Peppermint patties may be my favorite chocolate candy. So I had been wanting to make these homemade ones since I saw them in Gourmet magazine in 2007. And I finally had the chance!
These are definitely not the quickest things to make. But they’re pretty fun and not terribly difficult, provided you have the right type of thermometer (I don’t).
Yes, that is a big ball of peppermint filling. How amazing is that?
After you stick the filling in the freezer to harden up a bit, you can start melting the chocolate. Mmmm.
It turns out my candy thermometer doesn’t go low enough for this recipe. You are supposed to warm the chocolate to a certain temperature, let it cool and then heat it to 88-91 again. Doing so tempers the chocolate so it looks pretty and shiny, changes the melting temperature so it won’t melt on your fingers as easily and gives the finished product a good snap when you bite into it. Allegedly. But even if you don’t do it exactly right, they still taste fantastic.
I used a tiny biscuit cutter, but if you don’t have a small circle cutter you could use a little heart or something. Or you could roll the filling into logs and slice it after freezing.
The original recipe said to balance the peppermint round on the fork, but that didn’t work very well for me. It was much easier to cover them with chocolate if I dropped them in the bowl.
Mine were kind of messy. Oops.
And… not shiny. But still yummy.
Peppermint patties (Adapted from the December 2007 issue of Gourmet)
2 1/2 cups powdered 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 shortening
10 ounces 70%-cacao bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped*
You’ll need: a 1-inch round cookie cutter; a digital instant-read thermometer (or some other kind of quick-read thermometer that goes down to at least 80)
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar with corn syrup, water, peppermint extract, shortening and a pinch of salt at medium speed until just combined. Knead on a work surface dusted with remaining 1/4 cup confectioners sugar until smooth. Roll out between sheets of parchment paper on a large baking sheet into a large circle (less than 1/4 inch thick)**. Freeze about 15 minutes, until firm. Remove top sheet of paper and sprinkle filling with powdered sugar. Replace top sheet, then flip filling over and sprinkle powdered sugar on the other side.
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper (I reused one of the sheets from the previous freezing episode). Cut out as many rounds as possible with cutter, then move them to the baking sheet. Freeze until firm, at least 10 minutes. Repeat rolling, freezing and cutting with the scraps.
While filling is freezing, melt three quarters of the chocolate (that’s 7.5 ounces) in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Carefully remove the bowl from the pan and add the remaining chocolate, stirring until smooth. Cool until a thermometer inserted at least 1/2 inch into chocolate registers 80°F.
Return the water in the pan to a boil and remove from heat. Set bowl with cooled chocolate over pan and reheat, stirring, until thermometer registers 88 to 91°F. Remove bowl from pan.
Using a fork, dip a peppermint round in the melted chocolate (You can balance it or just dunk the whole thing in there), then let excess drip off and scrape the back of the fork against the rim of the bowl. Return patty to parchment to cool. To make decorative ridges, wait about a minute (until the chocolate has cooled slightly but not completely) and lightly set the bottom of a fork on top of the patty, then lift straight up.
As you coat the remaining filling, keep the chocolate between 88 and 91 degrees (you will probably have to rewarm it a few times). Let patties sit until chocolate is set, about 1 hour.
Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature.
*I actually used like 3/4 70% cacao and 1/4 60%. That is amazing because I usually can’t even find anything above 60. But I promise that they will still taste good with 60. So if you can’t find 70, use the highest available.
**If you don’t have an appropriate cookie cutter — or if you just don’t feel like dealing with all that rolling — you can separate the filling into two parts and roll each into logs 1-2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in parchment and freeze as directed, then slice the logs into thin rounds.