Old-Fashioned Butter Mints

One of the highlights of going to my grandma’s house when I was growing up, in addition to playing Gin Rummy for money at age six, was raiding her candy dish.

She used to have Jolly Ranchers, butterscotch candies, and after dinner mints in that little white dish with the lid. When you’re six,”after dinner” means the minute you can get your sweaty little mitts on the mints, you do.

Old-Fashioned Butter Mints - Easy, no-bake recipe for creamy, smooth mints like your grandma kept in her candy jar or that you'd get in a restaurant!

I decided it was time to make my own meltaway mints since I have such fond memories of them.

Skylar told me the pink mints taste better. But of course.

In actuality, same batter but that concept wasn’t fully registering. All that was registering was pink food.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Old-Fashioned Butter Mints - Easy, no-bake recipe for creamy, smooth mints like your grandma kept in her candy jar or that you'd get in a restaurant!

They are so smooth and just melt in your mouth. Normally with mints, one is all you need. Maybe two. With these, you want at least 17 because they are cool yet sweet, firm yet melty. Plus they’re tiny.

It may not have been the brightest idea to make a recipe that needed to be sliced into 250 little pieces (just a guess) and I am not one for extra steps and monkey business and fussy recipes, but I rolled the dough into long skinny logs in between my hands and it felt like I was playing with Play-Doh.

I lined up the logs and sliced through them with a pizza cutter. Back and forth, back and forth. The whole process took about 20 minutes and wasn’t that bad. I did it after Skylar went to bed (no lighting, no pictures) because I didn’t want her eating gobs of the Play-Doh.

Scooping cookies with a cookie scoop so they’re all uniform can take just as long as Project Mint Roll Out.

Old-Fashioned Butter Mints - Easy, no-bake recipe for creamy, smooth mints like your grandma kept in her candy jar or that you'd get in a restaurant!

Now, instead of just memories of raiding my grandma’s candy dish, I can raid my own.

You will never want a storebought after dinner mint again. If you’ve never had the mints I speak of these or these are the ones but now I can make my own.

Old-Fashioned Butter Mints - Easy, no-bake recipe for creamy, smooth mints like your grandma kept in her candy jar or that you'd get in a restaurant!

These will make a perfect holiday gift and one batch makes enough to gift to a few people.

I used red and green food coloring but you could make these for Easter, Mother’s Day, a baby or bridal shower and use pastels. The un-dyed dough is stark white and a blank canvas.

I also thought about dipping these in melted chocolate for chocolate-covered mints but didn’t know if the dough would hold up as it took a searingly warm chocolate bath, so I skipped the dipping and that little what if.

Old-Fashioned Butter Mints - Easy, no-bake recipe for creamy, smooth mints like your grandma kept in her candy jar or that you'd get in a restaurant!

 

Old-Fashioned Butter Mints - Easy, no-bake recipe for creamy, smooth mints like your grandma kept in her candy jar or that you'd get in a restaurant!

*Note: Mint extract cannot be undone and if you plan to make these, make sure you read my mint cautionary tales in the recipe section. You want to eat mints. Not eat a bottle of Listerine.

Old-Fashioned Butter Mints

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter, softened (I used unsalted, but salted may be substituted based on preference)

1/4 teaspoon salt (consider omitting if you used salted butter)

3 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar plus 1/4 cup+, if needed

1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract*

food coloring, optional

Directions:

To the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and salt and beat for 1 minute on medium-high speed. Add 3 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, milk, peppermint, and beat on medium-low speed until a dough forms. If the dough seems wet, add additional confectioners’ sugar until dough combines (I use 3 1/2 cups sugar). The dough will be crumbly but will come together when pinched and squeezed into a ball.

Taste the batter. If you want a more intense mint flavor, add additional mint extract, to taste.* Be very careful how much mint you add; you cannot un-do this. I repeat, be very, very careful with how much you add. Even 1/8th teaspoon peppermint extract can change flavors, dramatically.

Remove dough from the mixer, separate it into 1 to 4 smaller balls, and add one ball back into the mixer. Add the food coloring of your choice to the ball by squirting the droplets on top of the dough (careful when you turn on the mixer), and paddle on low speed until coloring is well-blended. Coloring will not blend completely into each and every speck of dough if examined extremely closely, but overall, mix until color is uniform. (I separated approximately two-thirds of the dough and made it green using about 15 drops green food coloring and made one-third of the dough red-pink by using about 7 drops red food coloring).

Wash the mixing bowl and the paddle in between each color change and repeat until all the balls are colored. After the dough has been colored, either wrap it with plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator to be rolled out later or roll it immediately.

Place a golf-ball sized amount of dough in your hands and roll dough into long thin cylinders about 1 centimeter wide. Place cylinders on countertop and with a pizza cutter (or knife – be careful of your counter), slice cylinders into bite-sized pieces, approximately 1 centimeter long. Store mints in an airtight container in the refrigerator where they will keep for many weeks.

*A few notes about mint extracts: They are much more intensely flavored and potent than vanilla extract; 1 teaspoon of mint extract has an extreme amount of potency compared with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. You cannot un-do mint once added so be very, very careful to not over-do it and end up with a bottle of Listerine-tasting food. There are different kinds of mint extracts available and are labeled as “mint, “peppermint”, “spearmint” and more. For this recipe I used store-brand (Kroger/Ralph’s) “peppermint extract” sold in a small 1 ounce bottle. Select the version of “mint” you think sounds best as not all types are available in all areas.

Recipe variations and thoughts: I suspect this recipe would be nice with cinnamon extract, lemon or orange extract, or many other specialty-flavored extracts from butter to rum to coconut to coffee extract. I have not tried making the dough first into a ball and then adding the extract after the dough has combined, thereby making it easier to customize the flavors from one big batch of mints into 50 pieces of orange, 50 pieces of cinnamon and so forth. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that extract added after the dough has combined would not disperse well and some pieces would be insanely strongly flavored and others would hardly be flavored at all. Working in an even smaller batch size is an option, although a bit challenging because less than one-quarter cup butter begins to be challenging.

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332 comments on “Old-Fashioned Butter Mints”

  1. Hi there! I used this recipe years ago to make these scrumptious butter mints. At the time I used peppermint extract and they turned out delicious, however I’m wondering if you’ve ever tried Peppermint Essential Oil instead of the extract, and if so, what the ratio of it you could use?
    Thanks for your help!
    Angela

    • Haven’t tried any other way than exactly how I wrote it so can’t give suggestions for substitution quantities. Since they turned out great for you before, I’d be inclined to change nothing and repeat!

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  3. My sister and I were just talking about how one year at Christmas, our Mom made soft peppermint candies. Neither of us are old enough to remember how Mom made them. But I am going to try your recipe and see if I can recreate some Christmas memories.

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  6. Candies like this are meant to “Air Dry” after to harden up so they get firm to the touch not sit in air tight containers and defiantly not in a refrigerator. I worked in a candy store that made all kinds of things like this. From hand dipped Carmel Apples, fudge, cast chocolate, cinnamon candy, hard candy, peanut brittle, too many to many items to list by name, anything that was traditional and specialized in wedding items. I notice some in the comments are confusing theses with the traditional “Wedding” mints made with Cream cheese. I have made millions of those for countless wedding both at the store and for my Grandmother who decorated cakes for weddings. They also need to dry out in an open container the dough can be made ahead and like yours kept in the freezer for at least a year or longer. We would make 10lbs batches at a time freeze then take out what we needed color/flavor and mold it. Once they are air dried then they can be kept in a air tight container especially if you life in an “Wet” climate or you home has lots of humidity, say an area like Washington where it rains a lot of the time. For Christmas Weddings we used to make Red and White peppermint Candy-Cains out of the Wedding mint mix its a lot like working with Fondant. If your mold stick spray with pan spray or dust lightly with powdered sugar the key to getting good molded mints is to keep the dough cold and firm. To only work it in small as need batches so keep the majority in the refrigerator only take out enough to mold a little at a time. If it gets warm your in for a sticky icky frustrating mess.

    • Thanks for commenting made it so much easier to make

    • I agree with your hints regarding the storage and keeping candy cold and working with small amts at a time. I as well worked in a candy shop a few years on Macinack Island. TY Averie for this recipe… I’m going to give it a whirl, it’s similar to the one I used to use.

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  9. could i use coconut oil instead?????

  10. I would love to make these with my daughter, it all I have is a handheld mixer with the standard attachments. Not a paddle attachment. Is there a way I can still make them??

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  13. I am afraid if I put these in an airtight container in the fridge to store they will stick together. Do you dry them on the counter first? I want to make a big amount for a baby shower in pink and need to store them for a week. Also after storing in fridge do they soften up when put in a candy dish for serving? They will sit out for a few hours.

  14. I have made these before, just with butter and sugar. i used a fork to mix it together, until it was soft and creamy. I used to use mint, but my family doesn’t care for the mint, so I just use food coloring and end up with “butter” mints. I roll them in little balls on waxed paper and flatten with a fork, like peanut butter cookies. I let them air dry, until they are no longer sticky, turning them a couple times a day. This does sometimes take a couple of days, and of course they do get eaten upon in the process.

  15. I just made these & they turned out terrific! I didn’t use a mixer, just my trusty wooden spoon at first then hands to fully knead in all ingredients. I didn’t use coloring though, the next time I may and utilize plastic gloves. I started with 3 cups of the powdered sugar and gradually added the last 1/2 cup. When time came to rolling, it broke apart, so I grated a little more butter over & worked it in and then it rolled out fine. Now, comes the hard part..waiting for them to fully dry. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. I used the lemon extract for Easter and it works great

  17. I was thinking about making one big mint with the entire mixture and then do a chocolate outer coating, do you know how I might do this?

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