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What Is Mint Frosting?

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  • Written By: Emily Pate
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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Mint frosting is a sweet, thick, creamy topping or filling featuring this plant's fresh flavor. This herb has a cool, peppery flavor that varies depending on the plant type. It is popular in a variety of foods and commonly used in winter treats, including frosting. Basic frosting consists of a mixture of butter and powdered sugar, though some recipes call for egg whites or other ingredients. Both mint extract and leaves can be used in the frosting, which is incorporated into a variety of baked goods and treats like cakes, cookies, and brownies, many of which have the word "grasshopper" in the title.

The mint plant has a noticeably cool and refreshing taste that can be described as a cross between pepper and chlorophyll. Spearmint plants have a subtle flavor, while peppermint is known for its strong, slightly spicy quality. While mint is common in spring and summer months in beverages and as a garnish, it's often found in sweets and candies during the winter. One of its more versatile confections is mint frosting, since it can be used on a variety of cakes, cookies, and pastries.

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Basic homemade frosting consists of a mixture of butter and powdered sugar. The powder stiffens the cream slightly so it can be spread easily but not drip or run. Some frosting recipes, however, contain no powdered sugar. Butter, egg whites, and granulated sugar are beaten together for a thick, creamy topping or filling. Additional ingredients may be added for texture and taste, like cream cheese or whipping cream.

Mint may be incorporated into both these types of frosting. While fresh mint leaves may be used, most recipes call for a small amount of liquid mint extract to be poured into the frosting before mixing. If fresh leaves are used, they may be muddled, or crushed, using a pestle and mortar, then mixed into the butter and sugar. The frosting is often colored a light green to identify its main ingredient.

Like its chocolate or vanilla counterparts, mint frosting is used to top cakes and cupcakes or as a middle layer in a cookie sandwich. It may be used in brownies or as a filling for doughnuts and other pastries. Mint frosting may be paired with milk or dark chocolate treats for flavor and color contrast. A variety of "grasshopper" sweets feature both these signature ingredients; grasshopper brownies, for instance, have a milk or dark chocolate cake-base topped with a rich mint frosting.

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