Friday, November 23, 2012

From the Archives - Peppermint Patties & Peanut Brittle

Oh, the weather outside is frightful....Not really, but soon it will be!  This is the time of year for all of our favorite treats - and peppermint patties and peanut brittle top our list.  I have dug through the archives to bring these recipes to you.  I hope you enjoy them!


We have been busy in the kitchen, getting ready for the Christmas Season.  Every year, the girls and I make candy and cookies to pass out to neighbors, the mail lady and the numerous truck drivers that deliver packages.  We take trays to friends, to employers and to the local gas station.

Making goodies together has become a wonderful family tradition.  We put on our favorite Christmas music (Amy Grant's Tennessee Christmas) push up our sleeves and have a blast.  This year, we found that we could make our treats as easily on our wood cookstove as we could on the gas and electric stoves of our past.  The work is a little hotter (the wood stove has to be REALLY hot to get that candy to 300 degrees!), but we just take turns stirring and then stepping outside in the sub-freezing temperature to cool off.

We have made a couple of our favorites.  We will make numerous batches throughout the month so this is only the beginning!

Enola Gay's Peanut Brittle

1.5 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Water
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1.5 C Sugar
1 C Water
1 C Caro (corn) Syrup
3 T. Butter
2 C Raw Peanuts (I used cocktail peanuts)

  • Butter 2 cookie sheets and warm in oven (at about 250 degrees).  
  • Combine baking soda, water and vanilla in a small bowl - set aside.  
  • In pot, combine sugar, water and corn syrup.  
  • Heat to 240 degrees.  
  • Stir in butter and peanuts.  
  • Stir constantly until 300 degrees. 
  • Take off heat.  
  • Pour previously combined mixture into the pot with peanut mixture.  Stir vigorously.  
  • Quickly pour onto cookie sheets.  
  • Let cool.  Break into pieces.

Heating the Peanut Brittle to 240 degrees
Pouring in the peanuts and butter.  We just
plop the butter on top of the nuts and
pour them in at once.
Vigorously stirring in the baking soda, water
and vanilla extract (off the heat)
Pouring onto cookie sheets
Breaking it into pieces

Better-than-York Peppermint Patties

1 Egg White
4 C Powdered Sugar
1/2 C Light Corn Syrup
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. Peppermint Extract (to taste)

Cornstarch for dusting
1 12oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Beat egg till frothy, but not stiff.
  • Slowly add powdered sugar.
  • Add corn syrup and peppermint extract.  Knead until it has the consistency of dough.  Add more sugar if necessary, until mixture is no longer sticky.
  • Roll out peppermint dough with cornstarch dusted rolling pin to 1/4 inch.
  • Cut out rounds with cookie cutter.
  • Put on cookie sheet in fridge for 45 minutes.
  • Melt chocolate chips (thinned with a little Crisco).
  • Dip patties in chocolate, turn to coat.
  • Chill patties until firm (30 minutes).
I keep these peppermint patties in the refrigerator and serve chilled.  Yummm!

Peppermint Patty dough dusted
with cornstarch
Miss Calamity cutting peppermint circles
Melting the chocolate chips with Crisco
Peppermint dough swimming in a sea of chocolate
I put them on tin foil to chill (on a cookie sheet)
Ready to serve!

One of the beautiful things about candy, is generally, it is made without fresh ingredients (I would add more corn syrup and ditch the egg white in the peppermint patties in a survival situation).  Although, not the best use of resources, making candy for Holidays would be a wonderful gift to those enduring life after the balloon goes up.  It would provide a moment of normalcy in an entirely non-normal world!

And yes, you can make candy on your wood cookstove!


  1. Enola Gay,

    Thank you for sharing your recipes, both of theses look amazing. I maybe borrowing both of these recipes for the holidays to come.

    Question, after making the mints do they need to stay in the refrigerator? I want to ship several cans out of state and need to clarify before doing so.

    1. Dear Sandy;

      Sorry it has taken me so long to answer your question - my internet has been a little dodgy! Yes, I do like to keep them in the refrigerator although it is not necessary. As long as you are planning on shipping them to cooler climates, you shouldn't have any problems. Hope that helps.


  2. Enola,

    I tried your peppermint patty recipe in the past it came out great (don't know why I am surprised though, every recipe of yours I have tried has been good) This just reminded me of them, think I will have to make up a batch soon!

  3. Enola,


    I had a bag of Peanut M&M's yesterday before I mowed the front lawn in 80 degree heat down here in South Texas. As usual I sigh with a bit of sadness looking at the wonderful things you create in your kitchen Enola. I think Sir Knight is well fed and probably never eats dinner anywhere else.

    A friend who owns has a FFL and a gun store was selling Mosin Nagant rifles today for $100.00 each. I probably should have gotten one, instead I spent some money on Christmas Lights for my house. Yeah' you read it right. I got a whole mess of them LED Christmas lights.

    My house in now lit up and you can see it from orbit. I did this because the Dad of the Twins next door to me was setting up Christmas lights and he said that the Twins expect their Adopted Uncle Capt. Crunch to decorate his house for Christmas.
    I figure why not, I spend so much time stocking up for bad times and studying all the bad things that can happen that I sometimes forget to try and live a normal life. I also have an adopted niece across the street. She's 27 months old and learning to talk. She was pointing over to my house this afternoon and saying "lights, lights" (Her Dad is also one of my best friends and he was out their working on his truck and I was walking around in his front yard holding his 27 month old daughters hand so she would not run out into the street, that little girl is one sweet little angel) She thinks she's a big kid and she wants to be independent. One of her favorite things is playing with the water sprayer on the kitchen sink. She likes to spray water onto the kitchen floor (a big no-no of course)

    It can be candies and pastries made on a wood stove or just setting up Christmas lights and hanging out with friends and family. We can plan for any catastrophe, wait around for another economic collapse or dig ourselves into a bunker, but I think trying to live a normal life is just as important as trying to survive and worst case scenario.

  4. Enola, are the peppermint patties smooth and creamy, but still firm? I bought a bag of York PP after Halloween, and they were nothing like I remember them being. Would adding a bit of butter make them creamy?


    1. dkswife;
      I would definitely characterize them as smooth & creamy but still firm. I don't think they need the addition of butter and I'm not sure how that would affect the patties. We sure like them just the way they are but I would love to hear your opinion!

    2. Thanks for the reply. I will make them w/o tweeking! :)

  5. Hey, thanks. I have used the peppermint patty recipe several times, and both times it has made me instantly popular at

  6. I would like to know what I could use in place of the corn syrup.
    Thank you.