Perfect in Peppermint

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By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Mint is one of the simplest, prettiest ways to add a hint of natural color and festivity to drinks and dessert.  It’s also delicious with meats like lamb, and Paula likes to joke that it’s a good way to get your vegetables into a savory dish. 

There are hundreds of kinds of mint, though peppermint and spearmint are probably the most common worldwide.  They are considered to have stronger, pure minty flavors when compared with other varieties like pineapple mint or chocolate mint. The peppermint plant’s dark green leaves produce a pungent fragrance and flavor that is slightly bitter and slightly sweet, making it a great variety for oils and extracts.  Peppermint has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries and is a very popular taste among Americans, which is why we find it in all kinds of products from toothpaste and medicine to liqueurs and ice cream. 
Peppermint plays an obvious nostalgic role around Christmas, with candy canes and other confections.  Commercial candy canes are typically peppermint-flavored with a white hard stick and red stripes, and probably date way back to 17th-century German Christian tradition.

Since most of us buy peppermint treats at the store (and usually too many), we’ve compiled a selection of recipes that incorporate extracts and candies into fun and easy holiday desserts.  You can always garnish platters, individual portions, and beverages with a small sprig to make things feel special!

*Note from the test kitchen: holding mint leaves in cold water helps maintain a sprightly appearance, and can sometimes even revive an older sprig!

Pick your peppermint perfection…

Bob’s Peppermint Pie
You won’t believe how fast you can whip up this cheerful Christmas classic!

Bobby’s Lighter Peppermint Pie
With low-fat ingredients

Peppermint Bark
Make some to set out on a side table or package up as homemade gifts, which could save you a fortune instead of expensive store-bought bark options!

Peppermint Chocolate Coffee
A heartwarming drink that looks lovely with a candy cane garnish

Meemaw’s Kitchen Sink Christmas Cookies
A great way to use up your holiday pantry ingredients—cookies dipped in white chocolate and crushed peppermint candies!
Holiday Whoopie Pies
With a peppermint filling

Peppermint Pinwheels
Peppermint extract is the secret ingredient in these sweet treats on a stick, sure to please the kids…

Have extra mint or having a craving outside of the holidays? Try adding a sprig to our Sweet Cherry Lemonade or Sweet tea, which teaches you how to make a version of simple syrup, another great thing to do with mint.

Read More From Holidays and Entertaining.

Read More From Christmas.

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Reader Comments:


We had a fundraiser at our church three weeks ago. I made Paula Deen's Peppermint Cake. It sold for $120. HUGE HIT. Amazing presentation.

By Earlene Docimo on September 23, 2013



By R.Herdman on December 23, 2012


i love it...

By benita michelle wheeler on December 21, 2012


I enjoyed looking through your Peppermint recipes. A few years ago I attended a Holiday Cookie Exchange party with my Sunday School class. I wanted to do something really different and remembered how me and my Mom used to make Jello Divinity at Christmas. We made regular Divinity and added a small box of strawberry jello to flavor it. We also made a version using lime jello. It always looked so festive and perfect at Christmas - it tasted great too! So - back to my Cookie Exchange. I had the idea to create a Divinity recipe using crushed up bits of peppermint stick and instead of vanilla flavoring - I used peppermint flavoring. It turned out fantastic - big hit! It looked very festive on my holiday pedestal cake stand - fluffy white with bits of red peeking thru. And every bite was like a snowy Christmas morning on your tongue! Merry Christmas - I love your show Paula! Michelle Davis Marietta, GA

By Michelle Davis on December 18, 2012


I wish I could have a total kitchen make over with all Paula Deens kitchen products, you have the best I have ever seen and I love your southern recipe's, they are great tasting. I truely beleave the kitchen is the best memeroys of love in a familey, spending time with your children and grand-children cooking and making treats and desserts for love ones and friends are the best feelings to share and give love through food "it says I love you so much " when you bake. It's time spent on familey time, expecially when it's for some one out side of your home. It teaches children to think of other and show love. Thank you so much Paula for showing us your love, have a blessed filled Merry Christmas, may God continue blessing you and your familey for years to come.... A True Fan, Debra A. Hess

By Debra Hess on December 18, 2012

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm