Recipe · Tutorial

Cream Cheese Mints & Orange-Ginger Sassies

Have you ever heard of or participated in a Cooking Club? If you haven’t, you should. Just get a group of friends willing to give it a go, set up a rotation, and once a month a club member gets to choose a set of recipes and assign them to group members, then everyone brings that dish to wherever you’re meeting and, bam! Dinner is served!

It’s a really fun way to get together with friends and try new recipes.

Last Friday I went to one and was assigned this Cream Cheese Mints recipe. Now, I could tell by looking at the quantities that this was going to make a lot– and I mean a LOT— of mints. Way more than we would eat up in one dinner session. So, I thought, why don’t I divide the recipe and make half mint and half something else? That way if everyone has one of each, we’ll make it through a lot more of them than if they were all straight-up mints.

Below you’ll find my modified full- and half-recipe Cream Cheese Mints, and further down my origingal recipe (full and half) for Orange-Ginger Sassies. Why Sassies? Because they taste fun and sassy, and I like when foods have their own name (why call it a “apple-celery-grape-walnut salad” when you can just call it a Waldorf Salad?).

Cream Cheese Mints

IMG_20170805_084115.jpg

Full recipe makes a half sheet cake pan full of mints; half-recipe makes a quarter sheet pan full.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Package Cream Cheese (full fat, softened)   –   4 oz
  • 1/4 C. Unsalted Butter (softened)   –   2 TBSP
  • 2 lbs Powdered Sugar   –   1 lb
  • 1 TBSP Mint Extract*   –   1.5 tsp
  • 1/4 tsp Salt   –   1/8 tsp
  • Mint green gel food coloring (2-4 drops   –   1-2)
  • Additional 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar

Procedure:

  1. Combine cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl and mix until smooth.
  2. Add 1 cup (1/2 c.) powdered sugar and mix till smooth.
  3. Add mint extract and food coloring and mix until combined (*I like a strong mint flavor, feel free to reduce if this seems like too much for you).
  4. Gradually add remaining powdered sugar.
  5. Cover, refrigerate for ~2 hours.
  6. Prepare a pan for your mints: line with parchment or wax paper, and use a sieve to dust the surface thoroughly with powdered sugar.
  7. Use a spoon, small scoop, or your hands to dole out 1″ balls and roll it in your hands to form a ball. Roll in powdered sugar to coat, then set on the prepared pan.
  8. Dust the bottom of a glass with powdered sugar (I used a shot glass), and gently press it into each ball to flatten into a disc.
  9. Allow mints to air-dry for about 4-6 hours (I set them in front of a fan). Check the bottoms for moisture; if damp, flip them over and allow the bottoms to air-dry thoroughly. When dry, package the mints between layers of wax paper in an airtight container.
  10. Store up to two weeks at room temperature, or refrigerate/freeze as desired (To thaw, remove container from freezer but keep container closed; set it out in a room-temperature space where it won’t be disturbed for several hours and allow to thaw. This will prevent condensation from forming and making the mints sticky.)

Orange-Ginger Sassies

wsIMG_20170805_075349092

Full recipe makes a half sheet cake pan full of Sassies; half-recipe makes a quarter sheet pan full.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Package Cream Cheese (full fat, softened)   –   4 oz
  • 1/4 C. Unsalted Butter (softened)   –   2 TBSP
  • 2 lbs Powdered Sugar   –   1 lb
  • 1-2 tsp Orange Extract*   –   0.5-1 tsp
  • 1/4 C Crystallized Ginger (minced)   –   2 TBSP
  • 2 tsp Dried, Ground Ginger   –   1 tsp
  • 1/4 tsp Salt   –   1/8 tsp
  • Orange gel food coloring (2-4 drops   –   1-2)
  • Additional 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar

Procedure:

  1. Combine cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl and mix until smooth.
  2. Add 1 cup (1/2 c.) powdered sugar and mix till smooth.
  3. Add orange extract, crystallized ginger, ground ginger, salt, and food coloring and mix until combined (*I like the ginger flavor to sing in this recipe; feel free to increase orange extract if you prefer a stronger orange flavor).
  4. Gradually add remaining powdered sugar.
  5. Cover, refrigerate for ~2 hours.
  6. Prepare a pan for your Sassies: line with parchment or wax paper, and use a sieve to dust the surface thoroughly with powdered sugar.
  7. Use a spoon, small scoop, or your hands to dole out 1″ balls and roll it in your hands to form a ball. Roll in powdered sugar to coat, then set on the prepared pan.
  8. Dust the bottom of a glass with powdered sugar (I used a shot glass), and gently press it into each ball to flatten into a disc.
  9. Allow Sassies to air-dry for about 5-7 hours (I set them in front of a fan). Check the bottoms for moisture; if damp, flip them over and allow the bottoms to air-dry thoroughly. When dry, package the Sassies between layers of wax paper in an airtight container.
  10. Store up to two weeks at room temperature, or refrigerate/freeze as desired (To thaw, remove container from freezer but keep container closed; set it out in a room-temperature space where it won’t be disturbed for several hours and allow to thaw without opening the container. This will prevent condensation from forming and making the Sassies sticky.)

If you’re wondering why I use unsalted butter then add salt, it’s because salted butters vary in salt content by brand. Sometimes a stick of salted butter will have about a half-tsp equivalent of salt, and sometimes it has a whole tsp equivalent. Using unsalted then adding a measure of salt means that you can control the salt content much more accurately (this may also account for why your version of a recipe for something tastes different from when someone else makes it!).

These mints and Sassies are so simple, and very tasty! Everyone at the cooking club seemed to enjoy both flavors, and I promised to share the recipe (here you go, ladies!!). Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Thanks for reading!

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