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Mint Cake Decorations

From: bill
Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2014 2:14 PM
Subject: Recipe or Procedure Search

Uncle Phaedrus,

My wife and I ran a small catering business during the 70's out of our home, my wife has passed on and 
I cannot find this recipe or procedure anywhere. I used to make these mints with out looking at the recipe, 
after I followed the recipe in the beginning and they always came out great. Most of the brides that bought 
our wedding cakes always ordered the mints at the same time. So when I was making the royal icing flowers 
for the wedding cakes and would make a batch of these mints and decorate them with the same royal icing 
flowers following the same color scheme the bride chose for the wedding cake. We were self taught and 
following the Wilton books for a source of information and training. To make the mints, I used, what I 
have now found out was a confectionary funnel with a wooden handle, the funnel had a Wilton number on it, 
but when I contacted Wilton they had no clue about the instrument or the recipe because that was 30 years 
ago and they are using computer that don't go back that far. I remember brining the sugar and a liquid to 
a certain temperature and I used a candy thermometer, then I poured the batch into the metal funnel and 
dropped them onto wax paper or parchment paper using the wooden handle to allow the same amount of mint to 
drop so that they were all a unique size (at one point I used a ridged rubber mat to drop the mints onto 
which gave the mints a textured bottom). Then when they were cool I would decorate them the royal icing 
flowers to match the brides cake. I cannot remember if the sugar was powdered or fondant or regular sugar. 
I don't member the temperature that I used for making these mints. Over the years I have continued baking 
cakes for many occasions and now I would like to also offer these mints. Thanks for your help, it is good 
to know that there is someone out there that might be helpful.
If you don't know, do you have a recommendation for me.


Hello Bill,

Well, I had no success with this. The only mints that I can find that have any connection with Wilton use molds rather than a confectionery funnel. I had no success looking for “mint cake decorations”. It may be a terminology problem - if I knew what they are called by cake decorators (It’s apparently not just “mints”.), then I might have had more success. There are recipes for mint frosting, of course, but that doesn’t appear to be what you want.

I will, of course, post the request on my site in the hope that one of my readers can help, but other than that, I have few ideas. Wilton has published multiple cake decorating books over the years, many of which can be found on Amazon or E-bay, but there isn’t much way to know which one of them in particular might contain this recipe. Perhaps if you look at their covers on Amazon, you will remember which one you used at the time. has a cake decorating website with an accompanying message board. You might try contacting the “guide” there – Michelle Anderson – with your problem, or posting a request on her message board. See: Cake


Hello again,

On March 1, Bill requested not a mint cake, but a procedure for making decorating mints. He stated he learned 
from a Wilton cookbook. In a 1981 edition of Wilton's complete book of candy cookbook, barely revised from 
previous versions and similar to candymaking for beginners, in the equipment list there is a "mint patty funnel," 
matching the description Bill gave, and there's an accompanying recipe for mint patties, of course! I've transcribed 
it directly. I hope this is what he remembers! 

Mint Patties- Easy to make from fondant

Perfect mint patties have a glossy finish, an even, delicate color and a creamy texture. The temperature to which 
you bring the melted fondant is very important for all these qualities. If it is too high, the patties will be dull, 
may develop white spots and have a slightly grainy texture. They will still taste good, however, and the family will 
enjoy them.

Speed in dropping the patties is necessary, too. If you go too slowly, the fondant will harden in the funnel. 
Should that happen, put the fondant back in the top of the double boiler and gently re-heat to 140F (60C). 
Be sure to warm the funnel and stick, too. With just a little practice, you will be turning out perfect mint patties. 

One fourth of a recipe of Wilton Corn Syrup or Cream of Tartar Fondant is the most practical amount to use.

If you have skill as a decorator, mint patties are perfect to display it. Trim the finished patties with spirals, 
initials, scrolls, or hearts piped with a tiny round tube and royal icing. Bouquets of tiny drop flowers are pretty, too. 

1/4 recipe of either finished Wilton Corn Syrup or Cream of Tartar Fondant
1 drop oil of peppermint
1 drop red liquid food color

Before you begin, cover a counter or table top with wax paper.
Set mint patty funnel and stick in a container of very hot water to warm. 

 1. Place finished fondant in top pan or a one-quart (one liter) double boiler. Bring water in lower pan to a simmer 
and put top pan over it. Break up fondant with a wooden spoon and stir constantly until melted.

As soon as fondant becomes liquid, clip on thermometer and continue stirring until temperature reaches 140F (60C). 
Watch carefully, it is very important not to overheat the fondant. This will cause white spots and a dull finish. 
Add flavoring and food color as you stir.

2. Remove top pan of boiler from lower pan. Carefully dry funnel and stick and put stick in position within funnel. 
Pour melted fondant into funnel. (It's best to have someone hold funnel upright as you pour.)

Now drop the patties onto prepared counter. Hold funnel upright with your left hand, about an inch above surface. 
With your right hand, lift stick, then push down to drop a patty. Work quickly so fondant does not harden. 
After you have dropped a few patties, you will achieve a rhythm in lifting and pushing down the stick so patties 
will be uniform, each about the size of a 50cent coin. Continue until all fondant is dropped.

The patties will set up very quickly- in five or ten minutes. As soon as they are firm, turn them over and allow 
the underside to dry. Pack the finished patties in a box between sheets of wax paper. Close to the box and put it 
in a tightly sealed plastic bag to keep for several days. Yield: about 70 patties.

To vary this recipe: 

Flavor and tint the fondant in any way you wish for variety. Try lemon extract in yellow patties, almond extract 
in delicate green, vanilla in white. Be sure you use clear flagorings, deep colored ones may discolor the patties.

Holiday mint patties

It's fun to dress up a tray of homemade mint patties for Christmas. The candies will add a festive touch to any 
holiday party.

Tint fondant in Christmas colors and form into mints as directed. Make a paper decorating con, cut about 1/4''off 
the point and drop in tube 1. Make a recipe of Wilton Royal Icing. Place small portions in separate containers 
and tint with liquid food coloring. Half-fill the cone with tinted icing and pip the designs on the mints, 
doing all trim in one color on all mints at one time. The flowers, mistletoe and holly berries are just dots. 
The leaves are two touching elongated shells. Form points on holly leaves by pulling out with a toothpick. 

Wilton Corn Syrup Fondant 

Here is a newly developed fondant recipe easily made in any kitchen. It's a quick method, too- in just an hour 
you'll produce a creamy all purpose fondant.

3 cups (480ml) hot water
6 cups (1.5l, 1.2 kg) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (180 ml) light corn syrup

Before you begin, arrange metal candy bars on a clean marble slab. An area about 12'' by 18'' is right for this recipe. 
Make sure there is at least 6;; of free space on all sides of the bars to allow room for working with the scraper. 
If you're using an electric range, turn heat to highest temperature.

If you have a larger marble surface, 30'' by 36'' or more, you will not need metal candy bars. Just pour the cooked 
syrup in the center of the marble surface.

1. Stir water and sugar together in a heavy three-quart (three liter) saucepan. Place pan over highest heat and 
add corn syrup. Place pastry brush and thermometer in a container of hot tap water. When mixture comes to a boil, 
about 15 minutes, wash down the sides of the pan above the liquid with the wet pastry brush. Clip on thermometer. 
Continue cooking without stirring, washing down sides of pan twice more. When temperature reaches 240F (116C), 
remove from heart. This will take only about seven minutes. Allow to stand a minute until bubbles subside.

2. Immediately pour the hot syrup onto the prepared marble slab. Pour the syrup aware from you and do not scrape pan. 
Now let the fondant cool without touching it to lukewarm. If you give in to curiosity and repeatedly put your finger 
on the fondant to test the heat, the whole batch may crystallize as it turns back to sugar.

After about 15 minutes, you will notice tiny wrinkles forming at the edges of the fondant, indicating it is cooling. 
Wait another 15 minutes and lightly touch the edge of the fondant. If it holds the imprint of your finger, feels 
lukewarm and at body temperature, the fondant is ready to work. Depending on the temperature of the room, the entire 
cooling process should take about 30 minutes. 

3. After cooling, remove the candy bars and immediately begin to work the fondant with the scraper. Grasp the handle 
of the scraper with the back of your hand up. Holding the blade almost horizontal, move it under the edge of the 
fondant and lift it to the center. Work quickly from all sides, keeping the mass moving constantly. 

4. After about five minutes, the fondant will begin to appear white, then creamy. Continue working it until it becomes 
stiff and can be formed into a mound. It should be stiff enough so you can stand the scraper straight up in it. 

5. Now knead the mass briefly, about three minutes, until it becomes soft and creamy. Place in a container 
(a plastic bowl with a cover is ideal). Dip a clean kitchen towel in cold water, wring it out until it is just damp, 
and cover the fondant. Seal the container.

Use immediately or store at room temperature for several days. Or store in the refrigerator for several months. 
After a day or two, check the fondant. If liquid has formed on the surface, remove the towel and reseal the container. 
This recipe will yield enough fondant for over 300 mints or about 250 centers. 

Note: fondant leftover from dipping bonbons may be refrigerated in a sealed container for weeks. 
Do not use this fondant for mints or centers- but you may melt it again for dipping bonbons or cover petit fours.

Alternative Method of Working Fondant

You may use a large cookie sheet to pour the cooked fondant on to cool it. Select a heavy cookie sheet, 15'' by 24'' 
with 1'' sides. Set the cookie sheet on a cake rack to allow air to flow under it and promote even cooling.

Pour the cooked fondant on to the cookie sheet. Pour away from you and do not scrape pan. Allow to cool. 
This will take about 20 to 25 minutes. You may test for coolness by touching the bottom of the cookie sheet. 
When it feels lukewarm the fondant is ready to work. Work it with the scraper just as described previously. 
Knead and store just as described in the recipe for Wilton Corn Syrup Fondant.

Wilton cream of tartar fondant

This is just as easily made as wilton corn syrup fondant. Cream of tartar is used to keep the sugar from crystallizing. 

It's important to cook this mixture as rapidly as possible, the cream of tartar does its work during the cooking 
period and if that is too long, the cream of tartar will make the fondant soft. That is why hot water is used, 
and an electric range is preheated.

We recommend using this recipe for mints because of its superior gloss. This quality makes it perfect for dipping, too.

2 cups (480 ml) hot water
6 cups (1.5 liter or 1.2kg) granulated cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) cream of tartar

Before you begin, arrange metal candy bars on a marble slab to form an area about 12'' x 18''. 
Or prepare a large heavy cookie sheet as described in the Alternate Method, page 93. If your range 
is electric, turn a heat unit to high. Place pastry brush and thermometer in container of hot water.

1. Combine hot water and sugar in a heavy four quart (four liter) saucepan. Place pan on high heat and 
add cream of tartar. When mixture begins to boil, wash down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in 
hot water. Clip on thermometer. Wash down sides of pan twice more as mixture cooked. Do not stir. 
When temperature reaches 240F (116C) remove pan from heart and immediately pour out on slab or prepared 
cookie sheet. Entire cooking time should be about ten minutes or less.
2. Cool the fondant just as for Wilton Corn Syrup Fondant, page 92. When mixture is cool, remove bars 
and work vigorously with a metal scraper. In about five minutes, the fondant will become stiff. 
Knead briefly, just until soft and creamy. You may use immediately, or place in a container, cover with 
a damp cloth and lightly cover the container. Keep at room temperature for several days, or store in the 
refrigerator for several months. Yield: enough to make about 250 centers or over 300 mints. 


Howard Johnson's Chicken Croquettes

From: "Mark" 
To: "Phaedrus" 
Subject: Re: 02/24/2014 Howard Johnson BBQ Sauce AND Chicken Croquettes Requests
Date: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 5:58 PM

     I saw on your site 2/24/2014 a request for the "old style BBQ 
Sauce" that Howard Johnsons had many years ago, not necessarily the 
sauce from the "commissary" type of supply that HJ's had years later. I 
believe I can fulfill Ron's request so that his father can have the "old 
Style BBQ sauce" that he remembers from 1950.
    I own a kitchen copy of the Howard Johnson's master chef's kitchen 
cookbook that were given to all the restaurants way back when. Various 
sources tell me it is the kitchen copy of plating and recipes that were 
used from about the years 1946 through the early sixties for various 
menu items before all the HJ's started a more standardized menu in the 
mid/late 1960's and started also using the "commissary" for getting in 
prepackaged items for food preparation.
   I have a reluctance to extend many of the recipes out of the book as 
a good friend has been working (when possible) with me on a "Revisit to 
Howard Johnson's" Book that may encompass many of the most popular and 
unusual recipes besides info & pictures about Howard Johnson's.
   I do so enjoy your website and at times submitting recipes for those 
searching for items I know are so hard to find and do appreciate your 
valiant efforts in helping the people and their requests. I therefore 
submit to you the following recipes from an original chef's kitchen copy 
of the Howard Johnson Restaurant Manual for the recipes for scratch done 
Barbeque Sauce and the elusive Chicken Croquettes that people want. 
Remember though, these recipes make large quantities and scaling them 
down might make a difference AND undisclosed ingredients like what 
type of breadcrumbs/deep fat for frying was used for the croquettes.
   I have attached a PDF showing the recipes as they are originally 
shown in the book (it has about 151 pages of plating and recipe 
instructions). Please ask that anyone copying the info from your site 
give credit back to your site and me for the submission so I can see how 
far to other sites copying happens (GRIN).
Take Care,
Mark R. in NJ 
Howard Johnson's Chicken Croquettes

3 qts. - 2 - 2 oz. croquettes

6 oz chicken fat
10 oz flour
2 1/4 qts chicken stock. hot
3 oz chopped onions
1 oz chopped parsley
3 cups bread crumbs
3 eggs
1 oz salt
1 tsp black pepper
2# chicken pickings

1. Saute onions in chicken fat but do not brown.
2. Make a roux with the flour
3. Add hot chicken stock, and add seasonings.
4. Stir constantly until mixture thickens and is well blended.
5. Add minced chicken and chopped parsley.
6. Cook 5 minutes more, then remove from fire and chill.
7. Scoop and shape into croquettes.
8. Dip in flour, egg wash and bread crumbs and fry in deep fat.
9. Served with fricassee or cream sauce.
(If you republish this recipe, either on another website or in print, please credit Mark R & Uncle Phaedrus)

Steak & Ale Recipes

From: Timm
To: "Phaed, Mr." 
Subject: Steak and Ale Restaurant Recipes
Date: Friday, February 28, 2014 10:30 PM

These recipes circulated on the Internet about 10 years ago, probably copycat recipes.   

Timm in Oregon 

Steak and Ale House Dressing 


1/4 cup Best Foods, Hellman’s or Kraft Mayonnaise 
1 tablespoon buttermilk 
1/2 teaspoon white granulated sugar 
1/4 teaspoon white vinegar 
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/4 teaspoon fresh dill, minced 
1/4 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced 
1/8 teaspoon onion powder 
Dash sea salt 
Dash paprika 


Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. 
Steak and Ale Red Meat Marinade 


3-1/2 cups pineapple juice 
1 cup soy sauce 
1 cup dry red wine 
1/2 cup red wine vinegar 
3/4 cup white granulated sugar 
2 teaspoons garlic, minced 


Thoroughly combine all of the ingredients and bring to boil; cook until the sugar is completely dissolved. 
Let the mixture come to room temperature before using. Marinate the meat in the mixture for 6 up to 24 hours. 
Grill or pan fry the meat; add butter to the pan if you are going to cook it in a skillet. 
Steak and Ale Hawaiian Chicken Marinade 


1-1/4 cups unsweetened pineapple juice 
1/4 cup white granulated sugar 
1/3 cup Sherry or wine 
1/3 cup soy sauce 
2-1/2 tablespoons Sherry or red wine vinegar 
1/3 teaspoon granulated garlic 


Thoroughly combine all of the ingredients and bring to boil; cook until the sugar is completely dissolved. 
Let the mixture come to room temperature before using. Marinate the chicken in the mixture for 3 to 6 hours. 
Grill or pan fry the chicken; add butter to the pan if you are going to cook it in a skillet. 

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