This year, the Holidays have hit a special chord with me. It seems like in years passed I was mildly irritated when the lights came up before Thanksgiving, and the holiday music chimed through the air shortly after Halloween. However, this year I’ve been uncharacteristically heart-warmed — even considering crocheting a Holiday sweater for my small dog. By this tenderness, it’s become clear that I’ve been missing my mom terribly; her presence absolutely makes the Holidays for me, and I haven’t been able to visit home for the holiday season since I moved to Orlando. I wanted to create something that I can give away with her in mind. A new perspective on an old favorite is the perfect way to have everyone enjoy a treat that contains all of my mom’s favorites. Rather than ‘Peppermint Patties,’ I’ve created ‘Falala Lindas’. After going through the process of adding her favorite ingredients to this recipe, I must encourage you to do the same — after trying this one!
By adding a little food coloring, changing up the chocolate, and adding walnuts, this treat is unforgettable. The recipe yields so many, that it was perfect to take to a church, work, or large family gathering.
Makes Approximately 50 Patties
• 1 Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
• 5 ½ Cups Powdered Sugar
• 24 Ounces White Almond Bark
• 4 Tablespoons of Crisco Vegetable Shortening (Separated by the Tablespoon)
• 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
• 1 ½ Cup Crushed Walnuts
• 1 ½ Tablespoons Peppermint Extract
• Food Coloring (optional)
• Additional Powdered Sugar to work with
Note: Dough is to dry overnight before decorating
Things You’ll Need:
• 2 Large Baking Sheets
• Wax Paper or Parchment Paper
• One Large Mixing Bowl
• One Medium-Sized Glass Bowl
• A Butter Knife
• A Teaspoon
• A Fork
For the first step, crushing walnuts is easier than it sounds because they are soft nuts, you can take a rolling pin to the bag, or just roll a soup can over it — I crushed the walnuts with my hands while walking through the grocery store. Second, open the can of sweetened condense milk and pour it into a large mixing bowl. At this time, add and incorporate the flavoring, food coloring, and the walnuts. Once you have the color you like, begin adding the powdered sugar, a cup or so at a time. Using a whisk made it an easy transition between the liquid to the play-dough-like dough that you eventually end up with. Use a knife every once in a while to push the dough out of the middle of the whisk.
Next, in preparation for the peppermint discs, line your baking sheets with wax or parchment paper, and sprinkle powdered sugar on top. Use the teaspoon to scoop small balls of the dough into your hand, roll the dough into a ball, and place it on the cookie sheet. With two fingers, press each ball into a disc that is between ¼ inch to ½ inch thick. Repeat until the dough is gone. Set the baking sheets somewhere cool to dry overnight, I used my cool oven. After 2-3 hours, turn over the discs, to allow to dry through.
The next day, break up the almond bark into three 8-ounce squares. They usually come in 2-ounce squares, so just use four at a time. Place 8 ounces in your glass bowl, along with 1 tablespoon of Crisco. Heat in the microwave for 90 seconds, stir, and then replace in the microwave in 15-second intervals, until melted, stirring in between. Take one disc at a time, press into the melted bark. Use a fork to quickly flip, and shake off the excess, then slide back onto the baking sheet, to dry. Repeat for each disc, with each batch of 8-ounce portions of bark, I promise you’ll get better and quicker as you go. It’s always possible that a few discs break apart during this process, consider these your own fruit-of-the-spoils. If the bark becomes cooler and thicker, just pop it back in the microwave for another 15-second-interval (or two), and continue.
Once you’ve finished all the discs, you’re ready to start with the dark chocolate. With the final pad of Crisco in your glass bowl, add the semi-sweet morsels, and heat it for 90 seconds in the microwave. The chocolate will be very liquid— perfect for decorating. Pick up the bowl, and dip in your knife, play with how you will lay the chocolate on the patties. I found it easiest to begin with the knife above the outside of each disc, and flick your wrist to move the knife over each ‘linda’ gracefully. It looks messy while you’re doing it, but once the patties dry, they look beautiful. If you find the chocolate becoming thick and not running off of the knife, reheat it in the same way as the almond bark. As long as the chocolate stays liquid, the process is easy, and you can’t mess it up. Allow the patties to dry for two hours or more. Again, a cool oven is a great place.
I lined adorable white boxes with tissue paper, a simple ribbon, and labels in the Bordeaux style with such a lovely script. I plan to bring them with me to the choir-showcase caroling event in my community, an event my mom would love!
More homemade gift ideas from Zoe…
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