Last week I was caught up in the pre-Thanksgiving/Christmas season and had some new recipes to try. Some I planned for gifts. (You will be very glad I didn't give them to you!)
The first recipe that caught my eye was one my sister in law, Sue, pinned on Pinterest, Peppermint Meltaways. I love all things mint and you mix butter, powdered sugar, peppermint extract, flour and cornstarch and wondrous things will happen.
I was short on powdered sugar so pulled out my trusty Vita-Mix blender, it is so powerful that 2 cups of sugar and 2 TBSP of cornstarch, blended on high for 2 minutes, viola! Powdered sugar! I couldn't find the little gasket that fits between the top and blender but luckily had a spare in the drawer. Otherwise I would have had sugar particles floating throughout the kitchen.
I made 2 batches of powdered sugar while I was at it, since my next recipe also used it. I mixed up the cookies and as I was scooping them out onto parchment paper, I noticed small green flecks in the dough. I didn't put anything green in the cookies. They were chewy, like foam rubber but had no taste. I picked them out as I formed the cookies, still puzzling over it.
The frosting for the cookies was powdered sugar, peppermint extract, butter and milk, as I mixed it up, there were the green flecks again! Peppermint is green, right? Even though the extract was clear, I was convinced something in it was reacting in the mixing and it was clumping.
Again, I picked out the flecks, frosted the cookies, sprinkled the smashed peppermint canes on the top and they are DELICIOUS!!!!
My next recipe was for a hot chocolate mix out of the HyVee cooking magazine. I made a mix last year but it wasn't very good, this one looked wonderful. It used powdered sugar, cocoa, dried milk, smashed peppermint candies, chocolate pudding mix and some instant cocoa. Yeah, Yeah, I know, you can just mix up the instant cocoa but this looked so much richer and it is!!
Bruce and I were both out in the cold the other day and when I came in I tried out the hot chocolate mix and loved it. When Bruce came in I asked if he would like a cup and he said yes. I asked him how he liked it and he said, "It's pretty good but is it supposed to have some paper in it??"
There were those darned little green rubbery flecks again, I didn't have any in mine. What is going on? I was sure it was the liquid peppermint until I remembered there wasn't any in the hot chocolate mix. I needed to get to the bottom of this, the other thing they both had was the powdered sugar. I took down my container and spooned some in a glass of water, instantly there were little green lumps floating!!!
This was indeed a conundrum, until a light bulb popped on in my head. This was the powdered sugar I made in my Vita Mix, remember the missing lid gasket? Yes, I think it was in the bottom of the container when I dumped the sugar and cornstarch in and I ground it up!!
I got out the sifter and put all the powdered sugar through it and got out several lumps but the small ones passed right through so I dumped it all.
So now you know my most embarrassing cooking moment and I learned a valuable lesson to look before I grind, I guess I was lucky it was something that innocuous, not something nasty like a dead mouse!
You are probably thinking right now if I come to your house bearing gifts of food, you might want to bar the door and call out the dogs.