Potted Chocolate-Mint Puddings

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pottedpuddingFrom Martha Stewart

1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa power
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
1-1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon pure mint extract
1 Tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
10 chocolate wafer cookies
Garnish with sprigs of mint

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan.  Combine cream, milk and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup.

Pour 1 cup cream mixture into sugar mixture and whisk until cornstarch is dissolved.  Add remaining cream mixture and whisk until smooth.  Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook until thick, about 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and add chocolate.  Whisk until chocolate melts, about 1 minute.

Remove from heat.  Add mint extract and butter, and whisk until butter melts.  Quickly divide pudding, whisking as you work to prevent sides from setting up, among eight 4 ounce glass votive candle holders, leaving 1/2" of space at the top.  Refrigerate until set.

Just before serving, pulse cookies in a food processor until finely ground.  Top each with 1 Tablespoon ground-cookie "dirt," and garnish with a planted mint sprig.  Serve chilled.

- Recipe courtesy of Cathy Pollak


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