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Austin Kirk, Wikimedia Commons

It isn’t summer yet, but there are a few warm days when you might think about making some homemade mint chip ice cream.


February 19 is National Chocolate Mint Day. I can think of a lot of ways to celebrate that one, as there are many good recipes that fit the bill.

While I love chocolate-covered peppermint patties (think York), and other candies such as Andes Creme de Menthe Thins, and even the Thin Mints sold by the Girl Scouts, for some strange reason I really dislike chocolate-mint ice cream.

I do realize I am the oddball, as almost everybody I know lists that as their favorite flavor of ice cream. (I tend to be a rainbow sherbet fan, the kind with pineapple flavor in it.)

Well, here I go wandering off subject, so let’s get to those chocolate mint recipes.

Mint chip ice cream

For those of you who love it.

2 cups milk

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

3 drops green food coloring

1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, stir together the milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla and peppermint extract until the sugar has dissolved. Add food coloring until you get the shade of green you like.

2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. About 10 minutes into the freezing, add the chocolate chips.

3. About 30 minutes later, after the ice cream has thickened, spoon into a container and freeze for 2 hours. Makes 8 servings.

Homemade peppermint patties

Remember that peppermint extract is not the same as peppermint oil.

2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 1/2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

1 tablespoon vegetable shortening

12 ounces chocolate candy melts

1. Using a mixer, blend 1 cup confectioners’ sugar with corn syrup, water, peppermint extract and shortening. Once completely blended, add in remaining sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. (If dough is too stiff to use mixer, you can knead remaining sugar in by hand.)

2. Divide dough into 1-inch balls (or 1/2-inch balls for small mints). Using your hands, pat dough into 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick discs. Place on a waxed paper-lined tray and place in freezer for 4 hours.

3. When ready to coat in chocolate, follow package directions for melting chocolate. If desired, you can use a mini crock pot.

4. Line a second tray with waxed paper. Remove mint discs from freezer. Dip bottom side of disc in melted chocolate then place on a fork and using a spoon, pour chocolate over top of mint to cover. Tap off excess chocolate then place on the new waxed paper-lined tray for chocolate to set. Note: You will need to keep your chocolate warm while dipping or it will cool off fast from dipping the frozen mint discs. Repeat with remaining mint discs.

5. Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 12 large mints or 24 small ones.

Chocolate mint cookies

2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, spooned and leveled

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Hershey’s

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated (white) sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs

2 cups (one 12-oz. bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips, best quality you can find

3/4 cup mint chips, best quality such as Guittard

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Pass the cocoa powder through a fine sieve into the bowl; whisk into the flour mixture until evenly combined.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and beat for about 2 minutes more, until light and fluffy.

3. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add the chocolate and mint chips and continue mixing until just combined. Chill the dough for 30 to 60 minutes, or until firm enough to handle.

4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 and set the oven racks in the middle and upper thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Scoop or roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.

6. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and set. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to three days. Makes about 4 dozen.

Chocolate mint dessert

Adapted from a Hershey’s Kitchens recipe.

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups chocolate syrup

Mint cream center:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 tablespoons green creme de menthe *See note

Chocolate glaze:

1 cup dark chocolate chips or semi-sweet

6 tablespoons butter

*Note: You can substitute 1 tablespoon water, 1/2 teaspoon mint extract and a few drops green food coloring for the creme de menthe.

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, butter, eggs and chocolate syrup. Beat until mixture is smooth. Pour into prepared baking pan.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched in the center. Cool completely on a wire rack.

4. For mint cream center: In a bowl, mix sugar, butter and creme de menthe until mixture is smooth. Spread the mint mixture over the cooled cake. Cover and chill.

5. For chocolate glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine chocolate chips and butter. Cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate chips are melted and mixture is smooth; cool slightly. Pour glaze over chilled dessert. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Makes 12 servings.

Mocha mint delights

This recipe calls for the dough to chill a minimum of 3 hours.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

1 cup flour

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons espresso powder or 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup mini or regular semi-sweet chocolate chips

8 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped

3 large candy canes, crushed (or peppermint hard candies)

1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the sugars and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in egg, vanilla and peppermint extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, espresso powder and salt together until well mixed. On low speed, slowly mix this into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Switch to high speed and beat in the chocolate chips. The cookie dough will be sticky. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is a necessary step.

3. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.

4. Preheat oven to 350. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Scoop and roll balls of dough, about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough each, into balls and place on the prepared baking sheets.

5. Bake the cookies in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. If your oven has hot spots, be sure to rotate the pans once during bake time. The baked cookies will look extremely soft in the centers when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. They will slightly deflate as you let them cool. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

6. Melt the chopped white chocolate in a double boiler or carefully use the microwave. For the microwave, place the white chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Melt in 15-second increments, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Dip each thoroughly cooled cookie halfway into the white chocolate and place onto a parchment or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top of the chocolate. Repeat with the rest of the cooled cookies. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator to help the chocolate set. Makes about 20 cookies.



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