Saturday, December 24, 2011

Minty Merry Christmas

Do y'all remember........gosh. This is the season when reminiscing is one of my favorite pastimes.

Well, maybe one of my second-favorite in line between eating all of the Christmas goodies around here.

So my latest memory that had me wistfully remembering and then googling recipes online was the flavor and creaminess of Kraft - or were they Brach's - butter mints. Mom would buy a box of them for special occasions and would put them out in small crystal dishes. We were only allowed one or two at a time, but if left unsupervised, I would snarf as many as I could get away with. They were not the hard little pillowy after dinner mints that you see around everywhere these days, but were firm yet creamy. They were most often buttery-colored but sometimes you could buy special "Party" butter mints that were pastel colored.

So as I was making my usual round of Christmas goodies, I have noticed this year that my sense of taste is continuing to be less acute. But a few tastes - sweet and mint, for example - continue to be very tasty and enjoyable. Which prompted the search for the recipe for the best mints that I have ever had.

And here they are, Buttermint Twists, found here:

1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
5 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 to 3 drops red food color
1 to 2 drops green food color

Place butter in large bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add powdered sugar, whipping cream and peppermint extract. Continue beating until mixture forms a soft dough (2 to 5 minutes).

Divide dough in half. Beat red food color into one-half of dough. Continue beating until dough is pink. Beat green food color into other half of dough; beat until dough is light green.

Place dough, 1 color at a time, on surface lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar; knead until smooth. Cover with plastic food wrap to prevent drying out. Roll 1 tablespoon of each tinted dough into 4-inch rope. Gently twist green and pink ropes together. Carefully continue rolling and twisting rope to a 10-inch rope. Add more powdered sugar when rolling, if necessary. Cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces. Place twists onto waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Let mints stand uncovered at room temperature until surface is dry (6 to 8 hours). 
To store, layer mints between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container. Refrigerate up to 1 month. For longer storage, store in freezer up to 2 months.
I didn't have half and half on hand, so substituted heavy whipping cream, and I also chose to use food-grade organic peppermint oil instead of extract. I also did not tint my mints but left them all beautifully naked and buttery-colored.

These things are delicious. Spectacular. Fabulous. Also very quick to make if you're looking for a last minute, kid-friendly,  easy-to-make treat to have on hand.

Enjoy. We did.


Anita Rowe Stafford said...

I'll have to try this recipe, I've never made mints! Merry Christmas Julia!

annie said...

I'll have to see if I can make this for New Year's tray of cookies and candies. Thanks for the recipes. I want to wish you and your family a very happy and safe Christmas, full of joy and good food,friends and maybe some drink?

sissyjane said...

OMG! I totally remember those mints. The memory was buried wayyyy down there someplace, but I'm so thankful for the nudge!

Merry Christmas!!