When the weather outside is frightful, make peppermint patties!

I woke up last Saturday morning and looked outside to find every tree branch, pine needle, and berry encased in a layer of wet, glistening ice. The 5K I had planned to run had already been postponed until Sunday, so Matt and I decided that we didn’t need to brave the slick roads and instead would spend the entire day at home baking holiday goodies.

I kicked off the bake-a-thon at 10AM by making blueberry-lemon scones for breakfast.  Matt and I then baked a double batch of sugar cookies before launching into the day’s big project: homemade peppermint patties. The goal was to make enough patties to share with our neighbors and friends, and 12 dozen chocolate-dipped treats later I think we succeeded!

Peppermint patties are surprisingly easy to make. Just combine peppermint extract, softened butter, corn syrup, and lots of confectioners sugar. Form this “dough” into balls and press the balls into discs on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Coat with melted chocolate and, voila! You now have homemade peppermint patties! If you’re feeling extra creative, add some green food coloring to the filling or sprinkle the freshly-coated patty with chocolate jimmies. (But a note of warning… don’t get so excited about your batch of green-filling-patties that you totally forget to put the peppermint extract in. I might have done that on my fourth and final batch. Sorry to any neighbor who bites into a green one and realizes that it just tastes like buttercream candy instead of peppermint!) 😁

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Homemade Peppermint Patties
(From Butter With a Side of Bread; makes about 3 dozen patties)

You will need…
1/2 stick (1/4 c) Butter, at room temperature
3 cups Confectioner’s Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Peppermint Extract (adjust to taste; we liked this amount)
1/3 cup Light Corn Syrup
2 cups Dark Dipping Chocolate (we used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers, yum!)
Green Food Coloring to make the filling green (Optional)
Chocolate Jimmies for Sprinkling (Optional)

Directions:
In a stand mixer, combine the butter, sugar, peppermint extract and corn syrup. Mix for a few minutes until the filling forms a thick, paste-like consistency.  Break off small pieces of filling and roll into 1″ diameter balls. (They will look deceptively like mozzarella balls at this point.) Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and use your fingers to flatten them into discs. Freeze the discs for at least 20 minutes before attempting to dip them into the chocolate. The harder they are, the easier they will be to dip!

Melt the chocolate according to package instructions. We used a double boiler which kept the chocolate at the perfect consistency as we dipped batch after batch of patties. Use a fork or a special chocolate-dipping tool like these Wilton candy dippers to dip a frozen patty into the chocolate. Coat both sides, tap off any excess chocolate, then transfer the coated patty to a parchment-lined tray. (Or, if you’re making a quadruple batch like us, just cover your counters with wax paper and line up the patties there!) If using jimmies, sprinkle them over the patty immediately after you coat it.

Allow the chocolate to harden completely, then transfer the patties to an airtight container. Share them with friends or save them all for yourself, your choice! 😄

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Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Cookie Sticks

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!  🙂  Matt and I kicked off our holiday cooking last week by baking dozens of Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Cookie Sticks.  We chose coconut cookies because I have fond memories of making a similar cookie with my mom years ago so I thought it would be fun to recreate them this year.  I don’t have my mom’s original recipe so I used this recipe from Vesta Vamps and it was perfect!  The cookies turned out buttery, crisp and chocolatey and they looked great “wrapped” in mason jars with red bows.  We shared several jars with friends and family and still have a couple dozen left over for ourselves.

Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Sticks

Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Cookie Sticks (from Vesta Vamps)

You will need…
1 pound (4 sticks) Butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups Sugar
3/4 teaspoon Salt
3 Egg Yolks
2 teaspoons Vanilla
4 2/3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 bag (approx. 5 1/2 cups) Sweeted Coconut Flakes
16 oz. Semisweet Chocolate, roughly chopped

Directions:
In a stand mixer beat together the butter, sugar and salt until light a fluffy, approximately 3-4 minutes.  Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time and add the vanilla.  Beat until smooth, then add in the flour in small increments and mix until combined.  Scoop the dough out of the bowl with your hands and form into two dough balls.

Row after row of cooling cookies

Meanwhile, empty the bag of coconut out onto a large rimmed cookie sheet and place in a preheated 350° oven.  Toast the coconut for 15-18 minutes until golden brown, stirring frequently.  Remove the toasted coconut from the oven and allow to cool.

Place one of the dough balls and half of the toasted coconut into the mixer bowl.  Mix until combined and then remove the dough from the bowl and divide in half.  Use your hands to form each dough half into rectangles that measure approximately 18 in. long by 5 in. wide and 1/2-3/4 in. tall.  Place the dough rectangles onto parchment paper and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Repeat this step with the second half of the dough; you should end up with 4 chilled rectangles.

Slicing the dough into sticks

Cut the chilled dough into cookie sticks that are approximately 1/2 inch wide.  Roll the dough slightly between your palms to create a round cookie (or leave it flat to create more of a biscotti-type shape) and place the dough sticks onto a non-stick cookie sheet.  Bake each batch of sticks in a preheated 350° oven for 12-14 minutes until golden brown.  Allow the cookies to cool on the tray for 5 minutes and then carefully transfer them to cooling racks until they cool completely.

Cooling cookies

Place the chopped chocolate in a double boiler bowl over simmering water and stir until it melts.  Dip the end of each cookie into the chocolate mixture, scrape any excess chocolate off on the side of the bowl, and place each of the cookies on parchment paper to cool.

This makes about 120 cookies and they are perfect to share with friends and family around the holidays!

These cookies make great gifts!