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cooks: butter mints

I decided to make butter mints for the first Mark Lamb Dance Salon I hosted at Metro Baptist Church. I had never made them before, but had fond memories of eating them. My decision to make these were inspired by the many weddings I went to when I was a kid. I remember the majority of the weddings I attended were short and sweet, usually with a reception held in the church fellowship hall. The fanciest parts of these receptions were mainly the crystal punch bowl, and lace table cloths.

Usually the fare served was mixed nuts, white cake with Crisco icing, punch, and perhaps country ham on a biscuit. And my favorite thing-butter mints! When I was deciding what I would serve at the first Salon, I wanted to make butter mints. Butter mints meant a celebration of love for me, and that is what I wanted to bring to Mark Lamb Dance's Salon Series-love. I warn you that these little pillows of goodness are addictive. Once they begin to dry, the outside has almost a chalky tooth, but then when it hits your tongue the peppermint refreshes. Eventually, when the mint melts further, the subtle tang of cream cheese comes through, and then finishes on the palate with the smooth taste of butter. For some odd reason, when they are laid out on parchment paper around the house to dry for a couple of days, MANY go missing? I usually double the recipe for such mysterious occurrences. So here's the recipe. I hope you have a celebration of love where you may serve them. Or just be a big old pig and make a batch for yourself!

Butter Mints

1 package of cream cheese

4 tablespoons butter

2 boxes of powdered sugar

3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt cream cheese and butter over low heat stirring it together. Use a non-stick sauce pan if you have it!

Once it is melted together, stir in the peppermint and vanilla extracts.

Gradually add in the powdered sugar, a little at a time. Wisk the sugar into the butter/cream cheese so as not to have lumps. Don't use a wimpy wisk! This will take some muscle.

Remove from heat.

I personally like the natural ivory color, but I know a bride can be a threat to be all "matchy-matchy" when it comes to wedding colors! If you want to add color, this is the time. Use a touch of coloring paste. Say like the head of a toothpick? Start with a little, mix it in and see if you like the shade. You can always add, but not take away.

Now, I want you to know the batter is going to look all runny and not correct. It is fine. Pour it out onto a piece of parchment paper or foil lined cookie sheet as best you can into a circle. If you are in a hurry pop it in the fridge.

Let this cool and dry for awhile.

Then cut it like you would a pie, and take a section and knead it a bit, then roll it into a rope. You can make the rope the the size and thickness you desire for the mint.

Then take a butter knife and use it to cut the mints into little pillows. I use my thumb and pointer finger to measure and give it a little squeeze as to fluff them up when I cut them. If you want them to be in a "shape", I have seen folks buy molds and take the mint dough and dip it into granulated sugar, then press it into small molds. (You need that granulated sugar to keep them from sticking.) I personally, am not a fan of the granulated sugar on the outside. It makes the mint a bit grainy. I like a smooth mint.

Lay them out on parchment paper lined surfaces, and let them dry for at least a day. If it is humid you may want to let them dry a little longer.

Store in airtight containers once dry.

I dare you not to pop one in your mouth before the full drying time is over.



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