I have been having a BSI blast over here! To spread the joy, I thought I’d share some things I learned from hosting Blogger Secret Ingredient: Peppermint:
Everyone loves a truffle.
Peppermint extract will be in my pantry from now until forever more. It’s seriously amazing – go try it!
I had a fantastic time collecting and reviewing everyone’s recipes this week. And making my own Chocolate Peppermint Chewies! You guys showed a lot of creativity and made my decision quite difficult! Thanks a million to everyone who participated. Now before I announce the winner, let’s just take a look at all of the deliciously minty submissions:
Mel @ A Taste of Life – Chocolate Mint Truffles
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 12-oz bag dark chocolate chips (I usually use Ghiradelli)
2 teaspoons Peppermint Schnapps
1/2 cup powdered sugar
In a small saucepot, heat cream until just simmering. Place chocolate chips in a large bowl. When cream is hot, pour over chips. Add peppermint schnapps. Mix until chocolate is melted and smooth. Cover and chill for 4 hours or until set. Once set, place powdered sugar on a plate. Roll 1 tablespoon of chocolate mix into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Chill balls in a single layer. To store, place sheets of parchment paper between layers so they don’t stick. You can also replace powdered sugar with cocoa powder.
Catherine @ Stevia + Spice – Minted Summer Salad
2 cups watermelon, seeded and cubed
1 cup heirloom tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 cup sweet purple onion, diced
1 teaspoon grapeseed oil (or similar mild tasting oil)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 bunch fresh mint (about 1/4 cup), cut into ribbons
In a medium bowl, mix together watermelon, tomato and onion. In a separate, bowl whisk together oil, lemon and honey. Stir in mint, being careful not to bruise the leaves too much. Pour mint dressing over watermelon mixture and toss gently to coat. Best served at room temperature and would pair nicely with grilled chicken or flaky white fish. May be used as a fresh salsa topping or just a savory-sweet side.
Liz @ VeggieGirl – Cookies + Cream Muffin-Cakes
1 cup whole wheat (or gluten-free all-purpose) flour
1/2 cup all-purpose (or gluten-free all-purpose) flour
1/2 cup unrefined sugar (I used turbinado sugar)
1/4 cup cocoa or carob powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup chocolate or carob chips
8 vegan chocolate + peppermint cream-filled sandwich cookies (I used Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s), crushed
5 tablespoons applesauce
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup non-dairy “milk” (I used hempmilk)
3 additional vegan chocolate + peppermint cream-filled sandwich cookies, each broken into fourths
Preheat oven to 350*F. In a large bowl, combine flours, unrefined sugar, cocoa/carob powder, baking soda, chocolate/carob chips and crushed Joe-Joe’s and mix well. In a small bowl, combine applesauce, pure vanilla extract and non-dairy “milk” and mix well. Add ingredients from the small bowl to the large bowl and stir mixture until fully combined. Pour batter into a one-dozen-sized muffin tin (lined with cupcake liners) and gently press a cookie-segment on top of each muffin-cake. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 12 muffin-cakes.
So many wonderful recipes – how’s a girl to choose?! After thinking and thinking, I made my final decision based on three criteria:
1. Originality – I looked for something I hadn’t seen before. Something that stood out from the other recipes.
2. Festivity – Since I choose peppermint to express my holiday LOVE, I wanted a recipe that really celebrated the season.
3. 100% Homemade – Original recipe. From scratch. I’m all about making things your own!
And the winner is…
Andrea’s scones are so unique! She really upped the holiday factor by using not only peppermint, but also eggnog, in her recipe. That deserves bonus points for sure and is what made her submission rise to the top. Congrats Andrea! I’ll e-mail you to discuss prize details.
Thanks everyone for a great week! I now pass the BSI fun on to…Catherine @ Stevia ‘n Spice! Catherine shares both my New York City area code and my love for whole foods. Plus, she’s made my Espresso Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies and my Crumbly Peanut Butter Oat Bars – that’s the ultimate blog love in my book! She’s sure to be a great host, so head over to her blog to see what’s in store for the next BSI!