How to Candy Mint Leaves
Why is mint associated with Christmas?
Perhaps it’s the cool flavor that is reminiscent of winter weather, its history as an ancient symbol of hospitality or the cheerful green color of a frost-tolerant herb that may thrive into the winter months. Another possibility is that the association was carried on the peppermint-flavored crook of another icon of the season, the candy cane. Whatever the reason, mint is the taste of Christmas and the flavor can be found in cookies, cakes, candies and cocktails during the holidays.
Using a splash of peppermint extract is an easy way to add the flavor to seasonal desserts, but the vibrant beauty of the herb is left behind. This year, we’re adding a little color and panache to our desserts with candied mint leaves. Also called "sugared" or "crystallized" mint leaves, the yuletide garnish is surprisingly simple to make and candied mint leaves are an easy way to bring seasonal style to baked goods or holiday-themed drinks.
Brushed with egg white and sprinkled with sugar, mint leaves candy easily. Once coated, they can be left to dry on their own and will be ready in a few days. But the process can be sped up with a few minutes in an oven set to a low temperature (don’t leave them in too long or they will discolor and become too brittle).
Wash and dry leaves thoroughly and select only unblemished leaves for use.
Candied Mint Leaves
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 bunch mint leaves
Whisk eggs whites and lime juice together until frothy.
Dip individual mint leaves in egg white and arrange on a wire rack resting in a baking sheet.
Bake in a 175 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let rest overnight to finish drying.
Use to garnish desserts or cocktails.