Candied Mint Leaves Recipe - Delishably - Food and Drink
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Candied Mint Leaves Recipe

Jill Spencer has been an online writer for over nine years. Her articles often focus on gardening.

Candied mint--a pretty garnish for desserts and drinks.

Candied mint--a pretty garnish for desserts and drinks.

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.

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.

Selecting Mint to Candy

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. You can also 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.

Comments

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on June 23, 2015:

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 from Central United States of America on June 22, 2015:

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!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 20, 2012:

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

Letitialicious from Paris via San Diego on November 20, 2012:

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

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 09, 2012:

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

Rebecca Long from somewhere in the appalachian foothills on November 09, 2012:

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.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 06, 2012:

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

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on November 06, 2012:

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!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 06, 2012:

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

Derdriu on November 06, 2012:

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

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 05, 2012:

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 on November 05, 2012:

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

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 05, 2012:

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!

carol stanley from Arizona on November 05, 2012:

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 Badovskyi from Kyiv, Ukraine on November 05, 2012:

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!