Note that Finnish eggs are among the safest in the world to be eaten uncooked. To find out why, read here.
1 egg white
2 - 3 drops peppermint oil *)
(green food colouring)
Place the egg white in a bowl. Mix lightly with a fork. Add a drop or two of peppermint oil, mix gently. Using the fork, gradually stir in sieved icing sugar until the mixture becomes quite firm and does not stick to your fingers any more.
(You can colour the mixture pale green with the food colouring, if you like.)
The mixture should have a satiny shine and be easily kneadable, although not too dry or brittle. Taste the mixture and carefully add more peppermint oil, if necessary.
Take small pieces of the mixture (each weighing about 5 grams) and roll them into balls about the size of a small cherry. Place the balls on a waxed or parchment paper and immediately flatten them with a palette knife. Only roll and flatten one piece at a time, keeping the rest of the mixture covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying.
Keep turning the patties over until both sides have become dry to touch and will not stick to the paper any more. Allow the patties to dry overnight in a cool, dry place.
When the patties are completely dry, you can dip them in melted chocolate. You can also just drizzle them with chocolate or brush their tops with a fork dipped in melted chocolate (see the picture on right). Let the patties dry on wax paper.
The patties are delicious served with strong after-dinner coffee or espresso. They also make an elegant, sweet Christmas present.
*) Natural oil of peppermint (Mentha piperita). Only a couple of drops are needed to sufficiently flavour the candies. In Finland, peppermint oil is sold in pharmacies.
Recipe source: adapted from "Peppermint Creams", Swann, A. et al. (1995) The Victorian Kitchen Book of Candies and Confections. Godalming: CLB Publishing.