Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peppermint Patties

I would like to officially announce this week as candy week here on Baking and Mistaking! For some reason, this season is a prime time for candy making. I'm not quite sure why, since I eat candy year round. No really, I do, promise. But nevertheless - today I present you with homemade peppermint patties. And come back later this week for even more candy!

 Let's talk about the important things first: Taste. These were really delicious. Just like the storebought creation, only somehow fresher tasting. I would definitely make these again...except I'd need to solve a couple problems first.
The basics of making these are fairly simple - you mix up the ingredients for the centers, roll them into patties, flash freeze them and dip them in melted chocolate. My problem was that as soon as I dunked them in chocolate, they started to melt and fall apart, and I had to sort of scoop them out and attempt to form them back into shape. I think perhaps I should have used cream in the centers instead of milk. I'll just have to try again!
I was going to clear off the table to take some photos of these (which aren't terribly photogenic to begin with) and as I was about to shift all the cookbooks off the table, I figured - why bother? I think my stacks of books are an appropriate backdrop for candy. 

Tip of the Day: Flash freezing isn't just for making peppermint patties - it's a great trick for freezing leftover cookie dough. Roll your dough into the right shape, stick them on a baking sheet and freeze for 20 minutes until solid. Then stick them in a freezer bag, and you can have freshly baked cookies in no time when the mood strikes.

Recipe: (adapted from thekitchn.com)
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 teaspoons peppermint extract*
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons cream
8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon oil

Cream together the sugar, butter, peppermint, vanilla and cream.  Beat for several minutes until smooth. 
Roll a teaspoon of the mixture at a time into a ball, and flatten them slightly on to parchment-paper lined baking sheets. Flash freeze the patties for 20 to 30 minutes. 
Melt the chocolate and oil together. Dip the patties into the chocolate one at a time, allowing any excess to drip off. Place them back on the parchment paper. When completed, return the sheet to the freezer until hard. 
I preferred to store mine in the freezer - the fridge would also be fine, but I wouldn't leave them out at room temperature. 

*Peppermint extract is not the easiest ingredient to find, but do not substitute "mint" extract instead - unless you want a mouth full of chocolate covered toothpaste.

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