A little retro and a whole lot of fun, cream cheese mints are the perfect way to keep little hands busy while the grown-ups complete the Easter dinner preparations.
Make up the dough, then let the kids play around with different flavors and colors (or not, if avoiding pink and green hands). They also can form the mints in a variety of shapes using molds, fingers or kichen utencils.
Consider making lemon mints, classic peppermints, or orange cream mints. You even could do mocha mints with coffee and chocolate extracts.
Retro Cream Cheese Mints
•8-ounces cream cheese
•2 pounds powdered sugar
•Flavorings or extracts of your choice
•Gel food coloring (optional)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and about a quarter of the powdered sugar. Using the dough hook, begin mixing. As the mixture comes together, add the remaining powdered sugar, a quarter at a time, mixing well between each addition. The dough also can be mixed by hand; treat it as though you are kneading bread dough. The mixture with be quite stiff.
Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of flavoring or extract. Or, divide the dough and make multiple batches, each with a different flavor. Once the flavoring is mixed in, add food coloring, mixing until evenly colored. The mixture also can be divided with different colors for each batch.
Pinch off pieces of the dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in superfine sugar. Press the pieces into candy molds, press with a fork or the bottom of a glass to make impressions. Place on waxed paper and allow to dry, uncovered, overnight. Store in an airtight container between waxed paper and freeze up to 1 month.
Yield: 7 dozen