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junior mints

In munchie on January 8, 2010 at 2:18 pm

i saw this recipe for homemade “york” peppermint patties and i just had to try it. i mean, if you hadn’t noticed, chocolate and mint are two of my favorite flavors. his, too.

the recipe seemed easy enough and the reviews were extremely positive.

start by mixing 2 1/4 cups confectioners sugar with 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup (remember, half a tablespoon is a teaspoon and a half – it’s more common to have a half teaspoon measure than a half tablespoon), 1 1/2 tablespoons water, 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, 1 tablespoon shortening and a pinch of salt.


the original recipe called for using your stand mixer and paddle attachment, but mine lives deep, deep under the sink and i don’t pull it out for simple mixing like this. a good wooden spoon worked fine.


then turn out the “dough” and kneed until smooth, adding more confectioners sugar if it gets sticky – about a minute.


then i dusted my new silpat(!!) with confectioners sugar, placed the peppermint dough on it, dusted more sugar and topped with a piece of parchment. (if you don’t have a silpat, use parchment on both sides.)


then roll out the dough as thin as you can – about a 1/4 of an inch.


still sandwiched in parchment, slide onto a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes or until firm.

while that was chillin’, i was trying to figure out what i was going to use to cut the filling out. i was thinking of making my candy more like junior mints (in terms of shape) than classic peppermint patties – or at least smaller if not rounded – but i have no small cookie cutters. and no apple corer, which would have worked beautifully. so i scoured my kitchen until i found:


what is that, you ask? it’s the back end of a cake decorating tip, part of a set he got me for christmas.


PERFECT!

peel back the parchment and dust with sugar, then flip and do the same for the other side.

then cut into shapes


and place on a lined cookie sheet.


holy peppermint patties, batman! at this point, he was beginning to question my sanity.

don’t throw out the left over dough.


i rolled it out again and cut another batch. i wouldn’t recommend rerolling a third time, though, since the “dough” will start to dry out.

once these harden in the freezer (another 10 or so minutes) and melt your dipping chocolate. i used an 11.5 ounce bag of 60% bittersweet ghiradelli, minus half a cup, and i still had some leftover. (the originial recipe used 70%, but i couldn’t find any at my darned safeway.)


it’s important not to overheat the chocolate or it gets an icky whiteness on it. so, if you aren’t lucky enough to have a double-boiler (moi), set a glass bowl over some barely simmering water – being careful not to let the water touch the bowl, or to let the water get too hot. (in fact, less than half way through i turned the heat off and chocolate stayed soft enough.)


tips for dipping:

1) keep the chocolate as cool as possible, and keep the peppermint patties frozen until you dip them. they melt easily and when they’re soft, they are impossible to dip!

2) if you’re making the “junior mint” size, use tooth picks to pull them slowly out of the chocolate. the original recipe used a fork, but i found that didn’t work for the little ones.

3) work quickly!

4) after dipping, set the candies on a cooling rack over parchment (to catch the drips). this keeps them from hardening in a puddle of chocolate.


one thing to note is that the chocolates should be at room temperature or even a little warmer when you remove them from the rack to keep from splitting the chocolate shell. i found that gently applying pressure to the underside popped them off more successfully than trying to pick them off the top.

so, you ask… was it worth it?

if you just have a hankering for yorks, i’d say no, go to the store.

however, as a sweet hostess gift or present, yes. although a little time consuming, these were fairly simple to make, didn’t take unusual or hard-to-find ingredients, and were quite impressive when they were done. (of course, if you go with traditional-sized patties, it’s going to take less time, too.)

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  1. long live CANDY! I may or may not have just bought 2 lbs of gummy bears!

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