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Minty Magic


In looking forward to wonder and treats,

what is the flavor we find in sweets?

Whether cookies, fudge, or holiday pies,

peppermint is winter's welcome surprise.

Peppermint Fudge

PREP: 10 minutes

COOK: 10 minutes

CHILL: 4 hours

MAKES: 45 squares

Butter, softened
4 cups sugar
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
3⁄4 cup butter
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
1 7-oz. jar marshmallow creme
1⁄2 tsp. peppermint extract
1 cup crushed peppermint candies

1. Line a 13×9-inch pan with foil, allowing foil to hang over edges of pan. Butter foil with softened butter. Combine sugar, milk, and the 3/4 cup butter in a large heavy saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-high until boiling; reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking and stirring 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, and peppermint extract, stirring until melted and smooth. Beat by hand 1 minute.

2. Pour fudge into prepared pan. Sprinkle with crushed candies. Cover and chill at least 4 hours. Use foil to lift fudge from pan; cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

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Peppermint Patties

PREP: 20 minutes

CHILL: 1 hour

FREEZE: 15 minutes

MAKES: 28 to 30 patties

2 1⁄2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. shortening
2 Tbsp. light-color corn syrup
2 tsp. peppermint extract
2 tsp. water
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Combine powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp. shortening, corn syrup, peppermint extract, and the water in a bowl. Beat on low until combined. (Mixture will be crumbly.) Lightly knead dough in bowl until smooth.

2. Shape dough into a 11/2-inch-diameter log that is about 7 inches long. Wrap in plastic wrap; chill 1 hour. Use a serrated knife to cut log into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices on a tray lined with waxed paper; freeze 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, combine chocolate chips and the remaining 1 tsp. shortening in a small bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals until melted and smooth, stirring between intervals.

4. Use a fork to dip each slice into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Place dipped patties on the tray. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

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Double Chocolate Peppermint Pie

PREP: 15 minutes

BAKE: 5 minutes

COOL: 1 hour

CHILL: 3 hours

MAKES: 8 servings

Nonstick cooking spray
5 oz. chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
3⁄4 cup sugar
2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. peppermint extract
1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
Red food coloring (optional)
High-quality hot fudge sauce
1⁄4 cup crushed peppermint candies

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. In a bowl stir together crushed chocolate wafers, butter, and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Press into bottom and up sides of prepared pie plate. Bake 5 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

2. Beat cream cheese and peppermint extract in a medium bowl on medium until combined.

3. Combine heavy cream, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and desired amount of food coloring in a chilled bowl. Beat on high until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Add a spoonful of whipped cream to cream cheese mixture. Stir to combine and lighten mixture. Add cream cheese mixture to whipped cream; fold to combine.

4. Spoon filling into piecrust. Chill pie 3 to 6 hours or until cold. Serve the same day the pie is made. Drizzle with hot fudge sauce and sprinkle with candies before serving.

TIP: Gel food coloring is a much thicker product than liquid food coloring, and it provides more intense color. Use 1⁄8 tsp. gel coloring or 15 to 18 drops liquid for a light pink filling.

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Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

PREP: 20 minutes

BAKE: 9 minutes

MAKES: 12 cookies

1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
1⁄2 cup packed brown sugar
1⁄2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1⁄2 tsp. peppermint extract
1⁄2 tsp. instant espresso coffee powder
1/3 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Peppermint Buttercream
Crushed peppermint candies (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl beat sugars and butter on medium 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs, vanilla, peppermint extract, and coffee powder until combined. Beat in cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Beat in flour. Stir in chopped chocolate.

2. Drop dough by 1/4-cup portions 3 inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Flatten mounds slightly. Bake 7 minutes. Remove cookie sheets and firmly tap three times on counter. Return to oven and bake 2 minutes more or until centers appear set. Repeat tapping. Let cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets. Remove; cool completely on wire racks.

Spread cooled cookies with Peppermint Buttercream. If you like, sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies.

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Peppermint Buttercream

Beat 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter 2 minutes on medium. Beat in 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Beat in 1 Tbsp. heavy
cream and 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract. Gradually beat in 11/2 cups additional powdered sugar. Beat 5 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.

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