My upbringing was a sweet one. I mean that in the most literal sense of the word. Mom and Dad adore sweets, a trait no doubt generationally bestowed upon them, as both of their mothers were fans of all that is sweet. Growing up, it didn’t matter whether we were visiting Nanny, my maternal grandmother, or Gran, my paternal grandmother — one thing was certain. There would be a candy drawer, it would be well-stocked and it would most definitely include some variety of chocolate mint candies.
Thin, round, thick — it didn’t matter. My family, on both sides, maintained steadfast devotion to the chocolate and mint union. As I got older, I stopped raiding the candy drawer during grandmotherly visits. I missed the candy, though, and decided to explore making my own. The first batch of chocolate mint patties I made (waaaaay back in the winter of ’98) proved so easy, so successful and so much more “natural” than the store-bought versions with their preservatives and colorings that I was hooked. For today’s Small Measures, I’m sharing my go-to recipe for these delicious confections. From my candy-loving household to yours, may your holidays be merry and minty! — Ashley English
The recipe continues after the jump . . .
If you’re looking for a last-minute gift for a host, co-worker or neighbor, these are a great option. Start to finish, it takes just under three hours, and most of that time is spent waiting for the chocolate to firm up. If you’d like another homemade chocolate recipe that’s also wonderful for gift-giving, check out my post on Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.
- 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar, plus extra for rolling
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons cold water
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 Tablespoon Lyle’s Golden Syrup*
- 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips or chunks
*If you can’t find Lyle’s, you can use light corn syrup. Wholesome Sweeteners makes an organic option that I’ve had success with in making confectionary.
1. Line two rimmed cookie sheets with a bit of wax or parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Mix the powdered sugar, cold water, coconut oil, syrup and peppermint extract together in an electric mixer using a low-medium setting until the mixture begins to come together. Use a spatula to scrape out any powdered sugar clinging to the beater(s) or the bottom of the mixing bowl as necessary.
3. Transfer the mint filling to a countertop or work surface lightly covered with powdered sugar. You’ll also want to coat your rolling pin and hands with a bit of powdered sugar to keep the filling from sticking as you’re rolling it out.
4. Gently knead the filling until all of the bits are fully incorporated and it feels smooth and elastic. Form into a ball.
5. Using a rolling pin, roll the filling out to around 1/4-inch thickness.
6. Cut shapes into the filling with cookie cutters. I prefer smaller patties like the trees, bells and crimped and smooth circles above. You can certainly make larger patties, if you prefer. Press the cutter firmly into the filling, give it a gentle twist and continue cutting out shapes until all of the filling has been used.
7. Transfer the cut-outs to one of the prepared cookie sheets. Re-roll filling scraps and repeat step #6 until all of the filling has been cut out.
8. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 20 to 25 minutes.
9. About 10 minutes before removing the fillings from the freezer, melt the chocolate. I do this by fashioning a double boiler from a metal bowl placed atop a smaller-rimmed pot. I place about 2 inches of water in the bottom of the pot (enough for it to boil, but not so high that it touches the bottom of the bowl on top), place the metal mixing bowl above it, add the chocolate chips or chunks to the mixing bowl and bring the water to a boil. Gently stir the chocolate until it has fully melted.
10. Remove the filling cut-outs from the freezer. Using a long-tined fork, drop the cut-outs one at a time into the melted chocolate, turning them over twice so that each patty is fully covered with chocolate.
11. Lift the patty out of the chocolate, allow a good bit of it to drip off and transfer to the second prepared cookie sheet. Continue until all of the patties have been covered with chocolate.
12. Set the patties aside at room temperature until the chocolate has fully firmed up. This can be anywhere from two to three hours, depending on the temperature of your home.
13. Once the chocolate is set up, remove the patties from the paper, using a paring knife to cut away any extra “overflow” chocolate clinging to the shape. Alternately, keep all of the chocolate on there, and just chalk up the candies’ rustic charm to the beauty of the handmade!
14. Store at room temperature in a lidded container for up to a week. I also highly recommend freezing or refrigerating the patties and eating them cold.
What about you? Got any much-loved generationally appreciated candies that you make (or gorge on!) each holiday season? I’d love to hear about them. My mom is a serious devotee of all things chocolate-covered cherry, so that might be next year’s confectionary project. Otherwise, there’s a mess of mint chocolate patties in my freezer calling my name, and I can only resist their siren song for so long. Happy holidays!
Images and styling by Jen Altman