Chocolate Mint Creams

Baking is such a joy with my new Kitchenaid. It truly is. The possibilities that were once out of my reach are now firmly within my grasp. Macarons, Swiss meringues, chiffon cakes, whipping cream with ease… all of these are now possible with the flick of a switch. Furthermore, Thanksgiving and Christmas are great reasons to bake up all manners of delectable desserts. Today, I present to you chocolate mint creams, made possible by a powerful Kitchenaid.

The stand mixer helped to create a fluffy, lighter-than-air, melt-in-your-mouth texture of the mint cream. I wanted my peppermint patties to be more creamy than firm, so I added a bit more liquid than in the original recipe. This makes the mint cream a bit hard to work with but the texture is divine. You have to work quickly when coating these in melted chocolate. You are dunking sugar in dough form in hot melted chocolate; its natural inclination would be to melt into the chocolate. I would insist on using pure peppermint oil instead of peppermint extract. Peppermint oil might be expensive, but a little goes a long way, and the cooling sensation each bonbon leaves in your mouth lasts a long time.

Chocolate Mint Creams
Adapted from Joy of Baking
Makes 40-50 bonbons

Mint creams:

2 cups (240 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil (make sure it is labeled for internal use) (do not use peppermint extract)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk

Chocolate coating (you might have to make more of this depending on how thickly you coat your bonbons):

8 ounces (240 grams) semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon (12 grams) shortening or butter

Mint creams: 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 freezer to chill until firm enough to roll into balls (about an hour).

Roll the batter into 1/2 inch balls and place on the prepared pan. Cover and place in the freezer until the patties are firm (at least one hour, or even overnight).

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 ball at a time, into the melted chocolate. (You can use 2 forks or a chocolate dipping fork.) Let any excess chocolate drip back into the bowl and then place the balls back on the foil. Once all the balls 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.

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