I’ve been making these mints for years and they are always a hit. Unlike the hard & powdery ones you buy at the store, these are soft and the flavor far superior to the aforementioned imposters. Combine them with white cake and nuts, and you’ve got my idea of heaven. :) They are also very simple to make, though if you use a mold, it is a little time-consuming. You can let them air dry until they are almost like the classic mints that accompany most wedding and baby shower cakes, but I usually only let them dry overnight so they are just dry enough to hold their shape (unless smashed), but are still soft and creamy on the inside.
I made this batch because a co-worker requested them, and after turning 1/4 of the batch into the classic square mints for him and a girlfriend that loves them, I got bored and tried a couple other things with the dough. I figured I could use them as filling for peppermint patties, and although the flavor is a little different than the classic (I have a recipe for York-style peppermint patties here), I like it even better because I like the added tang of cream cheese. I also had another stroke of genius (if I do say so myself) after I made the peppermint patties, but that one deserves a post all of it’s own. Check back Friday!
Cream Cheese Mints
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 lbs. powdered sugar
Food coloring (optional)
Granulated sugar, for coating (if using a mold)
Beat the cream cheese until creamy, then beat in the extract. Beat in the powdered sugar until well blended. Depending on your mixer, you may have to use your hands to fully incorporate the sugar. The mixture will be smooth and like a stiff dough. Add icing gel coloring if desired. Pinch off a chunk of dough and roll it into a slender log.
Cut the log into small squares set onto waxed paper to dry.(Keep the remaining dough covered or sealed in Ziploc bag(s) during the rolling and cutting process, or it will dry out.)
Repeat until all the dough has been cut into squares. If you wish to shape the mints using a mold, pull off a small piece of dough, enough to fill the mold, and roll it into a ball. Roll the ball in granulated sugar, coating it very well, then press into the mold. Turn it over and pop the mint out onto wax paper. Allow to dry overnight before packing in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Yield: 2 1/2 lbs. mints
To make peppermint patties, roll dough out to desired thickness and use a small round cookie cutter or juice or shot glass to cut circles.
Place on wax-paper lined baking sheet and freeze, uncovered, for an hour. Melt a 12-oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon oil or shortening and drop the peppermint patties in one at a time, turning and lifting out with a fork. Quickly tap off excess and use another fork or your finger to help slide the dipped patty onto another waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Once all patties are dipped, place baking sheet in refrigerator until chocolate is set, about 15-30 minutes. Store in airtight container and keep refrigerated.