For every kid who ever wished she could eat playdough, these candies are a dream come true. Roll the peppermint mixture out and cut into shapes, pack it into little candy moulds or flatten it into patties. They can even be dipped in melted chocolate for an ultimate treat.
4 cups icing sugar
3 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup evaporated milk, (or less)
pink or green (or whatever) food colouring to tint pink or green (or whatever) food colouring, to tint
In a mixing bowl, combine the icing sugar, butter, peppermint and vanilla extracts. Beat in the evaporated milk 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time - the mixture should turn out stiffer than frosting but softer than cookie dough. If you have a young helper beside you, have her use food colouring to tint the mixture to her extremely discriminating satisfaction. Beat with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until firm enough to handle.
Working with small amounts at a time, roll the peppermint mixture out onto a waxed-paper-lined surface to about ¼ in. (½ cm) thickness. Have your child cut out tiny shapes (no larger than a quarter, at most) with miniature cookie cutters and place them on a paper-towel-lined tray. Alternatively, you can roll the mixture into 1 in. (2 cm) balls by hand, then squash them to ¼ in. (1½ cm) thickness with the bottom of a glass or a cookie press (if you have one). Either way, cover the finished mints with a second layer of paper towel and let sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours to dry and harden slightly. Store in a covered container.
Variation: To make the most divine chocolate-covered peppermint patties, form the peppermint mixture into patties by rolling into a ball and squashing down into a patty shape. Chill for 30 minutes or so. Melt 2 cups (500 mL) semi-sweet chocolate chips with 1 tbsp (15 mL) solid vegetable shortening. Dip chilled patties into melted chocolate mixture and let harden on waxed paper.