Tag Archives: cocoa butter

Day 8 of Bakers Dozen: Peppermint Patties

Peppermint patties. People either love them or are indifferent to them. I’m in the latter category but my dear hubby has always loved them. He said he used to get them in his stocking at Christmas time. Mint has never been my favorite treat. I’m not one of those girls who’s favorite ice cream is “Mint Chocolate Chip” (it’s coffee, in case you were wondering) and Thin Mints from Girl Scouts were by far my least favorite (I’ll take a box of Tagalongs, please).

All that changes when something is fresh and homemade. I loved these peppermint patties. My husband loved them. My mom devoured them. And, they were easier to make than I expected. I thought I’d be pulling my hair out, but they weren’t hard at all to make. Time consuming, but not hard. And so worth it. Hubby did most of the chocolate dipping. He did a great job, don’t you think? It’s good to have a partner in crime in the kitchen!

This is my second batch. The first batch tasted great, but turned out less than photogenic. The second time around I froze the patties for several hours. It is much easier to dip if they are ice cold. I also added cocoa butter to make the chocolate mixture thinner which made for easier dipping. If you don’t have cocoa butter, you can try a tiny bit of vegetable oil. Or just skip it, but it will be thick and harder to dip.

Right now King Arthur Flour has $3 ground shipping so it is a great time to buy those hard to find items like cocoa butter (which will last for years!), black cocoa, and fiori di Sicilia. And don’t forget the sourdough starter! Merry Christmas to you, right?

Peppermint Patties

adapted from What Megan’s Making

Yield: 3 to 4 dozen

Difficulty: Easy to Medium

Prep time: About 1 hour, plus freezing time.

  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 TB light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 TB water, plus more for spritzing if needed
  • 1/2 tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 1 TB shortening (preferably organic!)
  • confectioner’s sugar, for kneading and rolling – I used about 2 TB
  • 13 ounces 70%-cacao bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 TB cocoa butter, plus more if needed

1. Mix together the powdered sugar, corn syrup, water, peppermint extract, and shortening in a mixer. It will take a while to come together and will still only be crumbly. If it is very dry where you are, spritz lightly with a little extra water. Once you start seeing large pieces come together, it is ready. You should be able to form a ball and hold its shape.

2. Move mixture to workspace and knead lightly until smooth. You may need to spritz lightly with water. The first time I made these it was more humid out and the dough was easier to work with. It is a little more challenging when it is dry outside. Wrap in plastic and freeze for 15 minutes.

3. Roll dough until 1/8″ (or larger if you like thick patties). Dust with confectioners sugar as needed but try not to go overboard. It will make your dough dry. Return to freezer if dough becomes difficult to work with.

4. Cut into circles. I used a 1 1/2″ cookie cutter. You can use whatever you have. Even a shot glass would work. Place patties on a sheet pan. Re-roll scraps and cut again. Freeze patties for several hours or overnight.

5. When ready for dipping, prepare a double boiler by placing a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering (not boiling!) water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water!

6. Melt 9 ounces, or about 3/4ths, of your chocolate until smooth. Remove from heat and add remaining chocolate. Stir until smooth. Return to heat and add your cocoa butter. Add more if chocolate is too thick. Turn heat off but keep chocolate over the water to keep warm.

7. Using a fork, dip the peppermint patty quickly into the chocolate, covering completely and then shaking excess off. Use a knife to scrape patty off of fork back onto the sheet pan. Repeat until all patties are complete.

8. Leave at room temperature uncovered until completely set. Once set, you can cover them, but they may get spots so you are best just leaving at room temperature, preferably in a candy bowl where everyone can enjoy!

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Spiked Eggnog Chocolates


Yes, I know. Christmas was last month and eggnog is meant for Christmas season. I’m still catching up, and these chocolates were too good not to share, even if it is the wrong season. As far as chocolates go, these are pretty easy. A little time consuming, but not bad. And they are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!! They aren’t the prettiest chocolates in the world, but I’ll explain what happened there later. The important part is they tasted awesome!

As I mentioned, these are fairly easy chocolates to make and require no fancy chocolate making equipment. You just need a mixer, parchment, sheet pan, and piping bag with two different, but very versatile, tips. I used the recipe from Chocolate and Confections, page 169. It is the first and only recipe I’ve made. Most of the time, I am too intimidated to make the recipes, but this one seemed like a good starting point. The one special ingredient you need, however, is cocoa butter, which is very inexpensive from King Arthur Flour. I did not have cocoa butter, which is why the first picture has pretty swirls of chocolate. The ones below are what happened when I tried to dip them in just straight chocolate:

Yeah, ugly, huh? Lucky for me and the hubby, they still tasted amazing. But the butter ganache (filling) was too soft to dip in just straight melted chocolate. I live in a town where finding specialty items like cocoa butter is near impossible and I didn’t plan accordingly, so I had no cocoa butter. You’ll be happy to know that I now have two jars of cocoa butter waiting for me when the urge to make chocolates strikes again. They have a long shelf life in case you want to stock up.

Enough chatter. Let’s move on to the recipe. You need a scale for this one, so I guess I should add that to the list of tools needed.

First, you need to make 130 chocolate discs, which are the base for the chocolates. Feel free to cut the recipe in half, as I did. Simply take a piece of parchment and the back of a small pastry tip. You need 25 mm, which is about 1 inch. Trace the circle from the pastry tip onto the parchment with a marker or pen, and then flip the parchment over. You don’t want any marker or pen bleeding onto the chocolates (not that you’d be able to see it, but still!). Temper some chocolate and pipe circles. Go here for a basic instruction on how to temper chocolate.

Tempering chocolate isn’t difficult, so don’t be scared! Basically, take the amount you need, in this instance, about 15 ounces. Then set aside 1/3 of that amount, which is 5 ounces. Take the other 2/3 and melt over a double boiler. Take your thermometer (did I mention that in the list of tools needed? Ok, you need that too), and melt until 110F for milk chocolate, and 118F for dark chocolate. Watch the thermometer carefully because it will be slow at first, but it will burn if you aren’t careful. Then remove from heat and stir the rest of chocolate. Maintain the temperature because you don’t want it to cool off before you can use it. Put it into a pastry bag and pipe in the outline of your circles.

Let the chocolate set. Now, if you didn’t temper correctly or just didn’t want to, the candies will still be fine. The bottoms won’t be shiny, but who looks at the bottoms anyway?

After the bottoms have set, make your butter ganache. What is butter ganache, you ask? Only a mouth watering, delicious sugary center! It’s not really similar to chocolate ganache, except they are both delicious. This is my first experience with butter ganache.

Spiked Eggnog Butter Ganache, yield 130 chocolates

  • 170 g  (6 oz)  Butter, soft
  • 40 g (1.5 oz) Glucose syrup (corn syrup is fine)
  • 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 Vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 500 g (18 oz)White chocolate, melted, tempered (bring to 115F)
  • 40 g (1.5 oz) Dark rum

1. Using a 5 q mixer, cream together the butter, corn syrup, nutmeg, and vanilla until well blended.

2. By hand, stream the white chocolate into the butter mixture, taking care not to allow chunks of chocolate to form in the butter mixture.  Also by hand, stream in the rum, stirring until mixture is homogeneous.

3. Using a larger star tip, pipe pointed stars onto the chocolate discs. If the ganache is too soft, let sit, stirring occassionally, or chill for just a few minutes. Too long in the refrigerator and the chocolate will set and you will have to start over. Let sit until firm.

4. Now comes the fun part, and if you have cocoa butter, this experience will probably go better for you. You saw my disaster up above. I tempered some chocolate and tried to dip, but was unsuccessful. I tried adding vegetable oil, still unsuccessful. So my darling hubby suggested just swirling the chocolate on. That was a pretty good idea, don’t you think? They look a little like Christmas trees!

But if you have cocoa butter, then temper some chocolate (I honestly can’t say how much, sorry!) and add cocoa butter until the chocolate is very thin. Then dip away!

Regardless of their appearance, these were mouthwatering delicious. They just burst in your mouth full of flavor and were silky smooth. And, they were gone in no time. So, if you are ready for the next Christmas season, or feel as though you didn’t get enough eggnog, give these a try! You’ll be glad you did.

 

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