Peppermint Creams

I used to love making peppermint creams as a child - they are easy, quick, delicious (if a little sweet for most adults' tastes) and can be cut out into all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Tilly's Peppermint Creams
Tilly's peppermint creams

For Christmas
Peppermint creams are particularly suited for Christmas, when they are a lighter alternative to the heavy traditional food served for the holidays. Make them white and cut them into small rounds, or perhaps with small star-shaped cutters.

For Easter
They are also excellent at Easter, when you can split the "paste" into two or more batches: leave one white, then colour the others in very pastel pink, green or blue (a very steady, adult hand is required for this, and the tiniest sprinkle of food colouring will do!) Little round shapes will be nice, but if you can find a miniature egg cutter that is even better!

Ingredients:

White from one large egg or two small eggs
8 oz icing sugar (one cup of confectioners' sugar or frosting if you live in the US)
Small amount of peppermint essence
Food colouring (optional)

Instructions:

Beat the egg white in a bowl with a fork and sieve (sift) in 6oz of icing sugar (frosting). Mix well with a wooden spoon and then sieve in more icing sugar, a little at a time, until you have made a stiff paste. Shake a little icing sugar on the work surface and empty the paste onto this.

Add 3 - 4 drops of peppermint essence and gently knead until you have a smooth paste. Have a taste of a small piece and if the flavour is not strong enough, add a few more drops of peppermint essence.

Sprinkle icing sugar over a rolling pin to prevent sticking, and roll the paste to a quarter of an inch (0.5cm) thick. Cut out individual peppermint creams with a cutter, or, if pressed for time, cut out small squares with a knife.

Cover a plate with non-stick parchment or greaseproof paper and place the peppermint creams on the paper. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave overnight in a cool place (but not the fridge). Store in an airtight tin.

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