We’ll be heading to England in ten days to spend the holidays with family……. but that hasn’t kept me out of the kitchen! I thought I’d share a technique and festive recipe I created recently for old-fashioned butter mints ……….. with a new-fangled twist. Instead of rolling the mints into small round balls and flattening them with a fork (how these mints are traditionally made), I rolled out the dough and used a small flower-shaped cookie cutter to form them.
While they were still soft, I pressed an M&M into each center. As you can see, the results are fun and definitely festive!
I love the ombre effect that’s so popular right now with cakes, cupcakes and other baked goods where varying shades of the same color fade into each other. I decided to do an ombre of pink with my mints.
Last week, I received a lovely package from McCormick with a wide assortment of their delightful extracts and food coloring sets. I used the peppermint extract and the neon pink food coloring to make my mints, but you really could add any flavor and color to these mints. I’m thinking my next batch might be lemon and lime flavored mints in a range of yellow and green hues. Check out McCormick’s pure flavoring extracts and colors and let your imagination run wild!
These mints make really fun gifts, packaged in small clear bags tied with a pretty bow; but they would also be a fun, festive addition to your holiday cookie tray. Another idea would be to pile the pretty mints on a cake stand and serve them on a holiday buffet table. They’ll add a cheerful splash of color and guests will love the buttery mint flavor.
I turned some of my Ombré Butter Mints into lollipops by inserted a small skewer which I covered with a paper straw.
These would be fun to have in a vase near the door, As guests are leaving they can snatch a sweet treat. Believe me, kids of all ages will adore them!
P.S. If you’ve got friends, neighbors, teachers, hairdressers, mailmen, delivery people, etc. on your Christmas list and like to give them a small gift to say “I care”, be sure to check back tomorrow as we’ll be sharing some really fun Peppermint Bark Shortbread and 10 other fabulous gifts from the kitchen.
- 4 ounces cream cheese I use low-fat, not non-fat, at room temperature
- ½ stick or 2 ounces butter, at room temperature
- 6 cups powdered sugar plus extra for dusting work surface.
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Combine butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until soft and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until mixture is smooth and begins to form into a ball. It will seem like way too much powdered sugar at first. Just keep mixing and it'll come together in about 4-5 minutes.
- Add one drop of pink (or any other color) food coloring to dough and mix until well combined.3. Remove dough from mixing bowl and divide into thirds. Set one-third aside and cover with plastic wrap.
- Combine other two-thirds to form a ball. Add three more drops of food coloring. Keeping the work surface dusted with powdered sugar, knead dough until all color is incorporated.
- Divide dough in half and set one half aside (cover with plastic wrap). Add 5 more drops of food coloring to last third of dough and knead until color is completely incorporated.
- You will have 3 balls of dough in varying shades. Roll out each ball of dough into a circle, 1/4 inch thick, Cut into desired shapes with a cookie cutter. If dough sticks to cutter, dip cutter in powdered sugar before cutting shapes.
- For lollipops, be sure to roll the dough at least 1/3 of an inch thick. You need the thickness to be able to make the "stem". After they're rolled and cut, gently insert a small wooden skewer (mine were about 5-inches long, but the length will depend on how long you want your "stems") into the side of one of your cutout mints. You want the tip of the skewer to go about 1/2 inch into the mint for support. Slip a paper straw over skewer, gently inserting only the end of the straw into the mint. Repeat with the rest of the mints. You may have to cut the straws a bit shorter, according to the length of your skewers.
- Allow mints to dry on pan or on a wire cooling rack for a least 8-10 hours. These mints DO NOT need to be refrigerated. ENJOY!
For the flowers, press an M&M in the center while still soft