Happy Chocolate Mint Day!
By Paty Jager
February 19, 2023
I’m sure I’m not the only person who loves peppermint and chocolate. That’s why I anticipate the holiday season every year. There are more chocolate and mint combinations of treats at this time of year. The Candy Cane Blizzard with chocolate chunks, the chocolate and peppermint teas, and peppermint hot chocolate.
Dark chocolate dates back to the Mayan and Aztec cultures. They developed the harvesting process, believing it had immune-strengthening qualities.
Many historians believe that the flavor of mint and chocolate began in the 16th century after Europeans visited South America and returned with chocolate. During that time chocolate was used as a hot drink. They add flavors such as cinnamon, mint, and other herbs to sweeten the bitter taste of the chocolate.
In Victorian times, confectioners began using chocolate and mint in their treats. It was in 1940 that an American candy company created the round peppermint cream dipped in dark chocolate.
I’m a fan of this type of mint and chocolate combination. When our daughter and her Coast Guard husband lived in Ketchikan, Alaska, they sent me a box of chocolate mint patties from Ketchikan Kandy. That was by far the best peppermint patties I’ve ever tasted.
Because I like this combination, I also put candy canes in my hot chocolate and mint chips in my brownies.
Here is a peppermint pattie recipe I use to make my favorite treat.
¼ cup softened butter
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1-2 tsp peppermint extract*
3 cups powdered sugar
2 cups dark dipping chocolate OR chocolate chips and ½ TBSP of shortening or coconut oil
- Combine butter, corn syrup, extract, and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes, until ingredients are well combined and are holding together.*
- 2) Remove dough from the bowl and break off about 2 teaspoon-sized sections. Roll in a ball and gently flatten with your hands. Put patties down on a pan lined with wax or parchment paper. Once all patties are made, place pan in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
- Melt chocolate in microwave for 1 minute 20 seconds. Let sit for an additional minute in the microwave. Remove and gently stir. Remove peppermint patties from the freezer. Use a fork or a dipping tool to dip each pattie in the chocolate, flip to coat the other side, then tap to remove excess. Transfer chocolate coated patties to wax paper to cool.
- Store in an airtight container, refrigerate if preferred but it’s not necessary. Yields 40 mints. ( I get about 25 out of this recipe. I think I make them a little fatter than most.)
*Taste the mixture at this point. If you want more peppermint taste add it now. You can also use 2 drops of peppermint essential oil instead of 2 teaspoons of mint extract.
I’ve found that melting chocolates work the best for me, but my daughter uses chocolate chips and prefers them. I struggle with keeping the melted chocolate chips smooth enough to cover the patties effectively.
This recipe was adapted from a recipe at https://butterwithasideofbread.com
Enjoy! I’m off to treat myself to a chocolate and mint pattie.
Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 54 novels, 8 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it. Learn more about her at her website.