These are buttery, sweet, minty candies that melt in your mouth like no store-bought candy you have ever tasted. I used to love after dinner mints, but I haven't had one in years. The last ones I tried were dry to the point of being crunchy and the taste was so toothpaste-like I decided not to buy them again. These are nothing like that!
I'll go ahead and tell you that these innocent looking mints are absurdly addictive. I found myself walking through the kitchen several times today, just to taste one more, and then one more. Don't be intimidated by the idea that this is candy making. These mints took far less time to make than I expected. (seriously, it was well under an hour from start to finish!) If you can roll play-dough, you can make these mints!
Homemade Old Fashioned Butter Mints & Chocolate Butter Mints
recipe slightly adapted from Averie Cooks
Yield: about 200 mints or approximately 3 cups worth
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (or this homemade substitute for condensed milk)
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar *
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract **
Optional: 1/4 cup cocoa powder * (reduce the powdered sugar by the amount of cocoa used)
In a mixing bowl, combine the soft butter and salt. Beat for a moment to combine. Add the condensed milk and beat again to combine. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time, beating to combine thoroughly. (If you are making the chocolate version, whisk the cocoa powder into the powdered sugar first. You can skip this step, but it will take a little longer to combine the cocoa powder into the finished dough.) Add the peppermint, taste and adjust as needed. The dough will be mostly crumbs, but should stick together when squeezed into a ball. It should not be sticky at all. ***
Remove the dough from the mixer and pull off golf ball size sections. (At this point, you can also wrap the dough tightly and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to roll them out.) Roll each ball out into a long skinny strip about 1/2" in diameter. Slice the strips into tiny mint-size pieces. I used a pizza cutter to easily roll back and forth and slice them quickly.
Alternative method (for the impatient): Roll the dough out to approximately 1/4" thick. Use a knife or pizza cutter to slice the dough into 1/2" (or smaller) squares. They might not be as cute or as authentic looking, but it will only take a couple minutes to cut out all of the mints.
Spread the soft pieces across a baking sheet and allow them to sit at room temperature overnight. You could speed up the process and put them in the refrigerator uncovered. Mine were fine on the counter though. When they have hardened enough to store, transfer the mints to an airtight container. Enjoy!
* If you are making chocolate mints, reduce the powdered sugar by the amount of cocoa powder in the recipe. (After adding the powdered sugar to my recipe, I split the dough in half and added two tablespoons of cocoa powder to half of the dough. This resulted in a slightly more dry chocolate dough that was a bit more difficult to work with.)
** Be very careful when adding the peppermint extract to the dough. Peppermint is a significantly stronger extract than vanilla extract. Too much peppermint extract will ruin the flavor of the candies and cause them to taste like toothpaste. I filled a 1/2 teaspoon and only added about 1/4 teaspoon initially and then added another 1/8 teaspoon and finally the last 1/8 teaspoon to the mixture after tasting it each time.
*** If your mints are sticky, simply add additional powdered sugar, until you have the desired texture. It shouldn't take more than a a tablespoon or two extra sugar to achieve the right consistency. The humidity and temperature in the kitchen can affect them that way.
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