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Friday, January 20, 2012

Hearts for My Sweetheart


We celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary last weekend. We dated (off and on) for 8 years before that, so, basically, we’ve been a couple since we were toddlers. Or something like that.

Our wedding was a small, hand-crafted affair. I planned the menu and my aunt organized the prep and relatives contributed their specialties; my mom and I made all the flower arrangements and such. We were even cutting edge and printed our invitations on the computer on some new-fangled invitation cardstock. Amazing, the energy we had then!

My husband’s favorite items at the reception (it was just appetizers, cake, and punch…I’m from a small town that doesn’t believe in big, sit-down dinner receptions…or didn’t back then) were the cream cheese mints my aunt made. Hers were pretty rosebuds, with crystallized sugar. This is my version, which I’ve made every year since for our anniversary and Valentine’s Day. It’s kind of silly…he gets two batches of them, a month apart. Oh, well, he’s lucky I still care enough to make them, right?

Cream Cheese Mints

3 oz cream cheese, softened…I use lowfat, like it matters
1 Tbsp butter, softened but NOT MELTED
3 cups powdered sugar
3 drops peppermint oil Gel food coloring of choice

Combine the cream cheese and butter until well blended, then add in the powdered sugar. It will be really stiff, so I usually finishing combining it with my hands. When it’s a heavy dough, knead in the peppermint oil and food coloring. I make some with the white dough, then partially knead in the coloring so it looks marbleized the second time I roll it out. It becomes more homogeneously colored each time you roll the dough. So plan accordingly.

To form the mints, either

1) Use a candy mold made for just such a purpose. Pinch off a small amount of your dough, roll in sugar, and press into the mold. Pop them out and let dry until firm.

2) Roll half the dough to a 1/4” thickness, then use small cookie cutters to cut out. This is the method I use, because I have a cute set of small heart cookie cutters. I bought it the year we were married, but I’m sure Wilton still makes something similar. I line a cookie sheet with wax paper and place the mints in a single layer on the waxed paper. Then I find somewhere I can hide them and let them dry for a few days, turning then over once. Usually the top shelf of a kitchen cabinet is a good choice. Nothing can get to them there.

Lucky me, this is the 9th house we’ve lived in for an anniversary since our wedding. So I’ve been able to explore my creativity by finding new hiding places for the mints in each house! My GI Joe gives and gives and gives, I’m telling you. Of course, that means he’s had to find just as many hiding places for the container. I rarely am offered one, once I’ve gifted them to him. Our kids don’t even know these mints exist.

Now go make some mints for your sweetie…they’ll be greatly appreciated! Probably not shared, but appreciated nonetheless.

1 comment:

  1. What a cool (and romantic) tradition! And yummy too. Hope you had a wonderful anniversary. Amazing how quickly the years pass isn't it?

    We had one heck of a snow/ice storm here. The kids would have loved it--about 18 inches in their old neighborhood! Just got power and internet back on. Thank goodness for generators. Lots of damage to the trees in our yard, but from what I can see, your's faired fairly well. Ahhh, global warming, ain't it wonderful?


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