Keeping with my annual tradition of finding a fun and easy recipe for Valentine’s Day, this week I decided to make one of my husband’s favorite treats – peppermint patties. I must say, they were a BIG hit when customers sampled them yesterday and I gave out a record number of recipes!
I found a great recipe on Taste of Home that only used five ingredients – sweetened condensed milk, powdered sugar, peppermint flavor, chocolate chips, and some shortening (all of which you can buy organic and trans-fat free at the Co-op). This recipe is fun because you can shape the peppermint dough however you like, something I realized after I had made all my patties for my recipe demo – I’ll pat the dough flat and use a small cookie cutter to shape them as little hearts for the holiday! It also comes together relatively quickly – it took me about 20 minutes to make the dough and shape the patties, plus chill time, and then it took me about 10-15 minutes to coat them with chocolate, plus chill time.
One thing I learned from this recipe is that I will always put a little oil in my chocolate from now on if I am using it to cover candies – I’ve always had difficulty with getting a nice even coating of chocolate when I make things like this, and the shortening added to the chocolate in this recipe really makes a difference. If you are averse to vegetable shortening (we carry an organic 100% palm oil version), or just don’t have any on hand, I think that coconut oil would be an acceptable substitute.
If you are vegan and are craving some of these homemade candies, I suggest making this coconut version of sweetened condensed milk created by Sunny B on her gluten/dairy-free recipe blog – I think it would work great in this recipe.
…I’ll also mention that our Bakery has developed a vegan peppermint patty that will be available soon – I got to sample one and they are yummy!
Homemade Peppermint Patties
adapted from Taste of Home
- 3/4 c organic sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 t organic peppermint flavor (use less if you use real extract)
- 3—4 c organic powdered sugar (up to 1#)
- 3 c (18 oz) organic fair-trade dark chocolate chips
- 2 t organic vegetable shortening (or organic coconut oil)
- In a bowl, combine milk and peppermint flavor.
- Stir in 3 c powdered sugar, to form a stiff dough. Once you have initially incorporated the sugar into the milk mixture, it is easiest to finish mixing with your hands.
- Knead enough remaining sugar to form a dough that is very stiff and no longer sticky.
- Working quickly, shape into 1” balls (really compact the dough) and place on a waxed paper or parchment lined baking sheet.
- Flatten balls into 1 1/2” disks.Place cookie sheet in the freezer for half an hour, flipping them after 15 minutes (don’t freeze them for longer than that).
- Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over about 1” of boiling water, stirring frequently. The chocolate is easiest to work with when it remains hot, so once the water is boiling and the chocolate has melted, turn off the heat but keep the bowl on the pot to keep the chocolate warm.
- Place a fork under a patty and dip in the chocolate mixture; tap fork against the side of the bowl gently and scrape excess chocolate off the bottom of the patty using the side of the bowl.
- Place patty on waxed or parchment paper to harden—you can either do that at room temperature or in the fridge.
These have a great shelf life—keep them in an airtight container (separate layers with parchment paper) in the fridge for up to a month.