Christ­mas But­ter­mints,

Southern Living (USA) - - Contents -

When freshly made, but­ter­mint dough has the con­sis­tency of mod­el­ing clay. You can roll it and cut it with fan­ci­ful cookie cut­ters, press it into candy molds, or sim­ply roll it into logs and cut into pieces with a sharp knife. The mints need 24 hours to rest and dry, un­cov­ered, be­fore they’ll be firm enough to serve.

AC­TIVE 30 MIN. - TO­TAL 24 HOURS, 30 MIN.

| MAKES ABOUT 10 DOZEN CANDIES|

1. Line a large bak­ing sheet with parch­ment pa­per. Beat but­ter with a stand mixer or hand mixer on medium speed un­til light and creamy,

1 to 2 min­utes. With mixer on low speed, grad­u­ally add pow­dered sugar, and beat un­til mix­ture forms a stiff, crumbly dough, 1 to 2 min­utes, stop­ping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add evap­o­rated milk, pep­per­mint ex­tract, vanilla ex­tract, and fine sea salt. (If us­ing pep­per­mint oil, start with 6 drops, and taste the dough to see if a stronger pep­per­mint fla­vor is de­sired be­fore adding more oil.) Beat on medium speed un­til mix­ture is smooth and soft and has the con­sis­tency of mod­el­ing clay, 2 to 3 min­utes.

2. Re­move dough from mixer bowl, and shape into a smooth ball. Cut ball in half; wrap 1 dough ball half in plas­tic wrap, and set aside. To color the re­main­ing dough ball half, use a wooden pick to de­posit a lit­tle of the red food col­or­ing gel onto dough; mas­sage in with your fingers un­til evenly blended. Keep adding food col­or­ing gel, a lit­tle at a time, un­til it reaches the de­sired shade of red.

3. Di­vide red dough por­tion and re­served white dough por­tion into 4 equal por­tions each to make 8 equal por­tions (4 red and 4 white). On a flat work sur­face sprin­kled with some pow­dered sugar, gen­tly knead to­gether 2 red por­tions of dough with 2 white por­tions of dough un­til the mix­ture looks mar­bled. (Do not over­mix.) Roll into a long, smooth, 1⁄2- inch-thick log with vis­i­ble swirls of both red and white color show­ing. Us­ing a sharp knife, cut log into 60 ( 1⁄2- inch-thick) pieces. Re­peat process with re­main­ing 2 red dough por­tions and 2 white dough por­tions. Trans­fer but­ter­mints to pre­pared bak­ing sheet.

4. Let but­ter­mints dry at room tem­per­a­ture, un­cov­ered, 24 hours. (They’ll de­velop a crisp outer shell with a sweet, creamy, minty mid­dle.) At this point, but­ter­mints can be bagged up for giv­ing as gifts, spooned into a candy dish, or stored in an air­tight con­tainer or zi­plock plas­tic bag for up to 2 weeks. 12 ⁄ cup un­salted but­ter, at room

tem­per­a­ture

1 lb. pow­dered sugar, plus more for

work sur­face

2 Tbsp. evap­o­rated milk 1 tsp. pep­per­mint ex­tract (or 6 to 8 drops

pure pep­per­mint oil)

18 ⁄ tsp. vanilla ex­tract

18 ⁄ tsp. fine sea salt Red food col­or­ing gel (such as Christ­mas

Red or Su­per Red)

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