The first time I used fresh mint from the garden to make mint chocolate chip ice cream, it didn’t taste right. I was so used to store-bought peppermint ice cream that fresh mint tasted strange. However, over the past couple of years I’ve come to love that fresh mint taste. I’ve used mint from our garden to make mint lime syrup for soda and mojitos and I’ve made chocolate mint ice cream a few times. However, recently when I tried making thin mints using the recipe below, and I used store-bough peppermint extract, it tasted artificial. I decided I needed to try the recipe again using my own mint extract. Surprisingly and lucky for me, it’s super easy!
To make fresh mint extract, you collect as much mint as you can fit packed into your glass jar. Wash the mint leaves and break them up into smaller pieces. Stuff them into your jar, and then cover the mint leaves with vodka. Let the mint sit in the vodka for about a month, shaking it up every once in a while if you remember. Then take out the mint and, voila, you have mint extract! It should stay good forever since it is preserved in alcohol.
To make homemade thin mints, I tempered semisweet chocolate using the microwave (heat 10-15 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until just melted). Add mint extract to taste. I bought Ritz-type crackers from Trader Joe’s and then I dipped the crackers into the melted chocolate, laying them on parchment paper to dry.
Crunchy, chocolatey, minty – what’s not to love? Enjoy!