Oh man, peppermint patties.
My mom has always has a thing for Junior Mints. When I was in my early teens and heading to downtown Torrington CT on my bike was a Great Adventure for the afternoon, I’d inevitably stop for a soda and candy and pick my mom up a box of Junior Mints on the ride back. Inevitably after a half hour in 90 degree August heat they’d end up as a mass of overheated, glued-together rounds of chocolate and mint…but what’s wrong with that? They always disappeared promptly.
Strangely enough I’m not such a fan of mint candy. Oh, I’ll eat an Andes if it’s offered to me, take in a York if it’s handy, have an Altoid after Indian food, but I don’t seek out mint as a flavoring. If I do eat a minty candy, one is enough.
However given Mom’s history and love affair with Junior Mints, when I ran across this fantastic recipe for Homemade Peppermint Patties on Facebook there was no way I could resist.The one minute video makes it look super easy, and surprisingly enough…it was. Particularly if you have a stand mixer.
I actually had all of the ingredients with the exception of the peppermint extract in the house when I set out to make these guys. I’d been warned not to skimp and buy the cheap extract (and didn’t listen), went out and bought the cheap stuff, and wish I hadn’t. Word of advice that you will probably not listen to: DON’T BUY THE CHEAP EXTRACT! At least for this project, the mint flavoring is an essential component…you don’t want cheap, fake tasting mint flavor. Which is what I got.
The “dough” filling came together exactly as shown in the video on the website and was easy to roll out and chill. Since I was making this as part of a Christmas present, the front porch operated as an excellent chill chest. Once it was set a bit more, I brought it back in the house and cut out the rounds. Probably the toughest part of this recipe was trying to find a cutter that was the right size…I couldn’t find a 2-inch round cutter (everything was either much bigger or much smaller) and I was aiming for a York-sized peppermint pattie. The bestie ended up bringing over a piece of a tea infusino set which I ended up using as a cutter; it worked great!
We used the Wilson chocolate candy melts to coat the filling – they aren’t the best tasting, but they’re wonderful for melting and coating candy – and I decided to forego the crushed candy cane topping. That just seemed excessive. My reusable silicon mats certainly came in handy on this project, as did multiple forks to aid in dipping and allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Once the filling started getting warm, it became more unforgiving, and next time I’d probably do it in batches rather than bring the filling in from the cold all at once.
The one big criticism I had of this recipe probably stems from my ignoring good advice and adding the cheap peppermint extract. I thought the filling had an overly toothpaste quality to it. Every time I ate one I felt like I was brushing my teeth. However I was the only one with this complaint. The recipe made a huge number of patties – easily 30, possibly more if you rolled the dough thinner than recommended and used a smaller cutter than 2″ – and filled up a gallon-sized bag plus extra. Mom was thrilled and everyone in the family ate the mints freely. I was the only one displeased!
Sadly I didn’t remember to take photos of this particular culinary adventure, and yes, I’m upset at myself for that. You’ll have to be satisfied with The Gunny Sack’s photo. On that particular night the bestie and I were in production mode for a variety of foodstuffs in preparation for Christmas. When I get on a roll in cooking, I don’t think about anything else but the next step to tackle. I promise, though, they looked like round chocolate coated minty goodness. Pretty much exactly what you’d expect to see coming out of a York wrapper. I would definitely try it again with non-fake extract! Would make great gifts for coworkers (wrapped more nicely than in a ziploc bag).