Cool peppermint pastilles make a sweet gift for the holidays, and they’re easy to make at home. Confectioners’ sugar and powdered gelatin are used to create pliable dough that is rolled wafer-thin. After the dough is cut into squares and allowed to dry thoroughly, it can be embellished with rubber stamps brushed with food color. The customization possibilities are endless, and picking out stamps for this project is so much fun!
Plan ahead because the mints need to dry overnight, and be sure to use new (unused) rubber stamps that have been washed and patted dry. This recipe calls for meringue powder, which can be found at most craft stores in the baking aisle.
The mints look nice presented in small tins or in glassine bakery bags tied with ribbon.
You will need:
2 tablespoons cold water
.25 oz package powdered gelatin
1/3 cup meringue powder
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
Black gel food coloring
Yield: 3 dozen mints
Place the cold water in a small condiment cup. Sprinkle the gelatin powder over the surface evenly. Let stand until the gelatin is absorbed and forms a solid mass.
Whisk together the meringue powder and confectioners’ in a large bowl; set aside. Heat the gelatin in the microwave for about 10 seconds, or until the mass is liquefied. Let it cool slightly, then pour it into the powdered sugar mixture.
Stir briefly, then add the peppermint extract. Knead the mixture in the bowl with your hands until a stiff, pliable dough forms (you may not need to use all of the powdered sugar mixture).
Sprinkle the dough with extra powdered sugar mixture and roll it between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll it as thinly as possible with a rolling pin, or if you have a pasta machine, pass the dough through the roller several times until very thin.
Cut the dough into squares using a pizza wheel or small paring knife. Let the mints dry.
When the mints are firm and crisp, they are ready to be stamped. Lightly brush gel food coloring across the raised area of a rubber stamp.
Gently but firmly press the stamp onto the cut squares – don’t press too hard or mints will break.
Allow the stamped mints to stand for 5 to 10 minutes before placing them in tins or bakery bags.
Recipe and stamping technique inspired by Francisco Migoya’s Peppermint Lozenges. All photographs by Heather Baird.