Melissa Peterman is a 1996 graduate of Princeton High School and a special education paraprofessional at Milaca High School. Melissa and her husband Joel have two children – Cody and Emily. Melissa enjoys cooking, baking, kick boxing and in-line skating. This is her second year of kick boxing, and she says she took it up because she just wanted to try something new. It was difficult at first but is fun, she adds. She is a serious enough in-line skater that she is scheduled to be an in-line skating marathon on June 14 in the Apostle Islands.
The couple’s daughter Emily received an award of excellence at last year’s Mille Lacs County Fair for this week’s recipe.
MIDNIGHT MINT BARS
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1 beaten egg
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup softened butter
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 T milk
1 tsp. peppermint extract
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 T butter
In a heavy saucepan, heat the butter, cocoa and sugar over low heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir a small amount of the hot mixture into the beaten egg. Return all to pan. Cook and stir until mixture coats a metal spoon and reaches 160 degrees. Remove from heat.
Stir in the cracker crumbs, coconut and walnuts. Press into a buttered 9-inch square pan and set aside.
To make the filling, beat together the butter, confectioner’s sugar, milk and peppermint extract in a small mixing bowl until smooth. Tint with food coloring if desired. Spread evenly over bottom layer and set aside.
For the topping, melt the chocolate chips and butter in heavy saucepan over low heat until blended and smooth, stirring often. Remove from heat, and cool (about 10 minutes). Spread topping over the filling. Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator. Yield 3 dozen.