Peppermint Patties

When I saw this post on Savory Sweet Life, I knew we had to make peppermint patties. The recipe is perfect for dorm baking, so I enlisted my roommates and my sister Carmel, who was visiting me for the weekend. We ran into some trouble with ingredients. We were reluctant to buy five dollars worth of Crisco for the recipe’s three measly tablespoons, and peppermint extract isn’t free either. But once you’re in the grocery store with a shopping list, it’s a little late to back out. At that point, you’re really craving that hard chocolate shell with dense peppermint filling.

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Back at the dorm, we scrounged up all the equipment we’d need. Actually, that was mostly my roommate Liz. She came to college prepared for anything, with measuring cups and purple puppy paw teaspoons. See?
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The peppermint filling was the perfect consistency with the full 5 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. We dusted our hands with confectioners sugar and rolled the peppermint dough into balls. Katie made tiny little patties, but the rest of us went supersize. As we were making the patties, Katie suggested eating them plain. She took a bite and seemed to like it, but after I reminded the group that eating naked peppermint patties tastes like brushing your teeth dry, patty consumption dropped dramatically.
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When the patties were good and frozen, we tempered the chocolate in the microwave. Anyone reading this who lives with me just gasped. Pick your jaw up off the floor and pull it together, please. This is serious business. Anyway, Jacques Torres does it, so it must be okay. I didn’t have my brand new tempering thermometer with me, so we dumped the chocolate chips into a big bowl and stuck it in the microwave in 30 second intervals. It might be safer to go with 15 second intervals if you have a small amount of chocolate, but we were using around 24 ounces. The idea is to melt the chocolate with as little heat as possible so that the chocolate bonds stay in that solid lattice structure thing…Trust me, I take chemistry…
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Point is, it worked! The semi-sweet molecules did their thing. We took the patties out of the freezer one by one, dunked them in the chocolate, and flipped them back and forth between two forks to shake off the extra chocolate. Some of the patties, especially the big ones which weren’t frozen through, got melty and floppy as soon as they hit the thick melted chocolate. But as the chocolate cooled and I mastered the fork-patty-chocolate dynamic, the patties got prettier and prettier. I would definitely recommend making smaller patties (a little over an inch diameter), and dipping quickly. If you can, use couverture chocolate, which melts to a thinner consistency because it contains more cocoa butter.
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The chocolate ran out before we coated all of the patties, and we currently have a plate of chocolate-less peppermint patties sitting in that tiny top section of dorm refrigerators that aspires to freezerhood but isn’t quite there yet.
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The peppermint patties we did dip were incredible. They were covered in a thick layer of melted chocolate, way better than the disappointingly thin layer on a York Pattie. I admit some of them were a little “rustic”, but with that kind of flavor, who cares?
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