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Holiday Treats in (Pepper)Mint Condition

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By: Andrea Lynn
Holiday Treats in (Pepper)Mint Condition

Looking for a simple way to boost the holiday spirit? Try a little peppermint love. Whether it's crushed peppermint candies sprinkled on a dessert of brownies, or a teaspoon of peppermint extract stirred into whipped cream, there are plenty of ways to celebrate with this comforting and refreshing flavor.

Peppermint Candies

Sprinkle all sorts of confections with peppermint candy dust. Take either peppermint candies or candy canes and remove from their plastic casing. Combine in a sealed large zip-top bag and pound away with the bottom of a sauté pan or rolling pin. For a little more ease and a finer peppermint dust, add directly into food processor and blend until crushed.

Sprinkle on Chocolate Peppermint Cookies or Mint Brownies, on Aztec Cupcakes in place of almonds, or along with the chocolate sprinkles in the Buttermilk Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. Or, stick with the candy cane theme with these adorable Candy Cane Cookies rolled into crushed peppermint candies.

Peppermint Extract

Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract into 1 cup of heavy cream, along with a few tablespoons of sugar before whipping into whipped cream. (Note: A few drops of green food coloring can be used for a visual pop.)

Place a dollop of this peppermint whipped cream atop this pudding-like Chocolate Cream or a mug of hot chocolate. Or, make an icebox cake from a few layers of the peppermint whipped cream and store-bought chocolate cookies pressed into a loaf pan. Place in the refrigerator overnight and then cut into cake-like pieces the next day. The cookies absorb the moisture from the whipped cream, turning into a no-bake cake. Follow the directions for the Mint Chip Frosting variation and slather onto any chocolate layer cake.

Peppermint Liqueur

Make the chocolate glaze in this recipe, doubling or tripling the recipe depending on your needs. Add a splash of any type of peppermint liqueur, such as Kahlúa® Peppermint Mocha, into the recipe before heating. Taste and add more, as needed.

Use this chocolate-peppermint syrup over desserts like this Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream. Or, use the chocolate syrup to bond two sugar cookies together to form a cookie sandwich. You can also skip the cinnamon in this Hot Chocolate Toddy, substituting peppermint liqueur for brandy. For an extra dose of mint, top with the peppermint whipped cream, too.

Andrea Lynn is a recipe developer and cookbook author, most recently of the culinary guidebook/ cookbook, Queens: A Culinary Passport.

Spice Islands® spices deliver high quality, authentic flavors from all over the world so you can put the most delicious meals on your table.

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