This recipe for butter mints was inspired by the mints that were served at bridal teas when I was growing up. The teas were stuffy, dressy affairs and usually just for ladies. Along with the mints, they typically served punch, nuts, and petit fours. I always felt uncomfortable at these gatherings as a kid, and my only consolation was the food they served. Especially the mints. Most of the time the mints came from a local bakery, and were creamy, buttery, and addictive.
This recipe definitely captures the nostalgia of the mints I enjoyed as a kid, but I updated them so that they are more fun than formal.
They are made from simple ingredients: confectioners sugar, butter, milk, vanilla, and peppermint extract.
Make sure your butter is soft, and blend it with the confectioners sugar and other ingredients with an electric mixer.
It will be crumbly, but not to worry. Be very patient and use the warmth of your hands to blend it together. Add a little more milk if it’s too dry, but you shouldn’t need to.
After a bit of blending with your hands it should look like a smooth dough.
Divide the dough into balls. I used four colors, but do whatever works for your color scheme.
Start by adding a drop or two of food coloring to each ball, then you can increase the color intensity if you want to by gradually adding more drops. If you want a light pastel, then start with just one drop. It will appear streaky at first, but continue to knead it together for a few minutes, and the streaky parts will blend in.
Keep the colors separate like you had to with Play-Doh. Same reasoning.
Sprinkle a small amount of confectioners sugar on the counter and on your rolling pin to keep the dough from sticking. It’s very pliable and easy to work with, though, so you shouldn’t need much. Roll it to about 1/4 inch thickness, or your preference.
I used these plunger cutters to cut them into flower shapes. You can find them on Amazon here. They are great tools to have on hand. I’ve also used them to cut pastry, cookie dough, and fondant. I used the largest one for this.
The plunger cutter will create a slight indentation in the flower which is perfect to hold a rolled dot of another color. After I cut out the flower shapes, I rolled leftover dough into tiny balls and placed them in the center of each flower. If you add the centers before the flowers dry they will stay in place.
Leave the mints out to dry for several hours. I even flip them over to let their undersides dry for a little while, too. This recipe makes about 150 small mints. These freeze really well if you want to do them ahead.
They are very cheerful on a platter.
You can also use them as after dinner mints. This tiny silver tray is a wedding favor that I bought at Michaels a few years ago. I don’t think they carry them anymore, so here is a link to some that are similar. I love tiny things.
What I actually used these mints for was a baby shower we gave one of my coworkers. We had Mexican for lunch, so I thought the mints would be a refreshing finish. I got these toddler bowls and spoons at Target and used them to serve the mints, then gave them to the mom-to-be. The bowls and Mexican theme are what inspired my bright colors.
These took me two hours to make, start to finish, but I will share a few ways to make them less time consuming:
- Make fewer colors, even all one color if you want.
- Use a bigger cutter, but that will make fewer mints.
- If you make flowers, you can skip the center dots.
- If you do make center dots, you don’t have to make them in all different colors.
Try any of the above time savers if you need to, but be prepared for them to be considerably less cute. They are totally worth the time to me. You can also make them in increments if that helps.
Speaking of tiny things, the mints were also the perfect size for Maddox and his little brother Miffy, who have a furnished apartment in a bookshelf upstairs. My grandsons love them. Maddox is a celebrated children’s author, and will be the subject of a post in the near future.
I hope you will try customizing these yummy mints to suit your next shower or special occasion!
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 pound confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- Food coloring of choice
- Mix ingredients with a mixer until blended. The mixture will resemble coarse crumbs.
- Knead the crumbs together with your hands to form a smooth, pliable dough. You can add a little more milk if it's too dry.
- Divide into balls and add food coloring to each until well blended.
- Sprinkle a small amount of confectioners sugar onto the counter and on your rolling pin to keep the dough from sticking. Roll dough out to about ¼" thickness.
- Cut into desired shapes and place on cookie sheets to dry.
- These will be good in an airtight container for several days and they also freeze well.