Friday, December 7, 2012

Purely Peppermint

       Two weeks stand between now and Christmas. Christmas trees, lights, and reindeer statues decorate the house. Why not decorate your table with some festive, refreshing peppermint desserts or make a jar of cocoa to go? Look over the follow recipes and pick your favorite!!

Chocolate Peppermint Bark

  • 6 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup crushed peppermint or spearmint candies, divided

1. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate at 70% power; stir until smooth. Repeat with chocolate chips. Stir 6 tablespoons of crushed candies into each bowl. Drop white chocolate and semisweet chocolate in alternating spoonfuls onto a waxed paper-lined baking sheet.

2. With a metal spatula, cut through chocolate to swirl, spreading to 1/4-in. thickness. Sprinkle with remaining crushed candies. Chill until firm. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Yield: about 1 pound.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 8 servings

Peppermint Meringues

- 2 eggs whites
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 peppermint candy canes, crushed

  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C). Line 2 cookie sheets with foil.
  • In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until whites form stiff peaks. Drop by spoonfuls 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle crushed peppermint candy over the cookies.
  • Bake for 1 1/2 hours in preheated oven. Meringues should be completely dry on the inside. Do not allow them to brown. Turn off oven. Keep oven door ajar, and let meringues sit in the oven until completely cool. Loosen from foil with metal spatula. Store loosely covered in cool dry place for up to 2 months.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
    Makes: 4 dozen

    Peppermint Stick Cocoa (in a jar!)

    - 1 cup powdered milk
    - 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    - 1 cup granulated sugar
    - 1/2 teaspoon salt
    - 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
    - 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy

    1. - Layer powdered milk, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, chocolate chips, and peppermint candy.
    Makes: Fills a 1-quart jar (12 servings)
    Note: If your containers are different sizes, keep the ratio of ingredients consistent. On the back of the tag, write: Mix contents in large bowl. For each serving, place 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug and stir in a cup of boiling water. Store rest of mix in a container.

    ***and happy cooking***

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