December 9, 2013: Butter Mints

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I know. They aren’t cookies. Sue me. I love butter mints.

When I made these last year, they were about the only thing I snuck handfuls of when I wasn’t supposed to. Which was pretty much all the time. There’s just something about these though that make me want to eat myself into a diabetic coma. Maybe it’s the peppermint. Maybe it’s the hint of vanilla. Maybe it’s the fact that they are just so…portable.

In the midst of making these, I realized I was out of powdered sugar, and I had no intention of going out for more. So I did what any lazy baker with an internet connection does: google “how to make powdered sugar.”

Turns out, it’s just sugar and cornstarch, put in a food processor. I tried my food processor. Eh. Not so processed, it turned out.

So then I asked myself, “Self? What can we do to fix this?” And it turns out, I’m pretty smart. I dug out my coffee bean grinder and gave it a whirl. (In all honesty, I got this for my wedding 12 years ago, and have ground coffee beans in it twice. But I’ve ground nuts it in multiple times.)

That worked.

This recipe is very easy, but the dyeing of the dough is were things get interesting. I had to knead the dye into the mixture, making me the lead witness in a Muppet-cide case.
Still haven’t made it back to JoAnn’s for better red Wilton dye, so my red looks like something from a play-doh kit. 
After chilling it, I cut my ropes into bite-sized pieces. And, as it turns out, Gil the new kitten ALSO loves butter mints, so he got some of his own. (Because what cat doesn’t love butter mints?)
I did no re-touching of this photo. That “red” is so bright, it messes up the rest of my vision.
Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened
3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon half-and-half cream or milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
Red and green paste or liquid food coloring, optional


Directions

In a large bowl, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar, cream and
extracts. If desired, divide dough into portions and knead in food
coloring.
Form into balls by teaspoonfuls; flatten into patties, or roll
between two pieces of waxed paper to 1/8-in. thickness and cut into
desired shapes. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or
overnight. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: about 8 dozen.

Cookies today: Psych! I made candy and I’m not counting them all!
Cookies this year: Whatever it was yesterday, plus a batch of butter mints.

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