Patties: In the bowl of
your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat (on low speed) the sugar,
butter, peppermint oil, vanilla extract, and evaporated milk (or heavy cream)
until combined. Increase the speed to medium low and beat until very creamy and
smooth (like Play-Doh) (about 2 minutes).
Place the dough
between two sheets of parchment or wax paper and roll until it is about 1/4 inch
(.5 cm) thick (about an 8 inch (20 cm) round). As you roll, periodically check
the top and bottom sheets of parchment and smooth out any wrinkles. Place dough
on a baking sheet (along with the parchment paper) and place in the refrigerator
until cold and very firm (about 60 minutes). (For faster chilling, place in the
freezer for about 15 minutes).
remove from refrigerator or freezer, and peel off the top piece of parchment
paper. Using an 1 1/2 inch (4 cm) cookie cutter, that has been dipped in powdered
sugar, cut out the patties. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
or foil. Cover and place in the refrigerator until the patties are firm (at
least one hour, or even overnight) or in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Gather up the scraps, reroll to 1/4 inch (.5 cm) thick, freeze, cut out
remaining patties, and freeze until firm.
Melt the chocolate and shortening in a heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of
simmering water. Remove the patties from the refrigerator (or freezer) and dip, one patty at
a time, into the melted chocolate, making sure each patty is completely coated with chocolate. (You can use a fork or a chocolate dipping
fork.) Let any excess chocolate drip back into the bowl and then place the
patties back on the parchment lined baking sheet. Once all the patties have been
dipped in the chocolate, return to the refrigerator to chill until firm (30 – 60
minutes). Store in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, (separate layers
with parchment paper or wax paper) for a couple of weeks or they can be frozen.
Makes about 28 – 1 1/2
inch (4 cm) Peppermint Patties. Preparation time 90 minutes.
Food and Cooking‘. A Fireside Book. New York: 1984.
‘Baking From The Heart’. Broadway Books. New York: 2004.
Baker’s Field Guide to Holiday Candy & Confections’. The Harvard Common
Press. Boston: 2005.