Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cupcake Butter Mints

Cupcake Butter Mints

I had very nearly forgotten about butter mints until Kristan (lover of all things sparkly, and most certainly acookbook queen) made some for a virtual baby shower last week.  I decided to take another look at my own recipe for butter mints and give it a complete makeover.

Butter mints have always been standard shower fare here in the south. Although innocent looking, they are unapologetically sweet and best taken in small doses. Eating one is like taking a strait shot of minty buttercream icing.

I rarely get to eat these tiny treats, aside from showers and family parties.  When I sampled one from this batch I wasn't prepared for the flavor-triggered time warp.  Memories came flooding back of happy times and celebration.  I love when that happens.

 Instead of the usual flat discs or fancy molds, I re-imagined them into tiny fairy-sized cupcakes.  I think they'd be so cute for a little girls (or big girls) tea party.

Cupcake Butter Mints
Makes 30-40 candy cupcakes                                                                                     [click to print]

Special Equipment: 

  • Small plastic candy mold, such as a mini peanut butter cup mold or other mold that would make a good cupcake bottom shape
  • Piping bag fitted with a small closed star tip
1/2 cup butter softened
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp whipping cream plus 1- 1/2 for thinning batter
1/2 tsp mint oil - such as LorAnn (my favorite flavoring oils)
2-3 drops liquid green food coloring
Granulated sugar for rolling candy pieces in
Nonpareils for decorating

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter well.  Gradually add powdered sugar.  Mixture will be very dry.  When combined, add whipping cream and mint oil and mix again.  The mixture should become smooth and pliable - almost like play-doh.

Divide the candy dough in half.  Return half the dough to mixer and add green food coloring; mix again and cover the candy with plastic wrap.  Set aside.

Pinch off small pieces of white (uncolored) candy and roll in granulated sugar.  Press into candy molds and remove.  Place molded candy on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Repeat process until all candy has been used.  Let candies stand uncovered for 30 minutes.

While waiting for the white candies to dry, remove plastic wrap from green candy portion and mix on low speed in stand mixer. Add 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp whipping cream until candy is of piping consistency. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with star tip.  Pipe green candy on top of cupcake bottoms and sprinkle with nonpareils.

Allow mini cupcake candies to air dry for 1 hour.  After 1 hour drape a large tea towel over them and let them stand overnight.  The next day cupcake butter mints should be dry to the touch.  Display them on reception tables or package them in decorative bags.  Can be frozen for 3 months.

Note: Fruit flavored oils could also be used with this recipe for a "butter cream candy" instead of "butter mint candy". 

For a version made with cream cheese, you can find Kristan's recipe here.