Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Sweets: Homemade Butter Mints

This recipe is one of my favorites because it is so fun to make and the results are strikingly festive (and delicious!) There is no need to bake and no need for a candy thermometer. The only requirement is to set aside some space for the candy to set undisturbed for 24 hours. Homemade Butter Mints travel well, and I include them in all our gift packages of holiday goodies.


9 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup corn syrup

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

green and red food coloring, (I use paste, but liquid will work.)

In a large bowl, cut together sugar and butter with 2 knives or a pastry blender until butter is in large chunks. Add corn syrup, salt, peppermint, and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon until mixture begins to come together, then work into a dough with your hands, kneading constantly until dough is smooth and uniform. Divide dough into two parts. Make a well in the center of each and put a small amount of food coloring in the well. Knead each ball of dough until the color is distributed uniformly.

On large sheets of waxed paper in an area where you will rest your candy, roll dough between your hands into "snakes" a little larger in diameter than a pencil. Once you have all the dough rolled, set a timer for 10 minutes. When the buzzer rings, begin cutting the snakes, starting with the first ones you prepared, into pillows. Allow them to set for 24 hours. Store in an airtight container or a large Ziploc bag. Keep in mind that the mints are semi-soft, so protect them from being crushed.


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