Before the question is even posed I’ll just go ahead and tell you that, yes, these do taste eerily similar to York Peppermint Patties. The recipe is incredibly simple and also incredibly sticky. I’ve thoroughly wiped my island down three times since making the candy on Sunday morning and it still has some sort of bizarre hybrid layer of powdered sugar and cornstarch on it that refuses to go away. I guess I’ll just leave that stubborn mess to the house elves and hope for the best.
The challenging part of this recipe is the actual dipping of the candy. I thought and pondered and researched online for the best way to obtain the tidiest chocolate covered silhouettes that I could. I probably should have invested in some dipping tools, but luckily I discovered that a simple dinner fork and a little patience worked surprisingly well. A combination of speed, cleanliness, and very well chilled patties also helped my candy coated cause immensely. Of course, my hearts are far from perfect, but I think they’re still a tasty gift to make for the special people in your life. Set a plateful of these chilly treats in front of that certain someone and I’m sure they’ll think of an equally creative way to thank you.
Heart-Shaped Peppermint Patties
Loosely adapted from the York Peppermint Patties recipe published in More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur
Yields 4 dozen hearts
1 egg white
4 cups powdered sugar (plus more for kneading and rolling; approximately 1-2 cups)
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil or extract
Cornstarch for dusting
24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 bar edible paraffin wax such as Gulf Wax or 2 tablespoons of shortening (Erin’s Note: Please see below re: Gulf Wax )
In a medium bowl, beat the egg white until frothy but not stiff. Don’t use a plastic bowl for this.
Slowly add the powdered sugar while blending with an electric mixer set on medium speed. (Erin’s Note: The mixture will be extremely sticky and you will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl repeatedly).
Add the corn syrup and peppermint oil or extract and knead the mixture with your hands until it has the smooth consistency of dough. Add more powdered sugar if necessary, until mixture is no longer sticky. (Erin’s Note: I added approximately a cup of additional powdered sugar during the kneading process).
Using a surface and rolling pin heavily dusted with cornstarch, roll out the peppermint dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick.
Punch out circles of peppermint dough with a small heart-shaped cutter. When you have cut out as many shapes as your dough allows, pull the sides together, knead back into a ball (adding more powdered sugar if necessary) and roll out the dough again. Repeat until you have used all of the peppermint dough. Place the hearts on plates or silpat lined cookie sheets, and let them firm up in the refrigerator, about 45 minutes.
Melt the chocolate chips and paraffin wax in a double boiler over medium heat until smooth. Reduce the heat to low.
To Coat (Erin’s Note: This is the method that worked best for me): Drop a heart patty into the chocolate and coat completely using a dinner fork. Lift the coated patty from the chocolate, being careful to have the heart’s point facing towards the outer tips of the tines. Gently tap the forks against the bowl to knock off the excess chocolate. Place your finger on the backside of the heart and carefully slide the patty onto a silpat lined cookie sheet. Try to do this in once smooth and controlled motion. Extra movements will smear the chocolate and create additional edging on your hearts. (Erin’s Note: You can also use wax paper, but I’ve found that the chocolate tends to stick to the paper). Very Important: Be sure to clean your fingers and the fork between each dipping to ensure a smooth and clean heart quality.
Chill the peppermint patties until firm, about 30 minutes. They are absolutely delicious straight from the freezer.
Re Gulf Wax: I’ve always found the brand of wax that I use “Gulf Wax” in the baking aisle or in the section where they sell canning jars, lids and pectin. You can probably find it at hardware stores too. If you do a google search I’m sure you can find it online. For zillions of years people have used it in their chocolates (your mothers and grandmothers). It doesn’t mention anything about chocolates on the packaging though so I guess use it at your own risk. If you look online there are people both for and against the use of wax in food. But I personally never grew a third eye or anything. If it makes you uncomfortable, you can also simply add a few tablespoons of shortening to your melted chocolate and you’ll have a similar result.