Christmas is close. Very close, though you wouldn’t be able to tell from stepping outside. Granted, in warmer regions of the country, this is normal weather for the season, but for those of us further north, this is unusual. I know the warm weather has lulled some into a false sense of security, of having time to get everything done and bought and wrapped.
So in case this has happened to you and you’re in need of a quick treat to bring or gift to give to the coffee and chocolate-loving person in your life, look no further. In less than two hours you can have a homemade treat ready for the giving, receiving, and eating. Wrap the fudge in squares of waxed or parchment paper and place in a box or tin or coffee mug, if desired. Add a gift card for a coffee joint. How pretty you make it is up to you.
Merry Christmas to all!
Peppermint Mocha Fudge
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 packets Starbucks Via instant coffee or 1 tsp instant espresso
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp peppermint extract*
- crushed peppermint candies and sprinkles (optional)
Line 8″ square baking dish with foil. Place crushed candies and sprinkles (if using) in bottom of dish.
Place chocolate chips, coffee, and sweetened condensed milk in medium microwavable bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir. If necessary microwave additional minute, stirring at 15 second intervals, until mixture is melted. Add peppermint extract. Spread in prepared baking dish. If desired, sprinkle with additional crushed candies and sprinkles, gently pressing in to adhere. Refrigerate at least one hour; cut into squares.
*If you’d rather just have mocha fudge, substitute vanilla extract for the peppermint and don’t use the crushed peppermint candies.
While I would normally try to offer a gluten-free meal option on this, a wheatless Wednesday, I also realize that Christmas is soon upon us and there are some out there who may be in the mood to make something festive to share with others or to indulge in a treat themselves. And because it’s almost Christmas, this post also has an option for those of us who are carb-orators. Did I mention that this recipe is also dairy-free?
I found this recipe in FamilyFun magazine. It looked simple enough to execute and delicious enough to not pass up. Homemade peppermint patties? Yes, please!
from Disney FamilyFun magazine; my added comments are in italics
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon water
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar (3-3/4 cups)
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- 10 to 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 6 hard mint candies (we used Starlight), crushed in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin or sprinkles
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the water, corn syrup, lemon juice, and peppermint extract, then sift in half the confectioners’ sugar. Add the shortening. Beat on medium, then slowly sift in the remaining confectioners’ sugar until the mixture is well combined.
- Knead the mixture into a ball (it will be very stiff; if necessary, add 1/2 teaspoon water to make it workable). Use the bottom of a glass pie plate to apply firm, even pressure to flatten the ball between sheets of waxed paper into a circle about 9 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Lay the waxed-paper-covered disk on a cookie sheet and freeze it until it’s firm, about 15 minutes.
- Place the frozen disk on a cutting surface and remove and reserve the waxed paper. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment. With a small round cutter (ours was 1-1/4 inches) (I used a shot glass), cut out circles from the disk, then place them on the cookie sheet. Gather the scraps into a ball, use the pie plate and waxed paper to flatten it again, and cut more circles until the entire disk is used up. Freeze the circles for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water (or melt in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl — heat for 1 minute, stir chocolate, heat for 30 second intervals until chocolate is smooth, stirring in-between). Coat the patties one at a time: balance each on a fork and dip it (use another fork as needed to flip the patty in the chocolate), then shake off any excess chocolate before returning the coated patty to the parchment. Sprinkle each patty with a bit of crushed mint candy or sprinkles. Add more chocolate to the double boiler as necessary until all the patties are coated.
- Harden the finished patties in the refrigerator for at least an hour, and preferably overnight. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge, layered between sheets of waxed paper, for up to one month. Include tags with your gifts instructing recipients to keep the patties refrigerated. (I didn’t refrigerate them this time around and they seem to be fine — didn’t see any reason they had to be refrigerated other than keeping them from flopping around.)
Makes 5 dozen or so.
So, going off of a side comment my husband made when I was mulling over baked goods to make for an occasion a couple of weeks ago and trying to streamline things and get a variety of treats for that said occasion, here’s a rendition of Thin Mints.
I simply made a batch of my go-to, no-fail, no-chill cut-out cookies. I used the same shot glass I used for the peppermint patties and baked a bunch of cookies. Then as I was cutting out the patties, I merely topped plain cookies with some of the peppermint patties and froze them all as described above in step #3. Dip in chocolate and voila!
In the end I showed up to the occasion with plates of peppermint patties, snowflake cookies, and mint cookies (again, what to call such a delicious treat?). Here’s hoping you can find a little sweetness for the holidays!