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Candied Mint Leaves Recipe

Updated on November 14, 2012
Candied mint--a pretty garnish for desserts and drinks.
Candied mint--a pretty garnish for desserts and drinks. | Source

Candied mint is easy to make and use—as a festive garnish for desserts, a sparkly addition to floral decorations and an aromatic touch of frost to holiday gifts.

The same techniques used to candy mint can be used to candy any herb leaf, potted herb plant or herbal topiary. Small fruits like grapes and cherries are also easy to candy.

In addition to fresh mint, all that's required to make candied mint leaves is egg white or flavored water, sugar and a pastry brush.

Selecting Mint to Candy

Fresh chocolate peppermint is an excellent choice to candy. It has a wonderful aroma & a delicious, minty taste.
Fresh chocolate peppermint is an excellent choice to candy. It has a wonderful aroma & a delicious, minty taste. | Source

The family of mint plants (Mentha) has many members, peppermint, spearmint, apple mint, pennyroyal and lemon balm among them.

In general, mint leaves grow in whorls or spikes on squarish stems. Their flowers are usually a shade of purple. Each type of mint has its own distinct scent and flavor, some more appealing than others. The flavor is strongest when it's not in bloom.

Although it's a lighter green, lemon mint looks a lot like peppermint.
Although it's a lighter green, lemon mint looks a lot like peppermint. | Source

When choosing mint to candy for a floral arrangement, pick one with leaves that have a shape you like. Since it's unlikely that the garnish will be eaten, taste and aroma can become a secondary consideration. The leaves of catmint, for instance, are particularly attractive—soft and heart-shaped—but they have a strong taste and, when roughed, a pungent aroma.

For garnishes that are likely to be sampled, fresh peppermint and spearmint, which have a taste and scent most people enjoy, are good choices for candying.

Any type of mint can be candied. Pictured: apple mint, chocolate peppermint & catmint.
Any type of mint can be candied. Pictured: apple mint, chocolate peppermint & catmint. | Source

Collecting Fresh Mint

The best time to collect herbs is early in the morning when plant stems are filled with moisture and at their freshest. Select the healthiest stems with the greenest leaves.

If you don't plan to candy the mint leaves immediately, take along a container of water with a few squeezes of lemon added to it when collecting cuttings. After snipping off the stems, stick them in the lemon water to keep them plump and fresh.

Wash fresh mint leaves well, removing any damaged or yellowed leaves.
Wash fresh mint leaves well, removing any damaged or yellowed leaves. | Source
Lightly brush dry leaves with egg white or dip them in flavored water.
Lightly brush dry leaves with egg white or dip them in flavored water. | Source
Sprinkle the leaves with sugar and allow to dry.
Sprinkle the leaves with sugar and allow to dry. | Source
Granulated sugar creates a sparkling effect.
Granulated sugar creates a sparkling effect. | Source

Cleaning Fresh Mint

Before candying the mint, wash it well in cold, running water. Although most herbs, including mint, are virtually pest-free, it's important to wash the leaves well to remove dirt and other debris.

Once they're well washed, blot the leaves with cloth or paper towels to remove any residual contaminants.

How to Candy Mint Leaves

For a frosted look, use powdered sugar. For leaves that sparkle, use superfine granulated sugar or regular granulated sugar that's been processed in a blender.

5 stars from 2 ratings of Candied Mint Leaves

Ingredients

  • fresh mint leaves, washed
  • 1 egg white or cup of water
  • 1-3 Tbsp. powdered sugar or superfine granulated sugar
  • 1-3 drops mint extra or vanilla, optional

Instructions

  1. Break open a fresh egg, separating and discarding the yolk. If not using egg white, add 1-3 drops of extract to a cup of water. Extract may also be added to the egg white.
  2. With a pastry brush, apply the egg white to both sides of clean mint leaves. Or, dip or brush the leaves in flavored water.
  3. Dust the leaves lightly with sugar. To catch the excess, place a piece of paper under the leaves.
  4. Set the leaves aside to dry. They'll harden or "candy" in about three hours.

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    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 21 months ago from United States

      You can make all sort candied mint, frogyfish, with that lovely variety. If I were you, I'd make some mint iced tea, too. If it's going to be as hot in the Central US as it is here, you're gonna need it. The heat index tops 100 today. Whew! Keep it cool, Jill

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 21 months ago from Central United States of America

      Wow! I grow spearmint from my grandmother's home in Missouri that I have had for about 30 years...then have also peppermint from a relative in Arizona. Lastly, I received chocolate and orange mint from a relative in Texas...so I am well set to do some candy-ing. But my mints seem so 'hot' that I won't need to add any flavoring. I shoulda thought of doing this long ago. Thanks for your hub and easy hints!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Awesome! Hope you have some fun. (: It's pretty in fancy drinks!--Jill

    • Letitialicious profile image

      Letitialicious 4 years ago from Paris via San Diego

      How very pretty, and tasty, I'm sure! I'll try this.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi patchofearth! Good to hear from you. I'm originally from Appalachia, too. Thanks for your comments. Hope you have fun making candied mint for the holidays. --Jill

    • patchofearth profile image

      patchofearth 4 years ago from somewhere in the appalachian foothills

      I love this. This is such a simple recipe. Spearmint grows wild where I live. I'm always looking for things to do with it. Great hub. Thanks for the info.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi GoodLady! If you have time before the holidays, try candying grapes or small plums with superfine sugar for a centerpiece. It really sparkles on the table! Take care, Jill

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

      It's so pretty and so simple. We have so much mint and the leaves are just the right size. I'd love to do this over Christmas thanks. Voting and sharing on HP.

      O can't seem to share because the buttons aren't on at the moment, but I'll be back!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi Derdriu. I've read that people used to drink catmint tea! Can you imagine? Phew! Nice to hear from you, Jill

    • profile image

      Derdriu 4 years ago

      Jill, Me too, I love the look of catmint even though I've not yet acquired the taste ;-[. Peppermint and spearmint are so cooperative to endeavors such as yours outlined here.

      Respectfully, and with many thanks for sharing, Derdriu

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi RTalloni. Absolutely chocolate mint would be great to candy. To me, it's like coffee--it smells even better than it tastes! Nice to hear from you. --Jill

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      How nice it would be to use chocolate mint! Thanks!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi Pavlo! Love your poetic description. One of my friends dries peppermint for tea, too. Nice to hear from you! -Jill

      H1 Carol. Yes, definitely for company or special occasions. Candied grapes are really pretty in table decorations, too. But of course they go bad fairly quickly. Thanks for commenting!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Bet these would taste good in a Mojito. This sounds like something festive and fun to for company ..Many uses. Thanks for sharing this.. I never would have thought to do it.

    • Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

      Pavlo Badovskyi 4 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

      Pepermint leaves with sugar look so tasty! We try to dry some peppermint leaves in summer. In winter added to black tea it reminds me of hot summer days full of sun... Great hub!

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