Having not completely screwed up the peanut butter cups, I moved on to the DIY peppermint patties that have been floating around recently.
I more or less followed the directions as written, except that I used all butter because I don’t have any shortening and I have peppermint oil instead of extract, which required an adjustment. The packaging on the oil said it was four times the strength of extract, so I used a half-teaspoon instead of two teaspoons and that was still a little too much — they came out a little more Altoids than York. Edible, absolutely, but strong. Next batch, I think I’ll drop it down to maybe a third of a teaspoon.
In my efforts to knock back the peppermint a little, I added more sugar and more cream, so the texture was more dense and less flaky than a York. The key thing, though, is to have faith in the measurements for the mint filling and let it keep beating until you get something that’s workable, since it won’t look that way at the outset.
I went with small lozenges instead of bigger patties, again because of the strength of the peppermint. These are all heaping half-teaspoons, more or less. I stuck them in the freezer for speed of setting, but the fridge is fine for a more relaxed pace.
Because I didn’t wait for the lozenges to warm up a little, the chocolate started to set immediately — you can tell that I worked left to right here. I don’t have dipping forks or any fancy tools for this, so after a failed attempt with a metal skewer, I just started dropping the lozenges into the melted chocolate and rolling them around the bowl and then fishing them out with a pair of regular salad forks. Between that and the fact that they were still frozen, the coating is thick — not too much so, but more than just a cursory dab. I think the proportions worked out fine, especially considering the strength of the mint.
I had a little bit of chocolate left over, so it became one solid candy (also a good test to see how much butterfat I will have to add to soften up the shells the next time I do filled candies). But, really, this is mostly so I can show off my adorably cute and very useful baby spoonula, $2 at Zabar’s. Which I might have been sucking on right before this picture. (Whoops.)
The finished product. These need to be stored in the fridge, both because of the dairy element and because they’ll get a little soft at room temp.