Buttermint Patties

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Anyone else LOVE buttermints? You know, those old fashioned kinda hard, kinda chalky, but also creamy little candies that come with the check at some restaurants? I find them totally irresistible and these little confections have all the creamy, minty deliciousness of a buttermint with the texture, and chocolate coating of a peppermint patty. They are a perfect treat to make for holiday gifts, not too hard, but very special and VERY tasty.

I covered these with (slightly imperfect) tempered chocolate, which gives the candies a crisp and shiny chocolate coating at room temperature, but tempering can be kind of tricky business. I find the seeding method to be the most straightforward. But the great news is, even if your chocolate isn’t perfectly tempered you can just store your mints in the fridge - which honestly I’d recommend anyway because I think these are best served chilled. Here’s another great article by David Lebovitz about tempering.


Buttermint Patties

slightly adapted from Amanda Fredrickson’s Peppermint Patties

makes about 4 dozen, depending on size

You can coat these with any type of chocolate you like. I did some with semisweet and some milk, and some with a little of both. Just make sure to use high quality feves or chocolate bars - do not use chocolate chips which contain stabilizers that you don’t want for a coating like this. You can also top them with a little bit of crushed peppermint candy or cacao nibs. Also, feel free to divide the dough and make half with nibs and half without, which is what I did for the photos in this post.

Filling

5 cups (550g) confectioner’s sugar

3 tablespoons corn syrup

3 tablespoons (45g) cultured butter, softened

2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons peppermint extrat

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons cacao nibs (optional)

Topping

18 ounces high quality chocolate (bittersweet, semisweet or milk), chopped

flaky salt (optional)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all of the filling ingredients except for the cacao nibs. Mix on low until all of the ingredients are moistened, add the cacao nibs (if using) then turn the mixer up to medium and mix until the mixture is the consistency of play dough.

Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper and place another piece of parchment paper on top. Roll the dough out until it is about 1/4’’ thick. Remove the top parchment and use a 1 1/2 or 2-inch circle cutter (or any other shape you like) to cut as many rounds as possible. Pull the excess dough away from the rounds (the rounds may be soft and tricky to move). Slide the parchment paper with the rounds onto a baking sheet and refrigerate. Gather up the dough scraps, re roll and cut more rounds. Again, transfer the parchment paper with the rounds onto a baking sheet and refrigerate. Repeat until all of the dough is used.

While the rounds are chilling, temper the chocolate. Use a fork to dip the chilled rounds in the chocolate and shake off the excess. Transfer them to a clean piece of parchment paper to dry. Sprinkle with flaky salt or use the fork to drizzle with more chocolate for decoration. Let them harden then store, with layers of parchment in between the layers in an airtight container.

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Honeycomb Ice Cream & Mini Baked Alaskas

honeycomb ice cream (yossy arefi)
honeycomb candy (yossy arefi)
honeycomb ice cream (yossy arefi)
baked alaska (yossy arefi)

Last week over on my Food52 column, Project Dessert,  I shared a recipe for Mini Baked Alaskas with honeycomb ice cream, brown sugar poundcake, and torched swiss meringue. They were adorable and so tasty, but the real star of the show was the ice cream made from crushed homemade honeycomb candy folded through a simple ice cream base. As the ice cream sits in the freezer, the honeycomb melts a bit, making delicious and beautiful swirls and striations through the mix along with bits of crispy and chewy candy. So good.

Follow the links above to make all of the components for the Mini Baked Alaskas or if you aren't up for the whole project, no worries. The poundcake and ice cream are both stellar stand-alone recipes. The poundcake would be especially nice with some of Spring's first strawberries and fresh cream.

Honeycomb Ice Cream

Makes about 2 pints

Honeycomb candy is also known as sponge toffee, sea foam, hokey pokey, but all you need to know is that it is delicious caramelized sugar candy. If you’ve never made candy before this is a great one to start with, and you don’t even need a thermometer.

Honeycomb Candy

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup dark corn syrup or golden syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

pinch salt

Ice Cream Base

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

1 cup granulated sugar

4 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch salt

To make the honeycomb: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Combine the sugar and corn syrup in a medium (at least 3 quarts) saucepan. Stir to combine well.

Cook the mixture over medium heat, swirl occasionally but do not stir once the pan is on the heat, until the sugar has melted and the mixture is the color of dark maple syrup about 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the baking soda and salt. The mixture will bubble up and foam quite a bit. Quickly pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Let sit at room temperature until cool and set. When cool break the candy into smaller pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

To make the ice cream base: In a medium saucepan, whisk the cream, milk and sugar. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl.

Heat the cream mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the cream is just barely simmering. Ladle a bit of the hot cream into the egg yolks and whisk to temper the yolks.

Add the eggs to the saucepan pan and cook the mixture while stirring constantly until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in the salt and vanilla extract.

Transfer the mixture to a container and chill the completely, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Just before churning the ice cream, break up about 3/4 cup of the honeycomb candy into rough crumbs.

Churn the ice cream in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions, just before the ice cream is done churning add in the honeycomb crumbs. Transfer the mixture to a freezer safe container, cover, and freeze until very firm.

 

baked alaska (yossy arefi)
honeycomb ice cream (yossy arefi)