Did this Patty come first?She’s so sassy, right? How could you not love that sass? And totally not afraid to be butch. I’ve always known that we’d be, like, total besties. Me and Peppermint Patty. Who knows. Maybe I’d go les for her. Stranger things have happened.
See how I have a patty all wrapped up? It’s for Halloween. Except no way I’m giving those out on Halloween. How ungrateful would those little beggars be? They’d be all, ewwwww, what’s that?
Know what that is, little Taylor? It’s a cocoa peppermint patty. Or maybe it’s lemon-flavored. What do you know, anyway? And then little Taylor and I would really start to get into it. It would be on. And I fight dirty. I’m talking hair pulling and everything. The whole 9. Better to just give out some Dots at the door and be done with it.
Seriously, though, I have had it up to here with bad manners on Halloween. If a kid comes to my door and doesn’t even throw me a Trick-or-Treat or something, you know, for old time’s sake, it’s begging. Pure and simple. So when they come and I open the door, and they just stare at me, no trick-or-treat action, I stare back. Maybe I start in with the whole “Hey, what’s goin’ on, guys?” routine. “How’ve you been?” They come out with it, though. They do. There might be some eye rolling, but they toss me a “trick-or-treat” or maybe just a “Happy Halloween.” So I cough up the Tootsie Rolls. Look, I’m not unreasonable.
It’s safe to say that Halloween is not really my bag, baby. I’m all for candy. Don’t get me wrong. But dressing up and begging for it has never really agreed with me. And I grew up during the there-are-razor-blades-in-apples-at-Halloween era. We were scared to death. But who was giving out apples on Halloween anyway? Even I think that would suck on Halloween. It’s okay, though. My husband loves this holiday. He’s the yin to my yang. It works out nice. Then my kids don’t have to suffer on account of my particular brand of insanity. They still love it. They’ve learned to ignore me. Smart kids.
Me? I’d rather stay home and make my own peppermint patties. When you make them yourself, you can make ’em peppermint, and maybe add some cocoa (personal fave). Or maybe you’re not big on the mint angle. No harm done. Why not try lemon extract? Or almond. That’s killer. Take it to another level entirely. Add some food dye. Red peppermint patties. Shut UP. No, I won’t.
The trick is to mix up the (few) ingredients, and then let ’em dry out a bit. Then, divide the ‘dough’ up into 24 pieces, roll ’em up, and let dry again for a few. Go do something else. Pick up a costume or something. Come back, squish the balls of ‘dough,’ and dry. Then dip in melted chocolate (or candy melts) and dry. Feeling dangerous? Try dipping once, drying, and then dipping again. You’re all over this candy-making. We really need to do more of this around here. It’s an awful lot of fun, if I’m being honest with you.
Can you see the two layers? Don’t worry. They’re there. Take a bite and you’ll get it.
These store super well on the counter or in the refrig. And they make sweet little gifts for your neighbors. They’re not for random trick-or-treaters, though. Seriously.
|Cocoa Peppermint Patties|
- 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, plus more for kneading
- 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (to taste)
- 1 cup good chocolate, chopped
- 2 teaspoons nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
- 1 cup candy melts (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of the confectioner’s sugar, along with the cocoa powder, salt, lemon juice, corn syrup and peppermint extract. Mix until well-combined and mixture holds together. If it is super sticky, add more confectioner’s sugar a few tablespoons at a time, until you are able to form a relatively pliable ball. Turn the ‘dough’ out onto a flat surface liberally dusted with confectioner’s sugar. Knead the dough a bit in the dusted sugar until it is tacky, but not sticky.
- Allow the ball to sit, uncovered, at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes, so that it becomes dry enough to handle. Once it has dried a bit, it should be easy to handle — that is, you should be able to handle it successfully without any of it sticking to your hands.
- With a sharp paring knife, divide the dough into approximately 24 pieces. Roll each piece into a round, and arrange the rounds about 1 1/2 inches apart on parchment paper. Allow to sit, uncovered, for another 10 minutes or so.
- Press each ball down with the bottom of a round glass until it is about 1/2 inch thick.
- Allow the rounds to sit, uncovered, for about 2 hours, or until dry. Flip the rounds over about halfway through drying to ensure that they dry evenly.
- Once the candy is dry, melt the chocolate and shortening in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between cycles, until smooth and shiny. Dip the patties carefully in the chocolate, one by one, and allow them to site on parchment paper to dry completely.
- If desired, repeat the process with another layer, this time of candy melts, if desired. Follow the directions on the package. Allow to dry completely.
- Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
To make more traditional patties, omit the cocoa powder and increase the confectioner’s sugar by 1/4 cup.
Peppermint extract can be replaced by pretty much any other pure extract you like. Almond extract is a personal favorite of mine.