Thursday, January 26, 2012
Orange Cream Pavers
The Setting: A quiet apartment, becoming ever-so-slightly more organized daily.
The Soundtrack: Just the rock and click of Oia's swing--she's sleeping!
Steaming up the Oven: Turkey, Kale, and Potato Soup
The Scenario: Another "oops" leads to "somebody take these away from me before I become a human sugar cube."
Over the holidays I had a list of things I wanted to cook, bake, or whip up, but you know how it goes...there's only so much time.
One of the things that got pushed off the list was an intriguing recipe for Homemade Peppermint Patties I had seen circulating around the web (I believe the recipe is originally from Savory Sweet Life; I stumbled upon it at Krissys-Creations).
You mix together sweetened condensed milk and powdered sugar, flavor the fluff with peppermint extract, shape into little disks, and coat in chocolate. Zip. Bam. Boom.
Having missed the holidays, but approaching Valentine's Day, I conceived a cherry version: light pink on the inside, hold the peppermint.
Since I try to avoid using artificial flavorings and colorings, I imagined this treat would glean its flavor and hue from tart cherry juice, an idea that seemed, even at the time, unlikely to be fruitful.
I mixed 1/4 cup Pom cherry pomegranate juice (the only option available at my local grocer) into the sweetened condensed milk and admired the dark pink swirls. Not a bad start.
But as I added cupfuls of confectioner's sugar, the pink became more purple, then more gray, then just gross. I swiped my finger through the mixture and brought it to my tongue.
Hmm...sweet...not very cherry...kind of musty tasting...not...good.
I added 1/4 tsp pure almond extract, hoping to enhance the cherry flavor. Still a no-go.
Should I just scrap it? Knitting my brows and digging in my heals, I resolved not to wash four cups of powdered sugar and all my good intentions down the drain.
Then I remembered the bag of oranges sitting in the fridge. Perfect!
I added the zest of one orange, half a teaspoon each of vanilla and spiced rum, the rest of the powdered sugar, and a prayer.
The gross gray color faded to white, and the taste, though still overly sweet on its own, would stand up well to dark chocolate.
The down side?
I can't stop eating these things!
Find the original recipe for Peppermint Patties at Savory Sweet Life, and try them (or my Orange Cream Pavers) for yourself.
Note: I don't mix my chocolate with shortening, as called for in the original recipe, which is why my patties, or Pavers, lack the flawless sheen of the originals. If, like me, you try to avoid using hydrogenated fats, or you just don't have any shortening on hand, you can omit it--just expect a thicker and more rugged chocolate exterior like what you see here.