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Product Talk: Peppermint Extract

Candy Cane Dessert Squares‘Tis the season to enjoy all things peppermint.

Using a small bit of peppermint extract in your recipes is a way to infuse a lot of flavor and instantly channel all things holiday.

An herbal extract of the peppermint plant, made from the leaves, can even have medicinal properties when added to something like hot tea. It’s perfect for baking, cookies and candies.

Candy Cane Dessert Squares

36 chocolate wafer cookies, finely crushed (2 cups)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
two (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
2 tsp peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped (yields about 3 cups)
2/3 can coarsely crushed candy canes or peppermint candies

Combine crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13 baking pan.

For ganache, melt chocolate chips and 2/3 cup cream in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Pour over crust. Place in freezer for 10 minutes.

For filling, combine confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese and peppermint extract in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer at low speed until smooth and creamy. Gently stir in whipped cream and crushed candies. Spread evenly over ganache in crust and sprinkle with more candy, if desired. Cover and freeze at least 4 hours.

Cut into squares to serve. Serve frozen or refrigerated (store in the freezer).

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 300, Fat: 22 g (13 g Saturated Fat). Cholesterol: 62 mg, Sodium: 137 mg, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 3 g

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