Peppermint is a flavor that we simply can’t get enough of.
Peppermint extract is commonly used in cooking for adding flavoring to various desserts, candies and beverages such as fudge, cakes, cookies, ice cream, hot chocolate, and cocktails.
But what exactly can you use peppermint extract for? And how much of it should you use? Does peppermint extract go bad? And what’s the best way to store it?
If you’ve found yourself asking these questions, then don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Peppermint extract is something that many people aren’t familiar with in terms of baking, and so there are lots of unanswered questions. But that’s where we come in.
We’ve compiled this handy guide that will answer all of the above, and tell you everything you need to know about peppermint extract.
To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look.
What Is Peppermint Extract?
Now, before we delve into the titular question fully, and examine some of the different uses for peppermint extract, first, let’s take a look at what it consists of.
Peppermint extract is essentially a herbal extract which is made in two different ways.
A popular way of making peppermint extract is by diluting peppermint essential oil with water, so that it isn’t too pungent, or, you can take the extract directly from the peppermint leaf.
The leaves are typically submerged in alcohol in order to get the extract out.
Because it’s fairly straightforward, you can make the peppermint extract yourself, depending on how creative you are.
It’s also a good idea to make your own peppermint oil if you’re concerned about any additives placed in the mix.
If not, you can simply pick up some peppermint extract at your local grocery store. It’s typically located in the baking section. These will typically have a few additional ingredients in order to preserve the extract.
What Is The Difference Between Peppermint Oil And Extract?
This brings us onto our next question. What exactly is the difference between peppermint oil and peppermint extract? Many people don’t realize that there’s actually a discrepancy between the two.
It’s pretty easy to explain, actually. As we mentioned above, peppermint extract can be made from peppermint oil itself, but if this is done, you’re going to need to dilute it with some water.
This is because peppermint oil is so strong, and is derived directly from the peppermint leaves.
Because it has such a strong odor, and it’s so pure, it’s often used for aromatherapy purposes.
In fact, it’s basically four times as strong as peppermint extract is, so if you used it for baking, it would taste incredibly overpowering.
You’ll often find items such as peppermint candles, peppermint soaps, and peppermint lotions, all of which have peppermint oil added in to give them that fresh smell.
Peppermint extract, on the other hand, will always be diluted in some form or other.
You can either dilute the peppermint oil with water, and this will give you extract, or you can mix the peppermint leaves with alcohol, which also produces peppermint extract.
To find out more about the differences between the two, check out our blog ‘Is peppermint oil stronger than peppermint extract?‘.
What Can I Use Peppermint Extract For?
This brings us on to our key question, what can you use peppermint extract for? As we mentioned before, peppermint extract is excellent for baking, and you can use it within a whole host of different recipes
Below, we’ve compiled some of our very favorites.
1. Peppermint Flavored Fudge
At Call Me Fudge, we love experimenting with new flavors and our peppermint fudge will have you swooning for the next bite! In our recipe we used a combination of different peppermint flavored chocolates to get that minty taste and aroma, but to elevate further we’d recommend adding 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract.
So check out our recipe here, for the best peppermint fudge!
This recipe is one of our favorites, and is perfect for the holiday season. You can make your own peppermint mocha, which contains a minimal amount of ingredients.
It has an incredibly creamy top, and uses peppermint flakes to decorate and make it even more delicious.
These white chocolate peppermint cookies are super delicious. They have an incredibly moist texture, and the white chocolate perfectly complements the fresh, sugary, peppermint flavor packed inside.
These peppermint meringues are absolutely to die for, they’re bursting with lots of delicate flavors, and can be used for a whole host of different items.
We’d recommend whipping these up to place in a peppermint hot chocolate. The very height of indulgence!
How To Store Peppermint Extract
Another question that’s commonly asked regarding peppermint extract is how long it actually lasts. You may be wondering how long you can safely keep yours until it goes bad.
The thing about peppermint extract is that it doesn’t necessarily go bad, but it does evaporate due to the alcohol content.
If you have a bottle of peppermint extract, we’d recommend storing it in a dark, cool and dry space such as a cupboard. Here, you can expect it to last approximately 6 months.
To sum up, there are lots of different uses for peppermint extract. People will typically use this ingredient within baking, as it’s not as potent as peppermint oil. Have fun trying some of the recipes listed above.