It’s easy to stop by the mall or florist to pick up a gift for the hostess when invited to a party or intimate gathering. For a special friend, however, we think it’s a kinder gesture to put in a little extra effort and make something yourself. There’s nothing like an edible homemade gift – whether it be jam, cookies, or, in this case, candy. Not only are homemade chocolates thoughtful, but they can also be of help to the hostess, who may be looking for something sweet to serve on the table.
This candy is inspired by ‘Peppermint Patties’ – the beloved dark-chocolate and peppermint confection produced by Hershey’s – and is quite simple to put together. Don’t fret if the result isn’t perfect; it will just add to that authentic, rustic feel. When they’re ready, use brown kraft paper or small treat bags with twine to wrap them up individually. The hostess and her guests will be sure to love this creamy, minty post-dinner refresher.
- 2½ cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tsp pure peppermint extract
- 3 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 340g semi-sweet chocolate pieces
- Fleur de sel and mint leaves for finishing
In a stand mixer, beat together the confectioner's sugar, butter, peppermint extract, mint leaves, and heavy cream on medium high for about four to five minutes. They should come together to form a firm, dough-like consistency and shouldn't be sticky at all. If the result does feel sticky, add in a bit more confectioner's sugar as needed.
Transfer the candy mixture to a piece of parchment paper and carefully form a long, tube-like shape (about 1½ to 2 inches in width). Wrap the parchment paper tightly around the tube and place in the fridge for three hours or the freezer for one hour. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate pieces over a double boiler until smooth and shiny.
Once chilled and firm, slice the tube into thin rounds (about ½-inch thick) with a sharp knife. This will get a bit messy but you can use your fingers to reshape the rounds. Using a fork, dip each round into the melted chocolate until evenly coated all over. It doesn’t have to be perfect; the chocolate will drip off the ends.
Line a tray with parchment paper and set the rounds on it once coated in chocolate. Sprinkle each with a dash of fleur de sel and a tiny piece of mint leaf. Place the tray back into the fridge to let the chocolate firm up (about 45 minutes). They'll keep fresh for six days.
Noreen Wasti is the creator of Noni’s Place, a food and lifestyle website.