Happy almost mid-November! Are you feeling festive yet? Like clockwork, when I wake up on November 1st, my enthusiasm and excitement for the holidays kicks in, while any traces of the Halloween spirit completely disappear. Along with my festive spirit comes an almost immediate urge for minty treats. It’s likely not a coincidence that this is right around that time that Starbucks brings out the holiday cups, Peppermint Hot Chocolate, and Peppermint Mocha. It seems there are two kinds of people in the world: those who live for mint-chocolate and those who don’t like it at all. It seems there’s no in between. What is it about mint confections that just make us mint-lovers so giddy, especially around the holidays?
This year, though, my need for minty treats is at an all-time high. As a little girl, around the holidays, I used to sneak up onto the counter to reach up above our “harvest gold” refrigerator into the highly-secretive cupboard that my mom and dad thought I didn’t know anything about. Strangely, in between bottles of fancy liqueurs and the like, I could always find a few boxes of Allan’s Misty Mints. I used to sneak as many as I could, then rearrange the remaining mints in the box to hide the evidence. This was tricky when there were only a few left! These magically-minty, pastel, cool-and-creamy buttons have got to be the yummiest treats on the planet. At least, they were the yummiest minty treats on the planet, until I made these: Misty Minty Peppermint Patties. I call them this because it’s what happens when the texture, pastel colour palette, and white chocolate confection of Misty Mints meets the delightfully round, sandwich-like, and creamy minty-filled combination of a peppermint patties. Delish!
I was over at one of my favourite sites the other day, Joy of Baking, when I noticed a great recipe for traditional peppermint patties. I was already looking so forward to some minty recipes for the holidays, so I decided to give them a try. I can’t say I’ve spent much time working on candy recipes, but this was so appealing, and I was inspired. Since I have such love and passion for Misty Mints, I thought it would be the ultimate sucess if I could create a sweet, pastel version that tasted just like them. So, that’s what I did, and if I do say so, they are even better than I expected. Dare I say that they are possibly the most delicious confection I have ever made? These Misty Minty Peppermint Patties are everything (and then some) that my old boyfriends never were: rich, cool, and pretty. ;)
The process was really straight-forward, which isn’t always the case with candy-making, and is why I love this recipe so much. After mixing a rich and minty patty filling, I prepared and chilled the patties, then melted my Callebaut White Chocolate Couverture in a double boiler. I feel it’s so important that you use the best white chocolate for this recipe — it’s the gorgeous creaminess of the Callebaut white chocolate combined with the decadent filling that really makes these extraordinary. And what is it about this retro colour combination that makes me so happy? I truly believe that biting into a gorgeous pastel peppermint patty tastes just that much better. You can make them any size you want, really, and serve them or package them up with a pretty ribbon and give them as stocking stuffers or hostess gifts. I have a feeling that I’m not the only one out there with fond holiday Misty Mint memories.
Here’s the recipe:
- 4 cups (480 g/16 oz) icing sugar (confectioners')
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 tablespoons (60 ml) evaporated milk
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) peppermint oil (ideally food grade oil rather than extract)
- 3/4 tsp (3.75 mL) pure vanilla extract
- 1 lb (454 g) best-quality white chocolate couverture, chopped
- soft gel paste colour, optional
- candy thermometer
- Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and smooth. Set aside.
- In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the icing sugar, butter, evaporated milk, peppermint oil and vanilla.
- Once ingredients are incorporated, turn mixer up to med-high, mixing for about 2 minutes, until creamy. Cover and chill filling in bowl for about 30 minutes.
- Once chilled enough to roll balls of filling in your hand, roll 1.5" balls and place on foiled cookie sheet. Using the palm of your hand, gently press down on each ball to create a patty. Refrigerate for another 30-60 minutes until firm and remove when you have your coating ready to go.
- In a double boiler (or bowl on top of a pot), bring water to boil. Once boiling, turn the stove off (keeping pot on element) and add your chopped chocolate. Stir with silicone spatula until nice and smooth.
- Remove from heat, wipe bottom of bowl, and set aside, stirring continuously while cooling. When almost cool, divide into 3 and tint each lot desired colour (I used very small amounts of gel colours: leaf green, electric pink, and electric orange). Once chocolate reaches 80-84° F on a candy thermometer, you can start dropping patties in, one at a time, coating both sides, and removing carefully with two forks (or chocolate dipping fork).
- Place on cookie sheet to set. Once all patties are dipped and coated, set tray aside in a cool, dry place to set. Don't refrigerate while setting.
[filling recipe adapted from Joy of Baking]
- You can use peppermint extract in place of the oil, but you won’t get that intense mintiness that the concentrated oil gives. It’s still very minty!
- You can store the set patties in an airtight container in the refrigerator, with parchment or wax paper in between, for up to one month.
- Best stored chilled, and eaten at either room temperature or chilled.
Good luck & enjoy