Let the fresh taste of peppermint be a sweet addition at your holiday meal.
Peppermint Cream Tart in a Chocolate Crust
Prep: 35 minutes Bake: 8 minutes
Cool: 30 minutes Chill: 4 hours Oven: 350°F
2 cups crushed chocolate wafer cookies (about 38 cookies)
¹⁄₃ cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 ¼ cups whole milk
½ cup butter, cut up
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
½ cup coarsely crushed peppermint candies
1 recipe Peppermint Whipped Cream
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl stir together crushed cookies and the melted butter; press into the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack.
2. In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and cornstarch. Stir in milk, the cut-up butter, and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly; reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.Stir in vanilla and peppermint extract. Stir in the ½ cup crushed peppermint candies just until combined. Pour filling into cooled crust. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Place tart on a platter; cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.
3. Using a small sharp knife, gently loosen edge of tart from side of pan; remove sides from pan. Cut tart into wedges. Serve with Peppermint Whipped Cream and, if desired, additional crushed peppermint candies. Cover and store leftover tart in the refrigerator; serve within 48 hours. Makes 10 slices.
PEPPERMINT WHIPPED CREAM: In a medium mixing bowl combine 1 cup whipping cream, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, and ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).
Petite Peppermint Cakes
Prep: 30 minutes
1 10.75-ounce frozen loaf pound cake, thawed
1 16-ounce can vanilla frosting
2 to 3 drops peppermint extract
1 drop red food coloring
4 ounces white chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter, chopped
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
54 small peppermint candy pillows (optional)
1. Using a serrated knife, cut cake into ten ½-inch slices. Set aside.
2. For peppermint filling, in a bowl, stir together ¼ cup of the frosting, 2 to 3 drops peppermint extract, and the red food coloring. Spread five of the cake slices with the filling. Top each with a plain cake slice, making a sandwich. Cut each sandwich into 3 pieces, starting from center of one long side and cutting diagonally to each opposite corner, making 15 triangular-shape pieces; set aside.
3. For icing, in a small heavy saucepan, cook and stir chopped white chocolate over low heat until melted. Add remaining frosting; heat over low heat, stirring until smooth. Stir in ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract.
4. Insert a fork into the side of a cake piece. Holding the cake over the saucepan, spoon on enough icing to cover sides and top. Using another fork, gently push the cake piece onto a wire rack set over a piece of waxed paper. If necessary, spoon icing onto side of cake where fork was inserted. If desired, arrange three peppermint candies on each cake. Repeat with remaining cake pieces, icing, and peppermint candies. Let stand until icing sets. Makes 15 cakes.
MAKE-AHEAD DIRECTIONS: Layer cakes between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
Prep: 30 minutes Stand: 30 minutes
Bake: 5 minutes per batch
Cool: 30 minutes Oven: 375°F
4 egg whites
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons white crème de menthe liqueur
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 recipe Crème de Menthe Whipped Cream
Fresh raspberries (optional)
1. In a medium bowl let egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Line a large cookie sheet with foil; lightly grease foil. Set aside. In a small bowl combine melted butter, crème de menthe, and vanilla; set aside.
2. Preheat over to 375°F. In a large bowl beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add sugar, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Fold in about half of the flour. Stir in butter mixture. Fold in the remaining flour until thoroughly combined.
3. For each cookie drop a level tablespoon of batter onto the prepared cookie sheet (bake only three or four cookies at a time). Using the back of a spoon, spread batter into 3-inch circles.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Using a wide spatula, immediately remove the cookies and drape them, in a single layer, over a rolling pin or desired tuile molds. Cool cookies on molds for about 30 minutes or until they hold their shape; carefully remove. Cool completelyon a wire rack.
5. Just before serving, pipe or spoon Crème de Menthe Whipped Cream into each tuile. If desired, garnish with raspberries. Makes about 32 cookies.