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Peppermint

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With only a week left in the voting for the 2012 Dessert and Dessert Food Truck of the Year, we felt we would tie this contest together with National Peppermint Latte Day. Although this is not a coffee drink, it certainly uses peppermint. If you are interested in giving your customers a sweet peppermint treat, try out this recipe for peppermint bark shortbread cookies.

peppermint bark shortbread cookies

Peppermint Bark Shortbread

Yield: 24 2-by-2 inch cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tbsp. for top
  • 2 cups butter
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • Parchment paper (optional)
  • 1 pound semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Crushed candy canes (8-10 mini canes)

Directions:

In a standard mixer or with a hand-held beater, cream sugar, butter and peppermint extract until light and fluffy.

Add flours and salt and combine until mixture just starts to come together. (The dough should be crumbly but stick together when squeezed.)

Line a 12-by-16-inch pan with parchment. Place dough into the pan and break up any large clumps, spreading evenly.

Press dough down gently and sprinkle the remaining sugar on top.

With a rolling pin or drinking glass, roll out the dough evenly. (Use a little additional sugar if the dough sticks to the rolling pin.)

With a meat tenderizer or fork, press indentations into the top of the shortbread. (This prevents the shortbread from rising unevenly.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until shortbread is golden brown.

Cut into squares while still warm and remove cookies from pan to cool.

To finish, melt chocolate and vegetable oil over double boiler or in a microwave, watching constantly to prevent chocolate from burning. When melted, remove from the heat and stir to cool slightly.

Dip bottoms of shortbread in melted chocolate, then dip in crushed candy canes.  Place on parchment to dry.

 

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The internet is full of fabulous facts about everything from current events to the history basket weaving. Because of this, as we research for our daily content on food trucks, food carts and street food, we stumble upon some items of knowledge that we just did not know. We have decided when these fun facts pop up, that we would share them with our readers in our section titled “Did You Know?”

For today’s Did You Know fun food facts we will look at Peppermint.

peppermint

The Facts: Peppermint (Mentha x piperita L.) in the mint family (Lamiaceae) is a natural hybrid of M. aquatica and M. spicata first found in a field of spearmint in England in 1696; it is vegetatively propagated since it does not breed true from seed.

  • Peppermint has escaped cultivation and can be found growing wild in moist areas throughout Europe and North America.
  • December 3rd is National Peppermint Latte Day.
  • Peppermint oil is produced by specialized cells on the underside of the leaves.
  • The best time to harvest and collect the oil is on a sunny day as flowering is just beginning. This is when menthol is at its peak.
  • Peppermint plants grow to be 18 – 36 inches tall and about 24 inches wide.
  • Peppermint is the number 1 selling flavor among non-chocolate, hard candies.
  • Ancient Greeks believed mint could cure hiccups
  • The US produces 70% of the Worlds peppermint supply.
  • Peppermint has been used in Eastern and Western traditional medicine as an aromatic, antispasmodic, and antiseptic in treating indigestion, nausea, sore throat, colds, toothaches, cramps, and cancers.
  • Peppermint is the most extensively used volatile oil, both commercially and medicinally.

 

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