As any gardener knows, there’s no such thing as a small mint harvest. Make delicious use of that abundance with these fresh mint desserts that are perfect for keeping and giving.
Tips for Using Fresh Mint
The flavor of mint is strong but it can easily be overpowered by other strong flavors and seems to lose its strength in baking. To get the most flavor out of fresh mint consider these tips:
Cream it well with butter. When baking cookies or cakes, for example, beat the well chopped mint with the butter and sugar. This creaming action will help get much of the flavor absorbed into the fat and sugar which will carry throughout the dessert.
Infuse well. Anytime there is a liquid ingredient, milk or water for example, infuse the mint into that and let it cool before continuing on with the recipe. This strong mint tea will again help carry the flavor throughout the entire dessert.
Puree if appropriate. Puree the mint with the liquid for an even stronger flavor than infusing. This works great, however; it likely means a green color to the final product. That may or may not be ideal for some things. If you’re going to add cocoa powder or chocolate it won’t be noticed but it likely might in something else. Go with what feels most appealing to you or those who are being served.
How to Preserve Mint for Desserts
Drying mint is easy. Simply hang in bunches and dry. Use 1/3 less dried mint for the fresh mint called for in recipes. This may or may not always work. It doesn’t always work well to leave the bits of dried mint in cookies for example. Creaming dried mint with butter isn’t likely to turn out as delightful. It will work great for things that are infused and then the mint strained out, however.
Make and freeze compound butter. Add 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint to 1/2 cup of softened butter. Mix well. Then wrap in waxed paper and freeze. When you’re ready to make this winter simply thaw and proceed with the recipe.
Candy fresh mint leaves. While these candied leaves aren’t used directly in recipes, they make a beautiful, edible decorative touch to baked goods all winter long.
Cakes & Cupcakes
For the baker, these mint cakes and cupcakes are perfect treats for birthdays and office meetings.
Sometimes a light dessert or just a sweet sip is all we need, rather than taking the time to make something more involved. These mint drink recipes will hit just the right refreshing and dessert notes.
Because when it's hot outside the last thing many of us want to do is fire up the oven. Use these frozen treats to keep the house and body cool.
Cookies are one of my favorite things to bake and they make delightful care package fillers. These mint cookies are a great way to share the herb garden with loved ones far away.