One of my favorite flavors is peppermint. I love how my mouth feels every time I take a bite and breathe in. There are so many ways to work peppermint into your recipe book.
From chocolate peppermint bark to peppermint martinis, there is a recipe for every taste. This post highlights some of my favorites.
Candy cane picture courtesy of laurenatclemson on Creative Commons.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2-3 drops green food coloring (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until sugar is fully dissolved. Add eggs, one at a time, and stir until completely mixed.
4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until all clumps of flour have been dissolved.
5. Add milk and vanilla, and stir until batter is smooth and velvety. Pour into greased or lined muffin tins and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from heat.
6. Let cool for 15 minutes in tins, then remove and let cool outside of tins for at least 1 hour.
7. For Peppermint Buttercream, cream butter for 45-60 seconds. Add powdered sugar, and beat by hand, or with an electric mixer until mixture comes together and makes peaks. Add cream, peppermint extract, and food coloring if desired, and beat for 45-60 more seconds. Refrigerate until ready to use.
9. Once cupcakes are fully cooled, add Peppermint Buttercream. Serve with coffee or milk.
*These are good to serve on St. Patrick's Day, or on Christmas. To make the cupcakes, double the recipe, and for second batch of buttercream, use red food coloring instead of green. Pack the cupcakes up in a gift box that you wrap with a bow. Be sure to include the recipe too!
This recipe was submitted by Daniel Lee Mishkin to Cooks.com
5 oz Vodka
2 oz White Creme De Menthe
1/2 oz Peppermint Schnapps
Mix all ingredients for a Peppermint Martini Recipe in a chilled cocktail shaker and pour into cocktail drinking glasses. Garnish with a peppermint stick.
This is a super easy recipe by Paula Deen courtesy of Food Network.
Crushed candy canes, to yield 1 cup
2 pounds white chocolate
Peppermint flavorings, optional
Place candy canes in a plastic bag and hammer into 1/4-inch chunks or smaller. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Combine candy cane chunks with chocolate (add peppermint flavoring at this point if desired.) Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet layered with parchment or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm. Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces (like peanut brittle.)
Picture courtesy of I Should Be Folding Laundry in Creative Commons.
This recipe is courtesy of The Joy of Baking.
2 cups (260 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons
(20 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil (do not use peppermint extract)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (30 ml) evaporated milk
9 ounces (225 grams) semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon (12 grams) shortening
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles. Lightly dust the foil with confectioners sugar (powdered or icing).
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat (on low speed) the sugar, butter, peppermint oil, vanilla extract, and evaporated milk until combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until very creamy (about 2-3 minutes). Transfer the batter to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill until firm enough to roll into balls (about 30 - 60 minutes).
Roll the batter into 1 inch (2.54 cm) balls and place on the prepared pan. Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand until the patties are about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) in diameter and 1/3 inch (1 cm) thick. Cover and place in the refrigerator until the patties are firm (about one hour).
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 2 forks or a chocolate dipping fork*.) 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 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 25 - 30 patties.
*Chocolate dipping forks are the perfect tool if you do a lot of candy making like I do. They work great for chocolate covered oreos, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate truffles, chocolate dipped fortune cookies and more. I highly recommend getting them if you plan to dip more things in chocolate in the future.
Picture courtesy of not a hipster on Creative Commons.
Making your own peppermint tea is pretty simple. According to Grandma'sWisdom.com, all you have to do is "pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of dried peppermint leaves, picked from your garden, or use the commercially available peppermint leaves or tea bag. Steep for 10 minutes. If desired, sweeten with honey, brown sugar or maple syrup. For prompt relief of mild stomach disorders, nausea, vomiting or flatulence, drink a cup of the tea in small sips after meals, up to 3 cups a day."
You can also find other variations of the tea to relieve cramps, upset stomach, and calm nerves at this site.
Picture courtesy of Summer Tomato in Creative Commons.