I think of butter mints alongside turkey and stuffing, not hearts and flowers. Thanksgiving always meant butter mints when I was a kid. My Nanny (English grandmother, not baby-sitter) would have a bowl of them sitting on top of her giant TV, temptingly out of reach. It was the best turkey day ever when I was tall enough to reach up and help myself to sweet buttery goodness that dissolved on my tongue. I’m not sure what made it pop into my head to make my own mints, but when I realized how EASY it is, I couldn’t wait until next fall. I decided to make some for Valentine’s Day (season). Which, as you may or may not know, runs from the second week of January until mid-February. It’s true. Just ask Hallmark.
You could make these for any occasion. Football party – team colors. Wedding motif. Birthday themed colors. They were a snap to whip together and so delightful, I plan to make some more for my daughter to bring to school for her friends. They’re so easy, my 5-year-old can probably make them mostly herself. I’m thinking a little baggie of them with a heart topper that says “A friend like you is worth a mint!” or maybe “I forgot what I “mint” to say. I remember now, Happy Valentine’s Day”. Or some other equally cheesy, totally embarrassing saying. Something like this…
Please don’t judge me on my crafting skills. I have never claimed to be clever in that area.
Butter mints are basically butter and powdered sugar. With a little peppermint for taste and some milk to hold it together. Which means —- they are gluten free!
Start by creaming the butter till light and fluffy.
Then add in the powdered sugar until the mixture is combined, dry and crumbly.
Then mix in milk and a little peppermint extract. Beat until combined. This will take a couple of minutes. Don’t add more liquid. Just be patient, it will come together. This is after 2 minutes in my electric mixer.
Again. Don’t add more milk! Finally after a couple more minutes – it forms a dough ball.
Perfect! I didn’t need to adjust the amounts of milk/sugar at all.
Mix in food coloring. I decided to go with pink hues. And after mixing in the first batch, I realized that food coloring on the counter was a mistake.
Using 1/4 cup chunks, roll into a log and cut into small pieces.
Place on parchment paper and leave out to dry for 24-48 hours.
So tempting to try them before they are done drying. Resist. Must resist.
Aren’t they pretty? Delicious too!
Valentine’s Day Butter Mints
Makes about 80-100 small mints, adapted from Fearless Homemaker
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
3-4 drops peppermint oil (or 1 tsp peppermint extract – i used peppermint extract)
food coloring of your choice (I used red, made a few logs when it was white, added coloring, a few more logs pink, added some more coloring, few more logs red)
In a stand mixer, beat the softened butter for 1 minute until light + fluffy. Add the powdered sugar + mix thoroughly until the mixture is dry + crumbly. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides + bottom of bowl.
Add the milk + the peppermint oil or extract. Mix thoroughly until the dough comes together + thickens. It should be very thick, not sticky + easy to mold — similar to playdough. If needed, adjust the consistency with a drop or two of milk or a dash more of powdered sugar.
Depending on how many colors you want to make, divide the dough. Add a drop of two of food coloring to each dough portion, + mix it into the dough, either by hand or by using a stand mixer. Add more color if needed.
Lay out parchment paper on the counter + dust with powdered sugar. break off about 1/4 cup pieces + roll into long, skinny logs (about 1/2” thick). Slice into 1/2” pieces with a pastry cutter or knife.
Lay out in a single layer + let dry/harden for 24-48 hours.