Every blue moon, or so, especially when it is a warm night, I get a cool mint craving. It sneaks up on me. I don’t expect it, and then BOOM. My mouth starts watering and I can almost feel a coolness when I breathe in and out.
My mother had a few favorite indulgences. She didn’t indulge in them often, but when she did, she seemed to savor them and make them last a very long time. She had will-power that I could not exhibit as a child. She might purchase a special treat one day and wait a day or two before she even opened the package. It was pain-staking for me.
In a household of eight, you had to fend for yourself when it came to treats. If you had something special, you literally had to hide it in a very subtly secret place in the pantry or eat it before someone else did. If there were one or two of something left, however, you knew better than to eat it. The last of anything tasty was Dad’s…unless it was Mom’s.
When it came to Mom’s treats, no one thought about touching them.
Mom was saintly and to steal from a saint is just plain sinful.
Every once in a while, mom would get herself a peppermint pattie from the grocery store. When we’d get home from grocery shopping, she’d unload the groceries, and that peppermint pattie went straight to the ice box. By the time all the groceries were put away, her candy was hidden behind some box or under some bag of frozen food, but somehow, that silvery, shimmery packaging would peek out and catch your eye when you opened the freezer door. My mom would pull her candy out from the ice box and take one little bite, only to put it right back in the freezer for later. It was torture to open the freezer at any given time and see that open peppermint pattie staring you in the eye. Torture.
Nowadays, I try to keep candy like this out of the house. I have my vices, but I generally only entertain the peppermint pattie when I’ve had one of those summer night cravings.
Which leads me to now. Earlier this week, when I sat down at the very end of a long, hot day, BOOM. I felt that cool air sensation in my mouth. I’d like to think it was Mom, saying, “Hi.”
Well, it made me wonder if I could make homemade peppermint patties that might rival the ones in the foil package. So, I decided to learn how to make these little morsels myself.
They are so simple to create and really delicious.
I enlisted the help of my oldest BSF. She has played with play dough, but this was a new substance to roll into balls. Because the mint mixture melts easily, she had a hard time finding the right amount of pressure to employ without having a melty mess. Much to her chagrin, she enjoyed licking off the mess, washing her hands and doing it all over again.
We rolled the mint mixture into little balls, about 1 inch in diameter.
After making little round perfections of minty-goodness, we pressed down firmly with the palm of our hands and flattened those babies out.
Once they were chilled for an hour (or more), they were ready to be dipped in the chocolate mixture.
Here is our end product. The peppermint patties turned out petite and adorable.
This recipe takes about three-four hours from start to finish, if you do it all at once. I like to take my time. I started the night before and finished them up the next day.
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp peppermint oil (labeled for internal use) (do not use peppermint extract)
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp evaporated milk
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chips or chopped
1 Tbsp shortening
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly dust the foil with powdered sugar.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the sugar, butter, peppermint oil, vanilla extract and evaporated milk on low until combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until very creamy (about 2-3 minutes).
Cover the bowl of peppermint mixture with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill until firm enough to roll into balls (about an hour).
Roll the batter into 1 inch balls and place on the foil-lined pan. Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand until the patties are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Cover and place in the refrigerator until the patties are firm (at least one hour or even overnight).
For the chocolate coating, melt the chocolate and shortening in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove the patties from the refrigerator and dip, one patty at a time, into the melted chocolate, making sure both sides of each patty are completely coated with chocolate. You can use two forks to help you dip each patty in the chocolate. Let any excess chocolate drip back into the bowl and then place the patties back on the foil. Once all the patties have been dipped in the chocolate, return them to the refrigerator to chill until firm (30-60 minutes).
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container (separate layers with parchment paper or wax paper) for up to one month.
Makes 15-20 patties.
My Source: www.joyofbaking.com