Saturday, December 19, 2009

Peppermint Patties

It's been a long time. Life has been full.

Christmas just isn't Christmas for me unless there are a few homemade gifts in the works. These peppermint patties, while time consuming, are making a great little addition to my holiday gift baskets.

You may wish to double the peppermint extract. Taste your filling once you've added the suggested amount, then add more if necessary.

Peppermint Patties
Makes 80

2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (less than 1 pound), divided
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (preferably trans-fat-free)
10 ounces 70%-cacao bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Equipment: a 1-inch round cookie cutter; a digital instant-read thermometer

Beat 2 1/4 cups icing sugar with the corn syrup, water, peppermint extract, shortening and salt using an electric mixer at medium speed until just combined.

Knead on a surface dusted with remaining 1/4 cup icing sugar until smooth. Roll out between parchment to a 7 or 8 inch round (less than 1/4 inch thick). Place on baking sheet and freeze till firm, about 15 minutes to overnight. Remove top sheet of parchment and sprinkle round with icing sugar. Flip and repeat sprinkling of icing sugar on opposite side.

Cut out as many candies as possible, transferring to a parchment lined baking sheet. Gather together scraps and reroll. Place both round and cut out candies back into freezer overnight. Cut more rounds.

Temper your chocolate by melting 3/4 of the chocolate in a bowl set over a sauce pan of simmering water. Remove bowl from pan and stir in remaining chocolate, until smooth. Cool until thermometer registers 80F. Return water in sauce pan to a boil and remove from heat. Set bowl with cooled chocolate over pan and reheat, stirring, until temperature registers 88-91F. Remove bowl from pan.

Balance 1 peppermint candy round on a fork and submerge in melted chocolate. Let the excess drip off and scrape fork along rim of bowl if necessary. Return chocolate covered patty to baking sheet. Coat remaining rounds, rewarm chocolate to 88-91F as necessary. Let patties stand until chocolate sets, about 2 hours. Patties will keep, chilled and layered between sheets of parchment in an air tight container, 1 month. Bring to room temperature before serving.