Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I HEART...Homemade Wedding Mints

Everybody loves Wednesday, right?
The week's half over.  The weekend is on the way.
What's not to love?
Each Wednesday, I want to share something with you
that I absolutely love and can't live without!

I helped to host a shower for my cousin's wife last Sunday. We went for a traditional menu of petit fours, nuts, cheese straws and mints. I decided to make the mints from scratch. I have never done that before, but as I have eaten quite a few in my lifetime, I figured I had experience on my side.

I knew they would have to be refrigerated, and as my fridge is always full and my parents' never is (a complaint my daddy makes quite often!), I headed down the road to Mimi's kitchen. In the long run, she was a big help, and I enjoyed having her all to myself for an hour!

The recipe is quite simple - cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and flavoring. The method wasn't hard either.  Just took a little strength and patience!

Homemade Wedding Mints

one block cream cheese
six tablespoons butter
two pounds confectioners' sugar
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt cream cheese and butter over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add extract and powdered sugar in batches. Using a hand mixer, add the confectioners' sugar. All of the sugar may not be needed. Using a piping bag and icing tip, squeeze out mixture to form mints. Refrigerate immediately to set. May be kept two weeks in the refrigerator and up to four weeks in the freezer. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

The neat thing about this recipe is that you don't have to have your cream cheese or butter at room temp. (I always forget to lay them out ahead of time!) Be sure to have your cookie sheets ready before you start the melting process. I lined mine with wax paper. I also had my piping bag and tip ready to go.

When you melt the cream cheese and butter, it turns into something that resembles marshmallow creme! It was fluffy and shiny and I have to admit, we taste tested before even adding the sugar! We doubled the recipe and ended up adding all the sugar, but go don't want it to be so stiff you can't squeeze it out.

I also added a pinch of kosher salt. I always do this when making icing, too. It just balances the sugar a little.

This is it after we had added everything and started piping them out. I use a dark vanilla, and between that and my butter, they had a pretty off-white color.

They look a little pasty, but once they cool, they're really pretty. And let's face it, who cares what they look like...we're talking butter, sugar and cream cheese people.  YUM.

The recipe didn't tell how many it made, so I doubled it. Better safe than sorry, right? Well, we had enough. And then some! I made them pretty small (about 1" in diameter) and had seven trays full. With about 10 dozen per tray. Don't worry - I'll do the math for you. That's about 120 mints per tray and a total of 840 mints. OK - I may have overdone it a little, but they were well received. In fact, we had a youth group parents' meeting after church that night. I had put the leftovers in the fridge and someone who will remain nameless (but her initials are CGH and she just MAY or may not be one of my sisters-in-law!) smuggled not one, but two plate fulls out to our table during the meeting. There were four couples at the table, and we all took turns sticking our hands under the napkin to grab a couple (or dozen - I'm not judging).

I still had a few hundred (!!!) to bring home and I intend to stick them in the freezer to use later...but right now, they're conveniently housed on the second shelf of the fridge...

Note to self - one batch is probably enough in the future. Well, maybe...


I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!
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