching process. After about 5-8 minutes, the candy will become difficult to move with the spatula. At this point you can begin pulling and stretching the candy with your hands (wearing gloves because the candy will still be VERY hot).
Pull the candy and fold it in half back into itself. Repeat this step a few times.

Step Six – Start pulling gumball-size pieces of candy from the mass and pull to desired thickness. Twist the peppermint sticks, moving your hands in opposite directions to create a swirled stick. Repeat until all of the candy is used up. Work quickly because at this point the candy will harden very fast and it will become difficult to separate pieces from the mass.

Twisting your Little House on the Prairie inspired homemade peppermint sticks.

Step Seven – Lay the twisted peppermint sticks on a tray or baking sheet lined with parchment paper until fully cooled, giving each stick a little space to ensure that they don’t stick together. Store in an airtight bag or container for 2-3 months.

Homemade peppermint stick candies inspired by Little House on the Prairie

These would make great treats for a family gathering or holiday party or even a lovely homemade gift idea.

Please leave us a comment below and let us know how it turns out, and be sure to subscribe to the newsletter for more Little House on the Prairie-inspired recipes!

Writer of the food blog, Natural Chow, Margaret Anne is a green-thumbed Christian striving to live a healthy lifestyle and teach others about eating and living naturally. She understands the importance of inexpensive meals, family time, health, having fun, and making foods that are good for your body. See her contributions to Little House on the Prairie below.


  1. I would love to have more restaurants from there all times candy’s.

  2. Can this recipe be made using Doterra pure Peppermint Oil in place of extract?

    • You can use peppermint oil in place of extract – but keep in mind that the extract is not as concentrated and contains alcohol. You’d have to adjust the amount to compensate.

  3. Will this work with using Vegetable Glycerin in place of the Corn Syrup?

  4. Not a fan but did like the one with Ernest Borgnine. Always thought he was supposed to be God. A great message.

  5. Awesome works great thanks

  6. The water is not needed. Not sure why 1 C of water is in the recipe. Water only works to keep the temperature in the low 200’s until all the water boils off, after which the temperature can rise above 225. If you really feel water is necessary use a tablespoon or a bit of butter instead.

  7. I wish my husband could stand the smell of peppermint lol. Sadly when he was a child his grandmother was making candy and there was a mishap, apparently everyone in the vicinity was so overwhelmed with the smell that it sickens them to smell it even now nearly 30 years later. Peppermint is my favorite candy. I’m always buying them but never get to make any. Though I may adapt this and try with a different flavor. Lemon or orange would smell great in my house and are sure to make my kids happy!

  8. Can you just break it up into cracked pieces?

  9. This looks so good! I am so looking forward to trying it out.

  10. I loved ” Littli House on the Prairie.” It was a delightful show to watch each week. I did not live in that time period, but it was so good to actually see how they lived then.
    The other day, I saw it on T.V., and thought, “Oh great, it’s back on, and I can watch it some more!” But, I can’t find it, now. Can you please tell me the time and channel this delightful show is on?

    • I don’t know if you’ll see this since it’s been nearly a year since your comment. The show is on YouTube my kids and I love it just search little house on the prairie episodes and you should be able to find them with little problem. Just make sure to pick the ones with the right amount of runtime.

    • I realize it’s been 2 years, but they’re all on Prime now

    • It’s on Amazon prime!

    • I watch it everyday. I’m 53 & have been watching in it first came out. I’ve seen all of the seasons & episodes 100 times or more. And I love’m all. I live in Florida (eastern time) & in the morning it’s on channel named “UPtv” & in the evening on channel named “COZI”. Hope that helps ????

    • I get it on Hallmark channel or Peacock

  11. What kind of gloves would be recommended and do you add something on them to make the candy not stick as much?

    • put a bit of oil on your gloves.

    • You can use rubber gloves or silicone with a thin amount of butter so the candy doesn’t stick.

  12. I love getting the recipes from those days past. You can come up with some really good one this way.

  13. This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it


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