Quick Eats: Homemade Peppermint Patties

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Since I’m not scheduled to start my new job for a couple more weeks, I’ve had plenty of time to get into a more festive state of mind in preparation for the upcoming holidays. My Christmas tree is going up this coming weekend (as well as an attempt at some exterior illumination ala Clark Griswold in ‘Christmas Vacation’,) I’ve been listening to classic holiday music in my car as I go from store to store to try and finish my shopping and gift wrapping within a reasonable amount of time- and I’ve been looking at seasonal recipes in-between signing Christmas cards and drafting my usual year-end best wishes e-mails to distant friends and former colleagues.

Over this past weekend, one recipe in particular caught my eye- homemade peppermint patties. Growing up, my dad ate the individually wrapped York brand of the candies all the time, and nearly every Christmas present I purchased for him up until his passing included an oversized bag of them with it, too.

And so I thought it’d be fun to try my hand at making my own this year, instead.

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

* 3 cups confectioners’ sugar

* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

* 3 tablespoons heavy cream

* 1¼ teaspoon peppermint extract

* ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

* 12 ounces dark chocolate candy melts or baking bars

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the confectioners’ sugar and butter to combine. Add the cream gradually, and mix until the mixture is uniform.

2. Add the peppermint and vanilla extracts, and continue mixing to combine.

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3. Place the peppermint mixture on a piece of parchment paper and form it into a log about 2 inches in circumference.

4. Wrap the log in the parchment and transfer to the freezer. Freeze until well chilled (approximately 20 to 30 minutes.)

5. Using a sharp knife, cut the frozen log into ½-inch-thick wafers. If the mixture seems to have softened, return the wafers to the freezer.

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6. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 15-second intervals, mixing in between. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Working one at a time, dip each wafer into the melted chocolate with a fork. Tap away excess chocolate from the base, then transfer each dipped piece to the prepared baking sheet. Let set fully.

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7. Once the chocolate has set, use a spoon to drizzle more melted chocolate over the peppermint patties in a decorative fashion. Let set fully before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

These things came out SO GOOD. Sure, they weren’t perfectly round like the York brand, and sure- I deliberately cut them a teeny, tiny bit thicker than instructed- but they tasted incredible.

And if eating a tray of these things wasn’t enough to ruin my diet for a week and a half- I also served the Patties up with a hot mug of Nutella cocoa, which is made by simply adding two tablespoons of Nutella to one cup of steamed milk and stirring until it’s evenly dissolved.

I plan on making another batch of these for when I have family over on Christmas Eve- and I’d like to think my dad would have enjoyed them, too!

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