Executive Chef Nick is at your service. He offers ideas on how to use fresh or dried mint in your favorite recipes.
A long time friend and business partner of Peppermint Jim’s he sure knows how to cook up something tasty. Find some
of his favorite dishes and recipes below. Have a question about cooking with mint?
Send him an email: ExecChefNick (at) PeppermintJim (dot) com.
Peppermint Chocolate Cookies
No holiday is complete without some of these homemade beauties. This recipe is courtesy of our friend Chef Michael Hodgins, director of Sustainable Food Programs at Rio Salado College. Click here for the full, printable Peppermint Chocolate Cookie Recipe
Photo and recipe credit: Michael Hodgins.
This light salad is excellent as a side dish with fish or meat, or as a palate cleanser in between courses. The best part: it is easy as 1-2-3!
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 sweet white or red onion
- ¾ cup of white vinegar
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 2 large sprigs of Peppermint Jim’s fresh spearmint
Cut the cucumbers in half moon slices. Cut the onion in quarter slices. Whip the sugar into the vinegar until dissolved. Stack the mint leaves and rip them in small pieces. This keeps them from turning brown and brings out the full flavor. Toss all the ingredients together and voilà. Serve chilled.
A True After Dinner Mint
When guests are coming over for dinner this summer the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the hot kitchen, right? So make your guests some chocolate dipped mints that are sure to please their stomachs!
- Dark, milk or white chocolate chips (I like Guittard and it’s GMO free)
- Peppermint Jim’s fresh peppermint or spearmint.
- Optional: fruits such as sliced bananas or strawberries
In a medium pan on low heat melt the chocolate until liquid. You can either dip the leaves or use a teaspoon to “paint” the chocolate on the leaves. Dip the fruits, using a fork or tongs.
Chill (or freeze) before serving with coffee.
Summertime BBQ Chicken Tenders with Mint Pineapple Relish
- 1 medium shallot, finely grated
- 3 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-natural peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated
- 4 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
- 3 slices of pineapple, chopped
- half a cucumber, chopped
- half a jalapeno pepper, chopped
- 1 cup of fresh mint, chopped
- 2 tbsp of lime juice
- Stir first 9 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in 2 Tbsp. oil and chicken. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours
- Stir pineapple, cucumber, jalapeño, fresh mint, and 2 Tbsp. of lime juice in a small bowl to blend; season relish to taste with salt. Set aside.
- Arrange a rack 4″ from heat; place on heated BBQ. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and brush with 1 Tbsp. of peanut oil. Remove chicken from marinade and arrange in a single layer, spacing apart, on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and season with salt. Broil until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter and serve with reserved mint relish.
Mint Julep Cream Pie
Pie Filling & Topping Ingredients
- 1 1/2cup sugar
- 1 1/2cup water
- 2 cups of fresh mint, leaves picked and stems discarded
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup good-quality bourbon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 premade pie shell
- In a saucepan, stir together white sugar and water over high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and stir in mint (reserve a couple of pretty mint leaves for garnish). Set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and brown sugar until fully combined and slightly frothy. Stir in bourbon, one cup of the mint simple syrup, and salt.
- Beat heavy cream with 3 tbsp of the cooled mint simple syrup until you reach your desired whipped cream consistency. Refrigerate until ready to top pie.
- You should have some simple syrup left over – this keeps for ages in the fridge, use it for cocktails (may I suggest a mint julep?), mint lemonade, or to drizzle over berries.
- Preheat oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- pour in the julep custard filling and bake until the filling has just set and is still slightly wobbly in the center, for about 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once your pie is fully cooled, top it with mint whipped cream, garnish with fresh mint sprigs, and serve!
Ingredients for 10 MINT JULEPS
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups chopped fresh mint sprigs plus additional whole sprigs for garnish
- crushed ice
- 1 1/2 ounces (1 jigger) bourbon, or to taste, per julep
- In a saucepan combine the sugar and 3/4 cup water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
- Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the chopped mint, and let the mixture stand for at least 2 hours.
- Strain the syrup through a fine sieve into a jar or small bowl, pressing hard on the solids, discard the solids, and let the syrup cool. The syrup may be made 2 weeks in advance and kept covered and chilled. (The syrup will darken but this will not affect the taste.)
For each julep fill a silver julep cup or 10-ounce glass with some ice, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the mint syrup, or to taste, and 1 1/2 ounces bourbon, and stir the julep. Garnish each julep with 1 of the additional mint sprigs.
BBQ Seafood Skewers with Mint and Tabbouleh
- 1 cup uncooked bulgur
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (plus 1 teaspoon) olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon (plus 1/8 teaspoon) each salt and pepper
- 12 ounce peeled extra-jumbo shrimp
- 12 ounce large sea scallops
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 1/4 cup each chopped parsley and mint and sliced scallions
- Soak bulgur in a large bowl according to package directions.
- About 15 minutes before bulgur will be done, combine 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon oil, the garlic and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a zip top bag. Add shrimp and scallops to bag and marinate 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coat outdoor grill rack with nonstick spray; heat grill. You’ll need 8 large metal or wooden skewers.
- Thread shrimp and scallops alternately on skewers. Grill 3 to 4 minutes, turning once until just barely opaque at centers. Remove to serving plate.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper to bulgur. Add remaining ingredients and toss to mix. Serve with skewers.
- 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
- 2 cups plain yogurt – whole milk yields the most “drinkable” lassi since it doesn’t contain any thickeners, but low-fat and non-fat yogurt work fine, too
- 2 Tbsp. sugar, honey, or agave syrup – plus more to taste
- 1 tsp. lime or lemon juice – plus more to taste
- Put mint, yogurt, sweetener, and lime juice in a blender.
- Whirl until smooth.
- Taste and add more sweetener or lime juice, if you like.
- Pour into glasses and serve. The key to a great cool Lassi is to make sure all ingredients are cold.
Frozen Mint Lemonade
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 2 cups water
- About 3 cups ice cubes
Garnish: 4 fresh mint sprigs
Blend lemon juice, sugar, and mint leaves in a blender until leaves are finely chopped and sugar is dissolved. Add water and enough ice cubes to fill blender, then blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
Thin Mint Cookie Recipe
- 8 ounces butter, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
Chocolate Peppermint Coating:
- 1 pound good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon of natural, food grade peppermint oil
Preheat your oven to 350. Racks in the middle zone.
- Make the cookie dough: In a mixer cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and cream some more, scraping the sides of the bowl a couple times if necessary. Stir in the vanilla extract and then the salt and cocoa powder. Mix until the cocoa powder is integrated and the batter is smooth and creamy, sort of like a thick frosting. Add the whole wheat pastry flour and mix just until the batter is no longer dusty looking, it might still be a bit crumbly, and that’s o.k. You don’t want to over mix and end up with tough cookies.
- Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and kneed it just once or twice to bring it together into once nice, smooth mass. Place the ball of dough into a large plastic bag and flatten it into a disk roughly 3/4-inch thick. Place the dough in the freezer for 20 minutes to chill.
- Rollout and bake: Remove the dough from the freezer and roll it out really thin, remember how thin “Thin Mints” are? That’s how thin you need your dough, about 1/8-inch. You can either roll it out between two sheets of plastic, or dust your counter and rolling pin with a bit of flour and do it that way. Stamp out cookies using a 1 1/2-inch cutter (this time I used one with a fluted edge, I’ve done hearts and other shapes in the past). Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely on a baking rack.
- Make the peppermint coating: While the cookies are in the oven you can get the coating ready. I use a makeshift double boiler to melt chocolate (a metal pan over a saucepan of gently simmering water), but I know many people who swear by melting chocolate in the microwave. Slowly melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until it is glossy and smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract. If you think the chocolate needs a bit more peppermint kick, add more oil a drop or two at a time – but don’t go overboard.
- Finishing the cookies: You are going to coat the cookies one at a time and then gently set them on a parchment-lined baking sheet to set. Drop one cookie into the chocolate and (using a fork) carefully make sure it gets fully coated. Lift the cookie out of the chocolate with the fork and bang the fork on the side of the pan to drain any extra chocolate off the cookie. You are after a thin, even coating of chocolate. Place on the aforementioned prepared baking sheet, and repeat for the rest of the cookies. Place the cookies in the refrigerator or freezer to set.
Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies.
Peppermint Chocolate Cake
2-Cups all-purpose flour
2 Cups sugar
¾ Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp espresso powder
1 Cup milk
2 drops of Peppermint Jim’s Peppermint Essential Oil (more to taste)
½ Cup vegetable or canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Cup water (boiling)
- Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
- Add milk, peppermint essential oil, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely
- Line cake plate with bed offresh mint leaves and gently place chocolate cake on top.
- Frost cake as desired. We recommend Peppermint Buttercream Frosting.
Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
1½ Cups butter (3 sticks), softened
1 Cup unsweetened cocoa
5 Cups confectioner’s sugar
½ Cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Peppermint Jim’s Peppermint Essential Oil
½ tsp espresso powder
- Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
- Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.
- Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
- Add vanilla extract, peppermint essential oil and espresso powder and combine well.
- If frosting appears too dry, you can add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
- Frost cake, garnish with fresh mint and enjoy!