Peppermint’s potent, chilling menthol-mint flavor is best suited for use in desserts, as tea, or in craft projects. Its mint flavor is so strong that it tends to overpower savory dishes, where fresh spearmint would be a more appropriate choice.
One of the most common methods for using peppermints in desserts is infusing. To infuse cream with peppermint flavor, scald the cream (heat it just until it starts to steam), then add peppermint tops and put the lid on the pot. Let the mint leave steep for at least ten minutes, then strain them out of the cream and continue with the rest of your recipe.
To dry peppermint for use in tea, leave it on the stem and hang it to air-dry, use a dehydrator according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or (in a pinch), bake it in your oven at the absolute lowest temperature setting.
Once dried, peppermint leaves can be steeped in hot water by themselves to make peppermint tea or mixed with tea leaves and/or other dried herbs to make tea blends.
Fresh peppermint can also be used to make vibrant green peppermint syrup for use as a dessert sauce or ingredient – how to make herb syrups.
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