Friday, November 15, 2013

cream cheese mints . . .

Gracious!  The week's nearly gotten away from me and I've yet to post that recipe for cream cheese mints. Well then, without further ado, here 'tis . . .
These melt-in-your-mouth mints are a simple, classic candy that make any table look elegant! Here's the ingredient list:

1 4-ounce block of cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/8 teaspoon of peppermint oil (not extract)
5-10 drops of food coloring (more or less, depending on desired color)
1 to 1-1/2 pounds of confectioner's sugar
granulated or decorating sugar for rolling

Now for the process:

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, peppermint oil and food coloring. Use mixer and beat until well blended and food coloring is evenly distributed. Add confectioner's sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.  At some point, the mix will become too hard to use mixer and it'll be time to 'dig in' and mix by hand. Continue to add confectioner's sugar and knead by hand until mix is smooth and doesn't stick to your hands anymore. Be careful not to add so much sugar that it becomes stiff and dry. To this end, to keep the bulk of the candy pliable while I work with it, I keep a just damp paper towel over the mix.

~Take a break and rest your hands and get comfortable.  It's only just begun! The next part of the process is a marvelous opportunity have something mindless to do with your hands while you watch a movie or something.~

I have a rubber flexible candy mold that I use -- and have had terrific success with. I actually have several different shapes (it comes in *tons*) . . . leaves, daisies, hearts, etc., but this rose shape is the one I get the most use out of.
Of course, you can also make them without the molds. I have a friend who rolls them into balls and then uses a fork to flatten them, with the tines criss-crossing. The rubber mold is my preferred method and I've purchased mine from a local cake decorating shop for under $2 a mold. They're also available online -- do a search for 'rubber candy mold' and you'll get lots of options!

Roll the candy mix into approximately 1" balls. Oh, and for the record, I don't really recommend that you make these over your laptop keyboard! (Whoops...don't tell my hubby!)

The diameter is approximately 1" because it differs depending on the mold I'm using.  For the rose, it's actually a little smaller.  (Hint:  I don't make all my 1" balls ahead of time -- they get too dry and don't pick up the decorating sugar nicely.)

Next, roll the ball in the decorating sugar, to cover the entire top half of the ball. The red sugar on the pink candy was a little much ... normally I would have used a pink or an opalescent, but I was out.  So red it was.
Now we're going to press the ball, sugar side down, into the rubber mold:
Press it in completely and smooth out the top (a couple of thumb strokes should take care of this nicely).
Now it's a simple matter of popping the candy out of the mold.
Voila! Repeat this process about a hundred billion times. Seriously. No, not really! But this recipe does make about ten dozen, so be prepared to repeat the process about 119 times. Buy a handful of the same mold and you've got a great activity for a group of bridesmaids to help with while watching a romantic comedy, right?!  
I place my finished flowers on wax paper and allow to sit overnight (no more than twelve hours). After that, keep refrigerated in an air tight container. If you're making these up well in advance of a party/reception, they can be nicely frozen.
Typically if I'm layering the candies in a Tupperware container, I'll layer them with a sheet of wax paper to keep them from sticking to each other.

And that's all there is to it!  Please feel free to leave questions and I'll answer them "lick"ety-split!

****Edited to add:****
Chocolate mints are easy enough to make. Just sub out 1/4 cup of cocoa powder for and equal amount of confectioner's sugar. A couple of drops of red will make the "cocoa" color a little more intense. Use the mint or, if you prefer, use a couple of drops of almond oil or chocolate oil for a twist on the flavor! Everything else is the same.


10 expressed . . .:

Janet O. said...

A friend made these for the reception of one of my daughters. I never got the recipe from her, so thank, Denise! They look yummy. : )

gpc said...

I've never heard of these -- can't wait to try them! :)

Lee said...

Oh they look scrumptious...not sure I want to go to that effort though, at least not right now. I have a buttermold for individual butter pats, shell-shaped I think - it's packed up, that would probably be perfect - 9 or 12 at a time.

Doniene said...

OOOOOO la, la!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!


J MC said...

I remember these SO fondly, they were at every wedding of my youth. I just LOVED them. They never had the sugar or sprinkles on the top tho, just served (and delicious) all by themselves. It was so cool, too, that they could be tinted to match the bridesmaid dresses - all on my "dream list" for my wedding someday! I never did them, tho, but now for my 25th anniversary I just might!

AnnieO said...

Many holiday seasons ago I made a bunch of these to give to neighbors! They were very labor intensive but so tasty. Love your mold method!

Mary said...

I made mints for my oldest son's wedding. They are yummy. I used the melty's and added the mint to them. Have fun with yours. I could make them for an after Thanksgiving dinner mint! Good idea, huh?

Teresa in Music City said...

These look really delicious Denise! And of course, you always make everything look so pretty!

Lyndsey said...

mmmmm they look delicious. Recipe copied and ready to make with the Brownies in preparation for their Christmas party.

Kate said...

They look yummy. I'm always looking for fun recipes for our holiday party at work. I may give this one a try.