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Desserts

Pastel mints

Pastel mints
Los Angeles Times

Every spring as a kid, I reveled in the same Easter basket filled with store-bought candy that all of the other kids in the neighborhood tore into: plastic eggs stuffed with foil-wrapped, peanut butter-filled chocolates, marshmallows machine-molded into pink bunnies ... Read more

Total time: 30 minutes, plus chilling and drying time | Makes 4 to 6 dozen
  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Red, yellow, green and blue food coloring

Step 1In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar, lemon juice and peppermint extract and continue to beat until a consistent, smooth dough forms, 3 to 4 minutes.

Step 2Portion the mixture and knead in food coloring as desired. Press each portion into a flat disc, no more than one-half-inch thick. Wrap each disc tightly in plastic wrap and chill just until firm, about 1 hour.

Step 3Generously dust your work surface and hands with powdered sugar. Working with a few small pieces at a time (keep the remaining mint dough chilled until ready to use), roll the dough into one-third-inch-thick ropes and twirl or knead the colors together as desired. Cut the ropes into small pieces and transfer to a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Alternatively, roll about 1 teaspoon of the dough into a ball and then press a sugar-dusted thumb into the center to form flattened, round mints.

Step 4Set aside the mints, loosely covered with a sheet of wax paper, in a cool, dry place until they are dried on the outside and just slightly soft on the inside, 8 hours to overnight.

Note: No-cook cream cheese mints are one of the easiest candies to make at home. Roll these into thin straws or press into round mints. Twist or marble the colors for even more variation, if you like.

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