mint + chocolate = yes.

it makes everything better.
heartburn. belly aches. motion sickness. congestion. breath.
winter. summer. 
mint is the embodiment of the best of winter and it's what snow would taste like if it always fell in perfect happy little flakes and never ever turned into those brown disasters on street corners that trick you into thinking they're stable when really they're just gushy lakes that will soak your shoes and ruin your day. mint is a clean, energetic burst of winter. it's also the single greatest cooling taste on those desperately swampy, sticky, two-shower-necessary summer days when you wonder why it is you complain about winter and strategically plan your outings so that you're not away from air conditioning for longer than 17 minutes at a time. 

mint tea is pretty much the most reliable tea.
mint gum is indisputably the best gum.
mint is delicious chopped up and thrown on salads. 
mint goes really well with peas. 
mint cough drops make you feel less sad than fruit flavored cough drops.
and guess what else mint is good for? dessert. 
mint + chocolate = yes.

homemade peppermint patties.

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp mint extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (or more)
bag dark chocolate chips
a little bit of butter
crushed candy canes (highly recommended)

to make:
1. beat the sweetened condensed milk and the sugar until it's stiff and not too sticky. add more sugar little by little as needed. 
2. roll little balls and flatten them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. the bottom of a glass works great for this. if everything feels really sticky coat things with an extra little dusting of powdered sugar. 
3. let them sit out for about an hour and then stick them in the fridge for about an hour. they should feel pretty stiff after that.
4. melt the chocolate and the butter in the microwave, coat each mint circle in a nice layer of chocolate and place it on a clean piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet. sprinkle crushed candy cane bits all over the top. stick them back in the fridge until the chocolate is set.

voila! you've just made peppermint patties! they're refreshing and indulgent. a very good dessert.

if peppermint patties aren't your thing, try these.
chocolate mint oreos.

6 tbsp softened unsalted butter (i put it in the microwave)
6 tbsp softened salted butter
1 1/8 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp mint extract 
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag chocolate chips
10 crushed oreo cookies
2 crushed candy canes

to make the cookies:
1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

2. beat the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and mint extract in a large bowl until it looks nice and fluffy.
3. stir the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl and then slowly add this mixture to the butter mixture until it's all combined.
4. mix in the chocolate chips and the oreos. the cookie batter will be thick so you may need to use the beater to do this.
5. place tablespoon sized gobs of batter (or you can make them into giant cookies if you want!) onto cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper and leave a little room between the cookies cause they spread a bit.
6. bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until they don't look wet anymore. when they come out of the oven sprinkle them with the crushed candy cane.
eat these with hot chocolate. it's winter. why not?


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