White Chocolate and Peppermint Creams
48 small paper or colored foil candy cups
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 pound plus 6 ounces imported white chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup peppermint candies (about 7 ounces), finely crushed
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
6 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, chopped
Divide candy cups between 2 baking sheets and set aside.
Bring cream to a simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add 1 pound white chocolate, whisk until melted and smooth.* Whisk in candies and peppermint extract.** Working quickly, spoon mixture into pastry bag fitted with a #12 round tip. Pipe mixture into candy cups, filling each 3/4 full. Wet fingertips and press down on candy mixture to smooth tops. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.
Place remaining 6 ounces white chocolate in medium metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth (or melt in a small plastic or glass bowl in the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds at a time). Remove from over water or microwave. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon melted white chocolate atop of 24 of the candy cups. Shake cups gently from side to side to smooth tops. Add a decorative candy to the top.*** Chill in refrigerator or freezer.
Place semisweet or milk chocolate in metal bowl. Set over saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth (or melt in a small plastic or glass bowl in the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds at a time). Spoon 1/2 teaspoon melted chocolate over remaining 24 candy cups. Shake cups gently from side to side to smooth tops. Add a decorative candy to the top.*** Chill in refrigerator or freezer.
* Instead of using a saucepan, the whipping cream and white chocolate can be placed over a double boiler until white chocolate is all melted. Then stir in the peppermints and peppermint extract.
** Peppermint candies need to be finely crushed for them to go through the tip. They can be crushed between two towels, then placed in a chopper to grind them further. Do place whole piece into the chopper to grind, this may burn up the chopper motor.
*** Instead of placing a decorative candy on top, after the candy has set, you can pipe a decoration such as a small #102 rosebud with a small green leaf on top of each candy using melted chocolate.
Can be prepared 2 weeks ahead. Place in airtight container and keep refrigerated.