Friday, January 31, 2014

Homemade Chocolate Cream Cheese Mints {Recipe}

These mints are perfect for a special Valentine, or any special occasion. And they are really, really easy to make.

What You Need
4 oz. (half of a block) of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 pound (approx. 3-5 cups) powdered sugar
2 tsp. creme de menthe (or 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract)*
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  10 oz. Chocolate Almond Bark (or Candy Melts)
  or Semi-sweet chocolate for melting

*I prefer Creme de Menthe for my mint-flavored treats. I just think the taste is better. You can find it in the liquor store or liquor aisle (if you don't live in Minnesota). For this recipe, the clear version would be better. I was stuck with green because that's what I usually carry.

Combine cream cheese and one cup of the powdered sugar in a mixer bowl, until well-blended.
(I start on low speed, and slowly move up to medium to keep the powdered sugar from flying out of the bowl.)
Add Creme de Menthe (or peppermint extract) and mix well, again.
*Note: If you want to add food coloring, now would be the smartest time to add it. I forgot to add it until I was kneading the dough, and it takes longer to get it incorporated. Add the coloring with the flavoring for easier blending.

** Note: I also made these using 3 tsp. cinnamon schnapps for a "red hot" kind... and made some with raspberry extract (1 tsp.) for raspberry ones. Both very tasty!

Add two more cups of powdered sugar, one at a time, mixing well with each addition.

At this point, your mixture is about the thickness of sugar cookie dough.
Dump it out onto a piece of parchment paper covered with the remaining cup of powdered sugar.

Knead the dough, incorporating the powdered sugar, until the dough is smooth and stiff enough to roll out.
See my note above about adding coloring.

Here's where you can do one of two things... you can either:
1.) Make Thumbprint Mints:

Roll the dough into shooter-marble-sized balls... and press your thumb into the center to make a well for the chocolate.
Now, you notice those pressed ones above, they're all cracked. Lesson learned. 

Press the dough with your thumb immediately after rolling it into a ball. If you don't, they will be cracked as you saw in the first picture. 

Fill the centers with some melted chocolate, and add a few sprinkles for decoration.

2.) Make Heart-Shaped Dipped Mints

Roll the dough to about 1/4" thickness. Cut using a small heart cutter. (Mine was about 1-1 1/2" long.)
-- I used the middle cutter of my fondant heart cutter set. You can find it here.

Place the cut-outs into the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes. Just enough to get them to get a little chilled, and hold their shape while you dip.

Melt almond bark or chocolate chips with 1-2 tsp. oil. Dip one half of the hearts in the chocolate.
Use a very light touch while dipping these. They can break somewhat easily.

Set on parchment (or waxed) paper to set. (Optional: Add sprinkles.)

Store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Click the Links Below to See:
More Valentine's Day Treat Ideas
Valentine's Day Love Letter Cookies
Valentine's Day Sandwich Cookies

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