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
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!