wedding bells & wedding mints
Sorry for the radio silence. Emily’s busy being really important (no, seriously, she’s got stuff to do), and also I got married in the middle of Hurricane Irene (at which hurricane wedding Emily was both a bridesmaid and an indispensable friend who helped keep us sane).
At our hurricane wedding, one of the wedding favors was an origami box (made of paper lovingly stamped by hand with cherry blossoms) filled with wedding mints dyed to be our wedding blue. You can dye them any color you want or leave them white.
I made eight batches, and it took me about six hours total, but in my not-so-unbiased opinion, they’re pretty darn tasty and a lot yummier than the wedding mints you can buy online these days. In fact, I made them exactly three weeks ago today, and I just ate one while I was taking these photos. They were harder than they had been on the day of our wedding, but still tasty. I can’t, however, make any claims about whether or not the FDA would approve of consuming these mints so long after making them.
Adapted from a recipe by Mrs. Mayhall, published in Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays’ book Somebody is Going to Die if Lilly Beth Doesn’t Catch that Bouquet (an amazing book)
Each batch makes 70-125 mints, depending on the Ateco tip you use. After you’ve made your first batch and are used to making the mints and using the Ateco tip, you can do double-batches, but I don’t recommend trying to make any batch bigger than a double-batch. The mixture will dry out too fast.
- 1 lb powdered sugar, well-sifted (this is important)
- 5 TBSP tap water
- 3 TBSP unsalted butter
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
- 2 drops of blue (or another color) liquid food dye, optional (if you’re trying to make it a dark color, you may need to use the gel type of food dye rather than the liquid)
Prepare the space for the mints to dry – they need 24-36 hours to dry, so make sure it’s somewhere that’s relatively out of the way. Line a flat surface with aluminum foil and coat the foil very lightly with cornstarch.
Over medium-high heat in a small pan, heat the water and butter until it starts to bubble. Off-heat, add the peppermint extract.
Pour the mixture into the sifted powdered sugar and mix well, using either a stand mixer or a hand-held mixer. Add the food dye, if using, and mix well.
Put as much of the mixture as possible into a pastry bag fitted with an Ateco tip (all of the star-shaped ones work well) and make small mounds onto the aluminum foil you’ve prepared.
That’s eight batches. A single batch would not take up nearly as much space.
Let the mints rest for at least 24 hours, more (36 hours or so) if in a very humid environment. Halfway through the resting period, turn the mints on their sides or (very gently) upside down, so that the bottoms can dry. Otherwise, the mints will stick together when you package them.
We put five to seven mints in a sandwich bag and then cut the tops of the sandwich bags off before stuffing them into the boxes. Thank you, Mom and Aunt Jenny, for all your help with that! Weddings truly are a group effort.