Saturday, March 1, 2014

Crispy Chocolate Mint Shamrock Treats

Creating a St. Patrick's Day Treat

Bill and I love chocolate and mint cookies. The two boxes of  GS Thin Mint Cookies were eaten forty-eight hours after arriving at our house. Craving more of that chocolate mint combo, I searched the cookie aisle at the store for more chocolate mint cookies. Then, wanting to create a St. Patrick's Day treat led me to whip up a test batch of crispy chocolate mint shamrock treats. The mint flavor was great, but the melted,white marshmallow mixture didn't look appealing with the chocolate cereal. Also, I piped mint frosting on the treats with a medium drop flower tip that successfully made the shamrocks look like broccoli. No, I am not showing you a picture!

Test Batch One results - Great flavor, but low eye appeal. Who wants to eat chocolate mint broccoli? 

After careful thought, I decided to add a tablespoon of chocolate chips to the marshmallow mixture. Who doesn't want more chocolate? AND the mint frosting will be piped on with a #5 outlining tip to highlight the shamrock shape. No more green stars or drop flowers. Unless they are tiny accents. 


Double Chocolate Mint Shamrock Treats Recipe

Yield: about 14 treats

Ingredients


4 Tbsp. butter              1- 10 oz. bag miniature marshmallows             6 cups Cocoa Dyno-Bites cereal

1 Tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips                                                    1/2 teaspoon mint extract

shortening to lightly grease baking pan and hands

Directions


  • Grease an 11x13x9 inch baking pan lightly with shortening. Set aside.
  • Place butter in a  large, microwaveable bowl and microwave for 30 second. 
  • Stir once or twice.
  • Microwave for an additional 15 seconds, or until the butter is melted.
  • Remove bowl from the microwave. Add marshmallows to the bowl and stir until the marshmallows are coated with the butter.
  • Place the bowl of coated marshmallows in the microwave.
  • Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir mixture once or twice.
  • Repeat this step twice, or until the marshmallows are melted.
  • Add chocolate chips and stir until well blended. This may take a minute or two.
  • Add mint flavoring and stir until well blended. 
  • Add Cocoa Dyno-Bites and stir until the marshmallow mixture is blended evenly with the cereal
  • Place cereal marshmallow mixture into the lightly greased baking pan and press lightly with greased hands until the cereal is in a single, evenly packed layer. 

Stirring in the chocolate chips
Treat mixture pressed into the baking pan.

Shaping the Shamrocks


Equipment

  • Two 1 3/4" cookie cutters - a heart and a square
  • baking sheet
  • waxed paper
  • shortening or pan coat

Directions


  1. Lightly grease cutters with shortening, or spray with pan coat. 
  2. Place waxed paper over a baking sheet
  3. Cut six hearts from packed cereal mixture and one square. 
  4. Cut the square in half for two stems.
  5. Place the two stems on the baking sheet and arrange tips of three hearts around each stem in shamrock shape. 
  6. Gently, push the hearts and stems together.
  7. Repeat steps three through six until you have used all of the cereal mixture.
  8. While the shamrocks are cooling and hardening, make your frosting
                 

Treats after pushing the pieces together.

Shamrock Frosting

Ingredients 


1 lb. powdered, or confectioners sugar (half of a 2 lb. bag), sifted
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp. water 
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
green food coloring

Directions

  • Place shortening and butter in a bowl. Beat on low speed until will blended.
  • Add the mint flavoring, water, and a cup of sifted sugar to the bowl.
  • Beat on low speed until combined. 
  • Place rest of sugar in the bowl. Beat on low speed until combined.
  • Add just enough food coloring to achieve a pale green color.
  • Place frosting in a pastry bag with a #5 piping tip. Outline each treat with the frosting. 


Your shamrocks are ready to be eaten immediately, or if you have enough will power, you can wait until the frosting hardens.Happy St.Patrick's Day chocoholics,  I hope you enjoy eating  your piece of homemade happiness on a plate!

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