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Sweets for the sweet: Cinnamon buttermints

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Candy has a long-standing history tied to Valentine's Day, and endless rows of boxed chocolates fill store aisles until February 14th. While grabbing a pre-made, prepackaged Valentine's gift might be a quick and easy way to impress the one you love, it certainly doesn't take much effort.

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On the other hand, a box of candy handmade by you will get some real bonus points. Fortunately, cinnamon butter mints are both super-simple to make and delicious; your sweetheart will be swooning and salivating over these tiny bites of meltaway heaven, and you will be a hero.

Cinnamon Buttermints (adapted from The Fearless Homemaker's recipe - makes 80-100 mints)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon extract
  • food coloring
  1. Beat softened butter with a mixer until light and fluffy. Incorporate sugar until the mixture becomes dry and crumbly. Scrape the sides of the bowl well every so often.
  2. Add the milk and cinnamon extract and blend until the mixture begins to feel like Playdoh (if too dry, add a few drops of milk, if too wet, add a little sugar).
  3. Divide the dough into as many colors as you want, and knead in the food coloring drop by drop until you reach the color you desire.
  4. Roll small amounts of the dough out on parchment or waxed paper into ropes about 1/2 inch thick, and slice into 1/2 inch pieces with a knife. Let the mints air dry with the cut side up for 1 to 2 days. Store in an airtight container. You can also flavor these mints with coconut, lemon, chocolate, or whatever extract you prefer.

Sometimes the simplest gesture from the heart means the most on Valentine's Day. Creating a gift of tasty tidbits is a good way to remind the one you love that they, too, are sweet, and worth the effort.

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