Peppermint Patties

These are very delicious and always very popular, but so easy to make. Only 4 ingredients are used in this recipe (minus sprinkles) and I really like them kept in the freezer for an icy cool, peppermint treat!

Peppermint Patties1

I have kept the recipe fairly traditional and used some good dark chocolate to dip the peppermint candies in, but white chocolate works really well too, or you could use a mix of dark and milk if you don’t like bitter chocolate.

Some people like to add a little green food colouring to the peppermint filling, especially when using white chocolate to cover, but I prefer the icy white centre, covered with dark chocolate.

If you are in the mood to decorate, Christmas sprinkles or crushed candy canes are all good here.

For the ones I have made here, I have left some plain, some ruched with a fork and some with sprinkles. I think plain are best, but the children love the sprinkles!

I like to use a non-stick baking liner for my peppermint patties, but parchment will work well too, or oiled foil. Just don’t put them on a baking rack to drain off the excess chocolate, as they will stick to it.

This recipe uses a whole can of condensed milk, so makes a lot, but you can wrap the peppermint filling in cling film and freeze, ready to cut off sections for smaller batches whenever you fancy making some.

Ingredients:
1 x 397g can of sweetened condensed milk
5½ cups icing sugar, sieved (around 680g)
1 tablespoon peppermint extract (add a little more if preferred) – I used Nielsen-Massey
200g dark good quality chocolate – at least 70% cocoa solids
Sprinkles, or crushed candy canes to decorate (optional)

Method:
Place the sieved icing sugar, condensed milk and peppermint extract into a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, wrap a tea towel around the bowl and mix on low speed until mixed. Taste to check you have enough peppermint.  Mixing can also be done with a wooden spoon of course.

The filling should be fairly stiff, but quite pliable – like play dough.  If you think the filling is a little wet or overly sticky, add another half a cup of icing sugar in.

Roll small amounts of the mixture into balls and flatten out on the baking liner. Roll any you are not using right now into a log, wrap in cling film and freeze.

Peppermint patties with sprinkles

Leave the candies to air dry for around an hour, before freezing them for at least 30 minutes. This will make dipping much easier!

When you are ready to dip the candies, break the chocolate into small pieces and microwave in short bursts, stopping to stir every 10 seconds. When only a few lumps remain, keep stirring as the residual heat will melt the rest of the chocolate. Leave it to stand for a few minutes to cool a little.

If you are using sprinkles, get them ready as you will need to decorate as you go because the chocolate will solidify as soon as you take the cold candy out.

Drop a candy into the melted chocolate and using a fork, gently lift it out, tapping on the side of the bowl to drain any excess chocolate. Place onto the non-stick liner and either drag the fork across to top, decorate with sprinkles or crushed candy canes, or just leave plain before moving onto the next one.

Peppermint Patties

You can give these as gifts in little clear bags, or a pretty box, but I do think they are best stored in the refrigerator, or even better, in the freezer!

White Chocolate and Oreo Fudge Filled Easter Eggs

These are perfect desserts for Easter. They are definitely only meant for once a year as they are so rich and indulgent. The chocolate eggs have a white chocolate and Oreo cookie fudge filling and are made using silicone moulds that readily available and not too expensive.

Easter Eggs

Ingredients:
Detail on the egg shells:

100g white chocolate, broken into pieces

Egg shells:
100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
100g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

Egg bases:
50g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
50g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

Filling:
1 397g can of condensed milk
200g white chocolate
1 pack of original Oreo cookies, bashed or chopped up into small pieces

Easter Eggs1

Method:
Melt the white chocolate in the microwave and using a food safe paint brush, load up the brush with chocolate and carefully fill in the detail on the silicone egg moulds. You will either find this therapeutic or get half way through and wonder why on earth you started doing this! Persevere, as the end result really is worth it. Take care to keep inside the lines.

Easter Eggs3

Leave to set completely.

Melt the dark and milk chocolate in the microwave, leave to cool slightly. If it is too warm, it might melt the white chocolate and spoil the detail.

Coat the insides of the egg moulds with the chocolate. I did this by pouring chocolate into each one and tilting and turning the mould until the insides had a good coating. Leave to set completely.

While the shells are setting, make the filling.

Easter Eggs5

Add the condensed milk to a heavy based pan along with the white chocolate and heat until melted, stirring all the time.

When everything is liquid, take off the heat and stir in the cookie rubble. Leave to cool, but not set completely. You need it to be cool enough to not melt the chocolate egg shells.

Easter Eggs2

When the filling is cool, fill the waiting shells and gently press down with the back of a spoon to flatten the filling before adding the rest of the chocolate.

Melt the remaining chocolate and pour onto the waiting eggs, use an offset spatula or palette knife to scrape off the excess and give you a nice flat finish.

Leave to set completely – at least 2 hours and your eggs will be complete.

Easter Eggs6

This recipe would work just as well with the smaller silicone egg moulds you can get as they are super rich.

If I made these again, I would work harder at tempering the chocolate to get a good shine on them, but I don’t think my family noticed the lack of shine when tucking in!

Peanut Butter Fudge

This is a quick recipe for a very indulgent treat.

PB Fudge4

This is just a small batch, but the recipe can easily be doubled. The fudge is super creamy, buttery and delicious, but very rich!

It’s perfect for cutting into squares and filling little bags, tied with ribbon for a gift.

The fudge gets incredibly hot, so it goes without saying that no children should come anywhere near when making it and there can be absolutely no sampling until it has cooled down!

PB Fudge

Ingredients:
450g caster sugar
60g butter
120ml/½ cup whole milk
One 397g tin of condensed milk
180g/around ¾ cup of smooth peanut butter

Method:
Line a 20cm/8 inch square baking tray with greaseproof paper or foil, leaving an overhang in order to pull the fudge out.

PB Fudge3

Put the milk and sugar in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat with a candy thermometer and keep stirring until all the sugar has melted. You need the sugar to fully dissolve into the milk or it could burn on the bottom of the pan. Don’t rush this stage, just let the sugar gently melt, stirring all the time, before progressing to the next stage.

When the sugar and milk are ready, stir in the butter and let it melt, before increasing the heat and bringing it up to a full boil.

Turn the heat down and stir in the condensed milk.

Turn the heat back up and bring the temperature up to the soft ball stage – 116°C/240°F. It will now be a lovely caramel colour.

Once you have reached this stage, remove from the heat and add it to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the peanut butter and beat it thoroughly until it has thickened (about 5 minutes). You can also do this with a wooden spoon.

Pile it into the waiting tray and use a spatula to flatten it down and into all the corners.

PB Fudge2

If disaster happens and you get a few black, burnt sugar particles come up from the bottom when you are stirring, all is not lost! Very carefully, use a metal sieve and filter them out when you transfer the fudge to the bowl for beating.

You have to do this fairly quickly, while the fudge is still molten, but if you only have a few burnt particles, the fudge shouldn’t taste burnt. The best way of avoiding burnt fudge is to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved right at the start.

PB Fudge1

Once the fudge has set, lift it out of the tray and cut into squares with a sharp knife.