We are supposed to be getting some foul weather overnight and Sunday, in the form of freezing rain and possibly snow. The weather reports instill panic, I think, because while at the store today, we saw lots of people stocking their carts to overflowing with food items. Hubby's parents came over this morning, early as usual and they asked us to not be upset with them if they left early to beat the weather back home. Mom-in-law said that at the sight of one snowflake, they were "outta here!" So they left around 11 am after a whirlwind visit and we went to the store shortly after to pick up a few items in case we did get snowed in. Living in a rural area like we do, the roads don't get plowed right away and it's best to be safe than sorry.
Remember the lady we've never met that gave us a Christmas turkey? She also included a check for us. I am in awe of her generosity and she told Mom-in-law that we didn't need to write a 'thank-you' card. No, no, no.. I AM writing a very grateful 'thank you' to her for her kindness in thinking of us, even though she has never met us.
In light of our tight budget, I have been looking for simple, inexpensive recipes to bake and make for gifts to go along with the preserves I have made over the summer. I found a great peppermint cream candy recipe that only has 3 ingredients and is Oh! so good! It reminds me of those square mints you see in candy bowls at restaurants sometimes and they always come in pastel colors, and when you pop it in your mouth it sort of melts rather quickly and leaves a minty taste. This is very similar and easy to make!
All you need is a 8 oz block of cream cheese, 2 lbs of powdered sugar and 2 tsp of peppermint extract. You can use a few drops of food coloring if you wish, and I did just for color and Christmas spirit. If you do the math, this costs less than $3 to make: 99 cent cream cheese, $1.19 powdered sugar and I already had the peppermint extract.
Bring the cheese to room temperature, and in a mixer bowl, blend the cheese and peppermint extract until creamy. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time until the whole 2 lbs are mixed in. I divided the dough for the color and used only 2 or 3 drops for the green and red. If you have a candy mold, you can press about 1 tsp into each mold and then let air dry for a couple days. If you are like me and don't have a candy mold, roll into small balls about 1/2 a tsp size and then roll in granulated sugar and press flat with your thumb or use a fork for criss cross patterns or stripes. Just for variety, I did thumbprints on the white ones, stripes on the red ones and criss crosses on the green ones.
This recipe made about 250 candies! It takes about 2 days to air dry and harden and does not need to be refrigerated. I kept it in the oven so it was out of sight from the girls and they don't keep sneaking pieces of candy. Hubby is another problem I haven't solved yet. I may have to cut him off in the bedroom if he doesn't stop eating the mints!
If you make this, and I really recommend you do, you can have your kids help roll the dough into balls and turn it into a fun family activity. A yummy, fun family activity! Enjoy!