Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Peppermint dragées with chocolate

There's lots of pre-Christmas baking and candy-making taking place in our kitchen at the moment. During the weekend, K. made pistachio & dark chocolate truffles as well as saffron & white chocolate truffles. I tried Anne's peppermint patties. Last night I whipped up a batch of dough for the traditional Estonian gingerbread - piparkoogid - that I'll be baking on Sunday morning when my nephews come over for the big Christmas meal that night. As I'm still over-excited about the newest addition to our household - I'm talking about the beautiful red Kitchen Aid mixer, obviously - I whipped up another batch of raspberry marshmallows, but this time using the eggless version from Cooking for Engineers (Michael attributes his recipe to no other than Thomas Keller himself). And if that wasn't enough, I made a batch of lovely Molly's even lovelier chocolate & nut 'blocks'.

Let me tell you, the house smells heavenly.

And it's snowing outside, for the second day already. We're going to have a beautiful, white Christmas..

Here's a very slightly adapted recipe for Anne's lovely peppermint patties. There are ideal for popping into your mouth (either one-by-one, or by handful) after a meal..

Chocolate-covered minty dragées
(Piparmündidražeed šokolaadis)

1 medium egg white
300 grams icing sugar, sifted
3 to 5 drops of peppermint oil*
0.5 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

dark chocolate to cover

In a big bowl, beat the egg white until frothy. Mix in the icing sugar, little by little (I used the flat beater in my new KA mixer), until combined and you've got a thickish paste. Add peppermint oil and vanilla extract, if using.
(I used a lot less than Anne's recommended 1.5 tsp, and the dragées were definitely minty enough. Maybe it's the specific brand I used (see below)? The shopkeeper warned me to use only a few drops, too)
Roll the sugar paste into small balls, lay out to dry overnight on a metal rack (see photo on the right).
Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler, dip dried sugar balls into the melted chocolate and let them harden in room temperature.
Keep in a air-tight jar for up to a week.

* I got mine from Specialkøbmanden in Copenhagen last month - thank you, Zarah Maria, for the tip!


Anonymous said...

these look really delicious! you can almost smell the mint!

Anne said...

Peppermint oil - at least the kind that's for sale here - is a LOT stronger than the peppermint extract I used, so you're spot on about using a lot less. :) They look absolutely lovely!

Anonymous said...

Hi Pille

Now you mentioned the traditional estonian gingerbread, can u publish your receipe!!

kajakas said...

oi ma armastan piparmünti šokolaadiga, aga Eestist ilmselt seda ekstrakti vist ei leia. Vanasti oli mingeid essentse saada küll, aga kas sel hulgas ka piparmündi oma oli?

Anonymous said...

Viimati, kui mina uurisin, siis apteekides oli piparmündiõli kohati olemas, aasta tagasi.

kajakas said...

huvitav kas see apteekide õli kõlbab sisse ka süüa? Mina olen nendega ainult õhku lõhnastanud ja lapsi ravinud :)
Essentse leidsin poest, aga piparmünti polnud. Selge see

Jeanne said...

These sound like little home-made peppermint patties - which were among my favourite sweets as a child. I wonder if you could add peppermint liqueur for some very grown-up after dinner treats? Yum.

evelin said...

I just made these last night ... I used peppermint oil (from King Arthur or Penzey's) but used the 1.5 teaspoons ... and probably less sugar (I had an open box, and a whim, soooo.....). But they turned out GREAT. I was worried at first they were too strong, but they mellowed. And Carter and I are SNARFING them.

Pille said...

K & S - they did smell wonderfully minty:)

Anne - thanks! I'll keep that in mind should I ever buy peppermint extract. The extracts are sold in tiny bottles here, so I kind of assumed they're potent, too.

Dianne - if you click on the gingerbread bit of the post, you're being transferred to the recipe:)

Kajakas - kui kusagilt ei leia, siis võin vabalt pudelikese Sulle laenata (nt Aari vahendusel), et siis pärast kümmekonna tilga võrra kergemana tagasi saada..

Thredahlia - aitäh nõu eest!

Jeanne - adding peppermint liqueur sounds like a good idea - just make sure it's an extra potent one!

Evelin - welcome to my blog, and pleased to hear you liked these candies! Greetings to Carter and the kids:)