Monday, November 19, 2012

Peppermint Patties

Gearing up for the holiday season? These simple confections are something you'll want to have on hand for hostess gifts and cookie trays. They're quick to prepare and keep for quite a while in the fridge. The fresh mint leaves really make this recipe sing. I like to use chocolate mint, mainly because that happens to be the variety overgrowing my herb bed, but regular old mint is swell too. 
 
Peppermint Patties
Yield: About 2 dozen patties

• 1 ounce unsalted butter, room temperature
• 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
• 2 teaspoons pure peppermint extract
• ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 ounce (about 2 tablespoons) heavy whipping cream
• 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh mint leaves
• 8 ounces good-quality dark chocolate pastilles or bar chocolate, chopped
• ½ ounce unsalted butter or cocoa butter

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Set aside in refrigerator to chill.

2. Using a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter, confectioner’s sugar, and extracts on low speed until well combined. Add cream and mint leaves and gradually increase speed to medium-high. Blend for another minute, scrape down the bowl, and blend again for 1 more minute. Mixture should be creamy and thick, not chalky or powdery. If it’s too powdery, at a little more cream, ½ teaspoon at a time. If it’s too loose, add a little more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time.

3. Roll teaspoon-size scoops of the mint mixture into balls and flatten them into patties (about ¼” thick) on the prepared baking sheet. Return to the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

4. Place the chocolate and the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds on high power. Stir. Heat again for 15 seconds. Stir. Repeat until chocolate is melted. Let chocolate cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

5. Dip the chilled patties into the cooled melted chocolate and gently tap off excess chocolate. Place them on the baking sheet and return the sheet to the refrigerator. Let chill for a couple of hours before serving. Store leftover patties in the refrigerator.

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