We always had a box of After Dinner Mints in the pantry when I was growing up – now I like to make my own and have given this version a festive twist by adding that quintessential Christmas sweet, the candy cane.
1 egg white at room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
½ cup finely chopped candy canes
100 grams dark chocolate, melted
¼ cup finely chopped candy canes
2 flat baking trays lined with baking paper
Whisk the egg white in a large bowl until frothy.
Add the icing sugar, peppermint extract and the candy and stir together until the mixture comes together to form a thick paste. Transfer to a bench dusted with icing sugar. Knead the paste until it is smooth and no longer sticky, adding extra icing sugar if needed.
Roll teaspoons of the mixture into smooth balls and place on the tray. Using your fingertips, pat them out to 5 cm circles approximately ½ cm thick. Dip your fingertips in icing sugar to prevent them sticking. There will be little lumps in the mints from the chopped candy canes.
Set the trays aside uncovered in a cool place for 24 hours, turning the mints once so they dry on both sides. Transfer to a sealed container and store in the fridge until ready to coat in chocolate.
To assemble: Holding a peppermint thin on the fingertips of one hand, use a small palette knife to spread one side with a layer of chocolate. Place on the lined tray and sprinkle with the chopped candy while still wet. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set then store in the refrigerator. Makes about 38.
Cook’s tip: To chop the candy canes finely, I find a food processor works better than using a knife.