December 18: Mint Meltaways

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We are one week from Christmas and 6 days away from the end of this year’s cookies. My cookie table is looking quite crowded with this month’s abundance.

After making the world’s largest meatloaf last night, I ran out of eggs. I didn’t feel like going to the store today, so I remembered back to a few years ago when I was in the same situation. Mint Meltaways (auto spell check keeps trying to change this to Beltways) contains no eggs, so that is my cookie today.

This is our star today.

The thing with peppermint extract is that’s not like vanilla extract, in that if a little is good, more must be better. Peppermint extract is strong and spicy, and nothing you want to overdo it on. Use the exact amount called for. Don’t improvise. I saw an episode of Holiday Baking Championship on Food Network where someone did, and he was eliminated. I bet whenever he smells peppermint extract, he becomes sick with failure.

Anyway, enough of my PSA.

I mixed together my dough and brought out another shining star.

If you’ve followed my blog for a few years, you’ll recall how I’ve tried various different colors for this, all in the name of fun. One year, it was black. One year it was Oscar the Grouch pulp green. This year, I wanted to do red. But not just any red. The best red. No offense to Wilton, but their reds suck, and this one by AmeriColor is the best red around. I mean, besides me.

I plopped my red balls on a tray and baked them. The recipe says bake until golden, but there’s no golden in my blood-sacrifice red mint cookies. I timed it pretty well and they came out nicely.

The mint frosting (again, do not add more–1/4 teaspoon is just enough) whips up pretty quickly. I used a star tip to put a dollop of minty goodness on each. Generally, I have peppermint dust to sprinkle on the tops of these cookies, but not today. I put a little red ball on each, which kinda makes them look like strange red nipples, but hey, more mature people may not think they look like anything but fun festive cookies.

Mint Meltaways

(from tasteofhome.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • FROSTING:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 to 3 drops red food coloring, optional
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

Directions:

In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract. Combine flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Shape into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

In a small bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add the confectioners’sugar, milk, extract and, if desired, food coloring; beat until smooth. Spread over cooled cookies; sprinkle with crushed candies.

Store in an airtight container.

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