Saturday, December 26, 2009

Peppermint Patties from Scratch

When it comes to baking for the holidays, I love all things minty. Oh, yeah. And chocolately. I always make sure that high quality peppermint extract is in my arsenal of required pantry items.

I actually didn't do much cookie baking this year, but this one was a winner. Remember York Peppermint Patties? These from are a pretty good contender in the ring of mints.

Here's what you need. Powdered sugar, chocolate, cream, mint and vanilla extracts, a bit of shortening (not in photo) and butter.

You'll want to cover your cookie sheet with a silpat or some parchment paper. The dipping part gets pretty messy until you get your rhythm down.

Mix everything but the chocolate in a food processor.

Until it becomes a big white lump.

Next break the big lump down into many small lumps, about 1 teaspoon in size. I did some tablespoon-sized lumps also, but each little mint packs a big sugar punch. I'd keep them on the small size next time.

After trying to flatten the little balls with the bottom of a glass and then the palms of my hands, my tried and true technique was to flatten each ball with my fingers and then rotate 90 degrees and flatten again, creating a sort of cross hatched print. Place the mint patties into the fridge for while you melt the chocolate.

Lots of chocolate! Chop up a bunch of it, like so.

Then put the chocolate into a double boiler, which is simply a smallish pot full of boiling water on the stove top upon which you place a bowl, in this case a glass bowl. Add the shortening.

Stir until melted.

Now the fun -- or challenging-- part. Using forks, spoons, chopsticks or any other implement in your kitchen, dip the patties and drain the excess chocolate off. Carefully place them on the parchment paper. Once completed, put the tray into the fridge to harden off.

Once completely cool, store the mints in a tupperware making sure to layer with more parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Nothing says Christmas like a peppermint patty from scratch.

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