Looking for a homemade Valentine's Day gift? Look no further - these pretty peppermint creams are easy-peasy and delicious to boot. I got the basics of this recipe from my
sister-in-law, Jo, who absolutely loves peppermint creams. My one-year-old
nephew Oscar helped to stir the mixture (a lot of icing sugar ended up on the
floor, but he says that’s actually my fault). You can either roll the mixture into small blobs and press out with a fork, for the traditional look, or you can roll it out thin and use a pretty cutter to shape them.
450g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
100g white chocolate, if using
Weigh out the icing sugar and add the peppermint essence.
Then start adding the milk a tiny bit at a time, stirring well, until the
mixture starts to come together in a ball. Now you need to decide how you're going to shape them. If you're going for the traditional shape, dust your hands with icing sugar, then start rolling the mixture into blobs about the size of a Malteser. Place on a plate and use the back of a fork to press them down into a circular sweet about the size of a 10p piece. Leave to set (overnight if possible). You can dip them in whichever chocolate you prefer - I just think white chocolate and mint is such a fabulous combination. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, giving it pulses of 30 seconds and stirring in between. When it's almost (but not completely) liquid, take it out, add a few more unmelted lumps of chocolate, and stir until all the pieces have melted and you have a smooth liquid. Leave it to cool until it feels warm to your fingertip instead of hot. Spread out a piece of cellophane on the countertop, then carefully half-dip the peppermint creams in the white chocolate, dab off the excess on the side of the bowl, and place on the cellophane to harden.
If you're using a cutter, dust a
chopping board with icing sugar and fetch a rolling pin. Sprinkle your hands
with sugar as well, then bring the mixture together into a ball with your hands
and work it a bit, sprinkling on more sugar if necessary, until it’s not
sticking to your fingers. Roll it out into a sheet about 1cm thick, then use a
small cutter to cut out the peppermint creams. Place on a sugared baking sheet
or plate and leave to set hard – this should take about half an hour.