I am not a huge candy person. I rarely eat it or buy it for my kids. I much prefer ice cream. Candy, to me, is more of a treat meant for holidays.
Due to the fact we have food restrictions I usually make our candy. There is an online shop I can buy some candy at, but it adds up fast. Besides, there is a joy in making treats that are special for those you love.
I have a few tried and true recipes. For example, every Christmas I make pomegranate clusters (recipe found here). This is a favorite and I only make it for Christmas in order to keep it special.
This year I really wanted to try something new. I found a recipe for butter mints and I wondered if I could make it safe for my kids. I managed to successfully change the recipe! Yay! So without further ado here is my recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.
Old-Fashioned Dairy-Free Butter Mints
- 1 1/4 cup butter substitute (I use Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread)
- 3 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar plus 1/4 cup+, if needed**
- 1/3 cup Cream of Coconut (this is NOT coconut milk! Make sure you are getting cream of coconut)
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract*
- food coloring, optional (I use natural food coloring)
**Due to the fact that store bought confectioner’s sugar has corn in it I make my own. All you have to do is put sugar, 1 cup at a time or 2 if you have a high-powered one like Vitamix, in a blender or food processor and make it into powder. Some people will tell you to add a starch but I do not feel it is necessary unless you want to make enough to keep on your pantry shelf. If that is the case here is a good recipe for you.
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth; about 1 minute-ish on medium-high. Add 3 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, cream of coconut, and peppermint. Beat on medium-low speed until a dough forms. If the dough seems wet add additional confectioners’ sugar until dough combines; being careful not to add too much. The dough will be crumbly but will come together when squeezed into a ball.
Taste the batter. If needed, add additional mint extract.*Be very, VERY careful how much mint you add; you cannot undo this!!*
If you want multiple colors remove dough from the mixer and separate into smaller balls. I opted for red and green (Christmas colors). Add the food coloring (I started with 8 drops) of your choice to the ball and mix on low speed until the color is well blended. Add more color as needed to achieve the desired look.
Wash the mixing bowl and the paddle in between each color change and repeat until all the balls are colored. Make sure these are completely dry or they will mess up your dough consistency!
Place a golf ball sized amount of dough in your hands and roll dough into long, thin ropes. I found it easiest to roll all of the dough of one color and place each rope next to each other on the counter. I then used a pizza cutter and cut through all the ropes, creating bite sized pieces. I did have to add a bit of powered sugar to my counters as my house was a bit warm and the dough was getting slightly sticky, but be careful not to add too much!
Store mints in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They they will keep for several weeks.
*Please note that mint extracts are far more intensely flavored and potent than vanilla extract; You will NOT use a 1:1 ratio! It is more like 1/8 teaspoon of mint extract to 1 teaspoon of vanilla. It is best to add very little and add more as needed since you cannot undo the flavor.
There are different kinds of mint extracts available. You will find mint, peppermint, spearmint, etc. I used what I had on hand; Watkins Pure Peppermint Extract. Next time I will use Frontier Mint, which has a more spearmint smell to it. Use what sounds, smells, tastes best for you.
I do think I will try other extracts for different holidays. I am thinking that for Easter I will try lemon or orange. I imagine cinnamon, rum, coffee, etc could also work. If you try any of these let me know how they turn out!
If you want to make the dough and walk away for a bit you can store it in the fridge. Wrap it with plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container until you are ready to roll it out.