As well as gingerbread cookie kits for the kids, we gave our pals a little stash of pimped peppermint creams to take home from our party last weekend.
They're ridiculously easy to make, although having sampled eleventy-billion of them, I will say that getting the amount of peppermint right isn't easy (definitely over-douse rather than under) and having dipped and decorated them, don't plan to show anyone into your kitchen for a while because it will be a sticky, chocolatey bomb-site for at least a day. Think egg-white and icing sugar mix meets underfloor heating...
This was another recipe snaffled from Country Living although there are lots of variations out there. This one makes around 50 mints and I made them 24 hours before bagging them up, to allow them to dry properly.
The ingredients are simple: 2 medium egg whites + 450 sifted icing sugar + a few drops of peppermint essence + 100g melted plain chocolate.
All you do is beat the egg whites until they're frothy then add just enough to the icing sugar to make a firm dough. Once it's the right consistency, you then add the peppermint essence to taste.
Once you're pepperminted up, you knead the dough on a surface dusted with more icing sugar, then roll it out to a 5mm thickness. I then used the top of a straight edged shot glass to stamp out my mints - they were around 3-4cm round.
The final job was to lightly press the prongs of a fork across half the mint to make an indented pattern, then dip the other half into the melted chocolate. As long as you dry them on baking parchment sprinkled with icing sugar they shouldn't stick. I popped mine in the fridge for a while but left them covered on the worktop overnight.
Apparently they keep in an airtight container for up to a month but well, really, who's going to let them hang around that long?