Recipe slightly adapted from and with thanks to Averie Cooks
Servings: 60servings (5 mints per serving)
1/3cupsweetened condensed milkor this homemade substitute for condensed milk
3 1/4cupspowdered sugar *
1/2teaspoonpeppermint extract **
Optional: 1/4 cup cocoa powder *reduce the powdered sugar by the amount of cocoa used
In a mixing bowl, combine the soft butter and salt. Beat for a moment to combine. Add the condensed milk and beat again to combine. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time, beating to combine thoroughly. Add the peppermint, taste and adjust as needed. The dough will be mostly crumbs, but should stick together when squeezed into a ball. It should not be sticky at all.
Remove the dough from the mixer and pull off golf ball size sections. (At this point, you can also wrap the dough tightly and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to roll them out.) Roll each ball out into a long skinny strip about 1/2" in diameter. Slice the strips into tiny mint-size pieces. I used a pizza cutter to easily roll back and forth and slice them quickly.
Alternative method (for the impatient): Roll the dough out to approximately 1/4" thick. Use a knife or pizza cutter to slice the dough into 1/2" (or smaller) squares. They might not be as cute or as authentic looking, but it will only take a couple minutes to cut out all of the mints.
Spread the soft pieces across a baking sheet and allow them to sit at room temperature overnight. You could speed up the process and put them in the refrigerator uncovered. Mine were fine on the counter though. When they have hardened enough to store, transfer the mints to an airtight container. Enjoy!
To Make Chocolate Butter Mints
Reduce the powdered sugar by the amount of cocoa powder in the recipe. Whisk the cocoa powder into the powdered sugar first, before adding the powdered sugar to the recipe. You can skip this step, but it will take a little longer to combine the cocoa powder into the finished dough.
*Be very careful when adding the peppermint extract to the dough. Peppermint is a significantly stronger extract than vanilla extract. Too much peppermint extract will ruin the flavor of the candies and cause them to taste like toothpaste. I filled a 1/2 teaspoon and only added about 1/4 teaspoon initially and then added another 1/8 teaspoon and finally the last 1/8 teaspoon to the mixture after tasting it each time.**If your mints are sticky, simply add additional powdered sugar, until you have the desired texture. It shouldn't take more than a tablespoon or two extra sugar to achieve the right consistency. The humidity and temperature in the kitchen can affect them that way.