50 Peppermint Treats

Have some fun with this favorite holiday flavor.

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Peppermint Meringues (No. 9)

1. Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies Whisk 3 cups flour with 1 teaspoon each baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 sticks melted butter with 1 2/3 cups light brown sugar, 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon each vanilla and peppermint extract. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then stir in 1 cup each chocolate chips and mint M&M’s. Arrange 1/4-cup scoops (about 12) on parchment-lined baking sheets and flatten. Bake at 350 degrees F until lightly browned around the edges, 15 to 18 minutes.

2. Peppermint Ice Cream Sandwiches Make Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies (No. 1); let cool. Sandwich scoops of peppermint ice cream between the cookies. Freeze until firm.

3. Peppermint Sugar Cookies Whisk 3 cups flour with 1 teaspoon each baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 sticks melted butter with 1 2/3 cups sugar, 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons peppermint extract. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Roll 1/4-cup scoops (about 12) in red sanding sugar and arrange on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F, one pan at a time, until lightly browned around the edges, 18 to 20 minutes.

4. Mint Chocolate-Dipped Cookies Melt 1 1/2 cups chopped mint chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Dip 12 mint-chocolate sandwich cookies halfway in the melted chocolate and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.

5. Deep-Fried Mint Cookies Whisk 1 1/2 cups dry pancake mix with 1 cup milk, 1 egg and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Dip mint-chocolate sandwich cookies in the batter to coat completely. Deep-fry in 375 degrees F vegetable oil until golden, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Peppermint Truffles (No. 6)

6. Peppermint Truffles Bring 3/4 cup heavy cream and 2 tablespoons butter to a boil in a saucepan. Pour over 8 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate; let sit 5 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract until smooth, then stir in 3 crushed candy canes. Refrigerate until firm, 1 to 2 hours. Roll tablespoonfuls into balls (about 24), then roll in red sanding sugar or finely ground candy canes. Refrigerate until set, 1 to 2 hours.

7. Peppermint Cereal Treats Melt one 10-ounce bag mini marshmallows with 6 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon each peppermint extract and salt in a large pot, stirring. Stir in 8 cups crisp rice cereal and 2 tablespoons red sprinkles. Press into an oiled foil-lined 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with more sprinkles. Let cool, then slice.

8. Peppermint Marshmallow Hats Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract. Spread 1/4 teaspoon of the melted chocolate on the flat end of a marshmallow and place on a chocolate wafer cookie. Spoon the melted chocolate over the entire "hat," smoothing out the sides. Top with holiday sprinkles. Repeat. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Makes about 10.

9. Peppermint Meringues Beat 3 egg whites with a pinch of salt with a mixer on medium-high speed until frothy. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar until stiff peaks form, about 6 minutes. Add 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract; beat 2 minutes. Paint four 1/4-inch-wide stripes of red gel food coloring inside a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip; add the meringue. Pipe 2-inch circles (2 to 3 dozen) about 2 inches apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 250 degrees F, 1 hour. Turn off the oven and let the meringues dry in the oven, 2 hours.

10. Peppermint Coconut Clusters Melt 4 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in 1/2 cup packed sweetened shredded coconut and 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Scoop tablespoonfuls into 8 mini cupcake liners. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.

Peppermint Macaroons (No. 11)

11. Peppermint Macaroons Whisk 3 egg whites with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon peppermint extract and a pinch of salt; fold in one 14-ounce bag sweetened shredded coconut. Drop packed tablespoonfuls (about 30) onto an oiled baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees F until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Melt 4 ounces chopped white chocolate with 1 tablespoon coconut oil; let cool slightly. Dip the macaroons in the chocolate; sprinkle with chopped candy canes. Let set.

12. Puff Pastry Candy Canes Mix 6 tablespoons melted butter with 2 teaspoons peppermint extract. Roll out 1 thawed frozen puff pastry sheet on a floured surface into a 1⁄16-inch-thick square; cut in half. Brush 1 pastry piece with one-third of the melted butter, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons red sanding sugar, then top with the other pastry piece. Reroll to 1⁄16 inch thick and brush again with the melted butter. Cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-wide strips (about 14); tightly twist each, then form into candy canes. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet and press the ends to the parchment to secure (this will prevent them from unraveling as they bake). Brush with the remaining melted butter. Bake at 375 degrees F until golden, about 20 minutes; let cool.

13. Peppermint Blondies Whisk 2 sticks melted butter with 2 cups light brown sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract. Stir in 2 1/2 cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon each baking soda and salt. Fold in 1 cup mint chocolate chips. Transfer to an oiled foil-lined 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

14. Peppermint Brownies Melt 1 stick butter with 2 cups chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat, stirring. Remove from the heat and whisk in 3/4 cup each granulated sugar and light brown sugar, then whisk in 4 eggs and 3/4 teaspoon each vanilla and peppermint extract. Stir in 1 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour into an oiled foil-lined 9-by-13-inch baking dish and top with 1 cup mint chocolate chips. Bake at 325 degrees F, 35 to 45 minutes.

15. Marshmallow-Peppermint Brownies Make Peppermint Brownies (No. 14). Top with marshmallows just after baking, then broil until lightly browned.

16. Candy Cane S’mores Sandwich toasted marshmallows, chocolate squares and crushed candy canes between chocolate graham crackers.

17. Mint Chocolate Pretzels Melt 1 cup mint chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds; let cool slightly. Dip 12 to 16 pretzel rods in the melted chocolate and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Decorate with red and white sprinkles. Let set.

18. Peppermint Frosting Beat 1 1/2 sticks softened butter with 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar and a pinch of salt with a mixer on low speed until combined. Add 1/2 teaspoon each vanilla and peppermint extract and beat on medium high until creamy. Beat in 1 to 2 tablespoons milk until fluffy. Makes enough for 12 cupcakes.

Peppermint Red Velvet Cupcakes (No. 19)

19. Peppermint Red Velvet Cupcakes Whisk 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk 1/2 cup each vegetable oil and cold milk with 1 egg; whisk in 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon each white vinegar and red food coloring, and 1 teaspoon each vanilla and peppermint extract. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Divide among 12 lined muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees F, 20 to 25 minutes. Frost with Peppermint Frosting (No. 18) and sprinkle with red nonpareils.

20. Peppermint Red Velvet Cake Pops Make Peppermint Red Velvet Cupcakes (No. 19); do not frost. Crumble the cupcakes and mix with 1/4 cup vanilla frosting. Form into 1 1/2-inch balls and insert a lollipop stick into each. Freeze on a baking sheet until firm, 30 minutes. Melt 8 ounces white candy melts in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Repeat with 2 ounces red candy melts. Dip the cake pops into the melted white candy, then drizzle with the melted red candy. Freeze until set, 15 minutes.

21. Frozen Mint-Chocolate Mousse Bring 3/4 cup heavy cream to a simmer. Pour over 3 ounces each chopped semisweet chocolate and chopped mint chocolate; let sit 5 minutes. Whisk in 2 teaspoons vanilla until smooth; let cool. Beat 1 3/4 cups heavy cream and 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form; fold into the chocolate mixture. Pipe the mousse into small cups and freeze until firm, at least 1 hour.

22. Frozen Peppermint Mousse Tartlets Bake 30 mini phyllo shells at 350 degrees F until crisp, 8 minutes; let cool. Make Frozen Mint-Chocolate Mousse (No. 21). Pipe half of the mousse into the phyllo shells (pipe the rest into small cups). Freeze until firm, at least 1 hour. Top with whipped cream and chopped mint chocolate.

23. Mint Granita Bring 3 cups water, 2 cups fresh mint leaves and 1/2 cup sugar to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves; let cool. Strain into an 8-inch square baking dish. Freeze, scraping with a fork every 30 minutes, until flaky, about 4 hours.

24. Spiked Peppermint Whipped Cream Beat 1 cup chilled heavy cream with 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon peppermint schnapps and 1/2 teaspoon each vanilla and peppermint extract until soft peaks form.

Peppermint IceBox Cake (No. 25)

25. Peppermint IceBox Cake Make Spiked Peppermint Whipped Cream (No. 24), omitting the liqueur if desired; spread 1 teaspoon on each of 20 chocolate wafer cookies. Press together and stand on their edges to form a log; frost with the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate until the cookies soften, 6 hours or overnight. Sprinkle with red sanding sugar. Slice on the diagonal.

26. Mini Grasshopper Pies Spread softened mint chocolate chip ice cream in mini graham cracker pie crusts; freeze until firm. Top with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and chopped mint chocolate.

27. No-Churn Peppermint Ice Cream Whisk one 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk with 1/2 teaspoon each vanilla and peppermint extract and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Beat 2 cups heavy cream with a mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture in two batches until smooth. Pour into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Freeze 2 hours, then fold in 5 chopped candy canes. Freeze until firm, about 3 more hours.

28. Candy Cane Ice Cream Cones Melt 1 cup chopped mint chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds; let cool slightly. Dip the rims of 12 mini ice cream cones in the melted chocolate and immediately sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Freeze upside down on a large plate until set, about 15 minutes.

29. Mint Chocolate Sundae Cones Melt 1 cup chopped mint chocolate with 2 tablespoons shortening in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds; let cool slightly. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the melted chocolate into each of 6 waffle cones, then fill with mint chocolate chip ice cream. Dip the top of the ice cream in the melted chocolate and immediately sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Freeze the cones upright in mugs or short glasses until set, about 30 minutes.

30. Peppermint Milkshake Blend 1 cup each mint chocolate chip ice cream, peppermint ice cream, crushed mint-chocolate sandwich cookies and 1/2 cup milk in a blender.

31. Spiked Peppermint Milkshake Blend 1 cup vanilla ice cream with 1 1/2 ounces brandy and 1 tablespoon white crème de menthe in a blender.

32. Peppermint-Vanilla Pudding Dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in 1 tablespoon melted vanilla ice cream in a saucepan. Whisk in 2 cups melted vanilla ice cream. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking, until thick, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract. Pour into ramekins. Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.

33. Mint Chocolate Pudding Make Peppermint-Vanilla Pudding (No. 32), using mint chocolate chip ice cream instead of vanilla; omit the peppermint extract.

34. Peppermint Bark Melt 16 ounces chopped white chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Repeat with 1/2 cup chopped mint chocolate. Spread the white chocolate in a thin layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet; drizzle with the melted mint chocolate and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Freeze until firm, 30 minutes. Break into pieces.

Peppermint-White Chocolate Fudge (No. 35)

35. Peppermint-White Chocolate Fudge Bring 4 cups marshmallows, 2 cups sugar, 1 cup heavy cream, 4 tablespoons butter and a pinch of salt to a simmer in a large pot over high heat. Cook, stirring, until melted, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 3 cups white chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons peppermint extract. Pour into an oiled foil-lined 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with crushed candy canes. Let cool; cut into squares.

36. Peppermint Popcorn Melt 1 cup white chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, then stir in 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract. Drizzle over 4 cups popcorn mixed with 1 cup pistachios in a large bowl and toss well. Sprinkle with red sanding sugar. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes, then break into pieces.

37. Peppermint Snack Mix Melt 1/2 cup each chopped mint chocolate and chocolate chips with 4 tablespoons butter in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Toss 4 cups corn cereal (such as Chex) with 2 cups each puffed chocolate cereal and mini pretzels in a bowl; drizzle with the melted chocolate and toss. Transfer to a large resealable plastic bag, add 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar and shake. Toss with 1 cup mint M&M’s.

38. Peppermint Granola Bars Bake 3 cups rolled oats on a rimmed baking sheet at 350 degrees F, stirring occasionally, until toasted; toss with 1/2 cup each sweetened shredded coconut and crisp rice cereal in a bowl. Combine 6 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey and 1 teaspoon each salt and peppermint extract in a saucepan; bring to a boil and cook 30 seconds. Immediately pour over the oat mixture and toss to coat. Add 2 tablespoons holiday sprinkles and toss. Pour into a foil-lined 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Let stand until set, 2 hours; slice. Makes about 18 bars.

39. Peppermint Cannoli Dip Beat 1/2 cup each ricotta, mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar with 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract until smooth. Top with mini chocolate chips. Serve with waffle cookies.

40. Peppermint Crepes Puree 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups each flour and milk, 2 tablespoons each melted butter and sugar and 1 teaspoon each salt and peppermint extract in a blender. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter into a hot buttered 10-inch skillet over medium heat; swirl to coat. Cook until set and golden, 30 seconds per side. Fold into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve with whipped cream or mint ice cream. Makes about 12.

41. Peppermint Scones Pulse 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor. Add 1 stick cubed cold butter; pulse until it is in pea-size pieces. Pulse in 1 lightly beaten egg, 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 teaspoon each vanilla and peppermint extract. Pulse in 1/2 cup mint chocolate chips. Pat into a 1/2-inch-thick round on a baking sheet; sprinkle with sanding sugar. Score into 8 wedges. Bake at 375 degrees F until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool, then slice into wedges.

42. Peppermint Hot Chocolate Warm 2 cups milk with 1/4 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder in a saucepan, whisking occasionally. Whisk in 1/2 cup chopped mint chocolate until melted. Pour into mugs and top with marshmallows and a mini candy cane. Serves 2.

43. Peppermint White Hot Chocolate Warm 2 cups half-and-half with 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract in a saucepan, whisking occasionally. Whisk in 2/3 cup chopped white chocolate (about 4 ounces) until melted. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and a peppermint stick. Serves 2.

44. Spiked Peppermint Mocha Make Peppermint Hot Chocolate (No. 42), using only 2 tablespoons sugar and replacing the cocoa powder with instant espresso powder. Stir in 2 ounces coffee liqueur. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and a candy cane.

45. Peppermint White Russian Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add 2 ounces vodka and 1 ounce coffee liqueur. Pour in 1 ounce heavy cream over the back of a spoon, then repeat with 1 tablespoon crème de menthe.

46. Peppermint Pancakes Mix 1 cup chopped mint-chocolate sandwich cookies and 1 teaspoon peppermint extract into 3 cups prepared pancake batter. Cook in a hot buttered skillet.

47. Peppermint French Toast Sticks Cut 8 thick slices challah into sticks. Whisk 3 eggs with 2 cups half-and-half, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon each vanilla and peppermint extract, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg and salt in a shallow dish; add the challah and soak 30 seconds. Remove, allowing the excess liquid to drip off. Cook in a hot buttered skillet until browned. Serve with maple syrup.

48. Peppermint Glazed Doughnuts Bring 1/2 cup heavy cream to a boil in a saucepan. Pour over 4 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate; cover with plastic and let sit 5 minutes to melt. Whisk in 1 tablespoon corn syrup and 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract until smooth; let cool slightly. Dip the tops of 6 cake doughnuts in the ganache and sprinkle with red and white nonpareils. Let set.

49. Peppermint Chocolate Muffins Mix 13/4 cups flour, 3/4 cup each sugar and mint chocolate chips, 1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon each baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk 1 cup milk with 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon each vanilla and peppermint extract. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Divide among 12 lined muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F, 25 minutes.

50. Peppermint Toast Pulse 6 candy canes in a food processor until ground (you should have about 1/2 cup). Add 2 sticks softened butter and pulse until smooth. Turn out onto plastic wrap and shape into a log; wrap and refrigerate until firm. Spread on toast.

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