I have bit of a soft spot for buttermints. You know the ones...those baby pink, yellow, and green candies that used to be in your grandma's candy dish or in little tulle satchels as wedding favors. The ones that feel like little soft mint pillows melting away into your mouth. Sure, they taste a little like chalk, but they really bring me back to a sweet, child-like place.
Buttermints are really simple to make and they are perfect for Valentine's Day because you can cut them into any shape or color you want. Also, like many things, the homemade version will change the way you look at this candy - it's not chalky at all, but instead the homemade buttermints are softer and much more rich and decedent. I also experimented with another version - chocolate buttermints. They feel almost like minty truffles and are so smooth and luxurious, so if you are a fan of the chocolate + mint combination, these are perfection! And they make the perfect gift for Valentine's Day!
makes about 15 dozen mints
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon cream or milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4-1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Beat butter in a stand mixer using the paddles attachment until smooth. Add powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract and mix on medium speed until candy is smooth. Taste the candy and add more peppermint as needed - the extract is usually quite strong, so start with a small amount and add more in 1/4 teaspoon increments until it meets your taste. Remember, you can always add more mint, but you can't go backwards - a little goes a long way.
Once you have the right flavor, you can add your color and mix until fully combined. The dough will be very thick, but pliable.
To make mint chocolates : Follow the above recipe and simply add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder + 1 teaspoon milk or cream and omit the coloring!
I wanted to give these as little Valentines gifts, so I packaged them up in small cellophane bags and made up this little label for them!
Print the labels onto cardstock and cut into 1/4 sheets. Fold and staple over 3"x5" cellophane bags filled with candy. Give and spread joy!