I found this recipe in a magazine a few months ago and was excited to try them as part of my "holiday goody bags" this year. SO easy and great to have the kids help (my 4 & 2 year old pressed EVERY snowflake sprinkle on EVERY mint!). Really I think I will make these throughout the year instead of buying packaged mints for special occasions. They are THAT EASY!
Makes about 1 pound
1/2 stick unsalted butter cut into slices, at room temperature
1 pound confectioners sugar (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ice water
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Green, red, blue, and yellow food coloring
In a large bowl, cut butter into sugar with two knives or your fingers. Add 1 tablespoon ice water, salt, and peppermint oil, and toss with a fork. Press mixture into a ball; if it seems crumbly, add more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until dough presses together easily. Turn dough out onto a work surface and knead until it's smooth and satiny, 3 to 4 minutes. Quarter dough, then tint each quarter a different color with food coloring (use sparingly; paler colors are prettier). You also could leave a quarter white. Roll dough into 1/2-inch balls and flatten them slightly with your palm (keep remaining dough covered with plastic wrap as you work so it doesn't dry out).
Making the mints fancier depends on your child's age, ambition, and fine-motor skills.
They need to set for 2 to 3 hours, uncovered, at room temperature. Then move them to a covered container in a cool place (where they should ripen for 2 days to improve flavor and make them easier to handle) before being eaten or packed to ship. They will keep at room temperature for 2 weeks and in the fridge for a month.
~ recipe from "Wondertime" magazine, by Ann Hodgman ~