In our house, Pixar can do no wrong. Parents and kids alike love every single Pixar movie that we’ve seen. That’s why we’re all so excited for Inside Out to hit theaters this week!
Inside Out could not come at a more perfect time for our family. My girls are 7 (Anna) and 10 (Cate) and are having ALL OF THE FEELINGS. In fact, there is so much feeling happening around these here parts it’s rubbing off on my husband and I!
I’m excited to watch this movie with them so we can all learn a thing or two about managing our many wonderful emotions. I also know there will be plenty of “it makes you laugh, it makes you cry” moments that our family loves. In fact, I can predict I will be a blubbering mess, but I promise the tears will be because of Joy and not Sadness!
The kids and I were inspired by Inside Out and decided to make a special treat to take to the movies with us — Inside Out Junior Mints! Junior Mints are one of our favorite movie-going treats, and it seemed like turning them inside out would be mighty delicious. We were right! This recipe is DELECTABLE. You will find only “joy” when eating these treats!
The funniest thing happened while we were making our Inside Out Junior Mints. Anna didn’t catch on to the whole Inside Out theme until we were done making the candies. After tasting the final product she exclaimed, “We can totally eat these when we watch Inside Out because they are inside out. I’m so excited!”
These candies are a labor of love, but Cate said it was definitely worth the effort.
And, not to toot our own horn, but we think these taste one million times better than store-bought Junior Mints.
Homemade Inside Out Junior Mints
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Freezer Time: At least 8 hours
Makes: 90 candies
7 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, around 60% cacao
1 cup heavy cream
12-16 ounces candy melts (12 ounces should be enough, but have extra in case you run out)
8-12 drops peppermint oil (NOT extract)
1. Line a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with aluminum foil, making sure foil goes up the sides of the dish.
2. Finely chop the chocolate and place in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Bring the cream to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Once the cream reaches a boil, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir well until all the chocolate is melted.
4. Pour chocolate mixture into the foil-lined dish, spreading out to the edges.
5. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. (I like to do steps 1-5 midday and then freeze for 4 hours during the afternoon.)
6. Transfer dish from the freezer to the fridge for 20 minutes. Remove from fridge, then pull the chocolate-covered foil out of the dish and place on a large cutting board. Put a piece of parchment paper onto a large tray and set next to the chocolate.
7. Using a very small round cookie cutter (3/4″-1″ in diameter), cut chocolate into circles, cutting the circles very close to one another to minimize scraps. Place chocolate discs onto the parchment paper-lined tray. You will need to work quickly to cut all the circles as the chocolate softens quickly at room temperature.
8. Freeze small chocolate discs on the tray for 4 hours or overnight. (I do steps 6-8 in the late afternoon then freeze the chocolate discs overnight. Steps 9-10 happen the next morning.)
9. Place 12 ounces of the candy melts in a medium bowl. Microwave on 50% power for 1 minute. Remove from microwave, add 8 drops of peppermint oil, stir, then return to microwave and cook for 30 more seconds at 50% power. Stir. If candy is fully melted, you’re done. If it’s not fully melted, put in microwave for 30 more seconds at 50% power. Remove and stir well.
10. Set a piece of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on a tray. Remove chocolates 5 at a time from the freezer. Working on each chocolate one at a time and as quickly as possible, place chocolate disc into the melted candy, carefully submerging the chocolate with the back of a rubber spatula.
Slide a fork underneath the chocolate, lift it out of the melted candy, then tap the fork on the side of the bowl about 10 times to force excess candy melt to drip back into the bowl. Transfer coated chocolate from the fork to the parchment paper/silicone baking mat, using a toothpick to help get the chocolate off of the fork, again working quickly but carefully. (It helps to put the toothpick beneath the chocolate to slide it off the fork. If you don’t move fast the candy melt will harden to the fork, making it difficult to slide it off. You also need to move quickly so that the candy melts don’t melt the chocolate.)
11. Wipe the toothpick and fork off on a cloth or paper towel, and repeat dipping process for each chocolate. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.