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The Easiest Cream Cheese Mints

Cream cheese mints beg to be eaten by the handful and make a simple treat for any party, shower or gathering you have on the books. Smooth cream cheese balances perfectly with peppermint for an indulgent sweet treat, but feel free to swap in any extract or flavor you like–the sky and the is the limit! 

cream cheese mints in a bowl on a holiday table

This post is sponsored by Prairie Farms Dairy, but all opinions are my own. 

Candy making feels like a daunting task sometimes. When people start pulling out thermometers and saying things like “soft ball stage” or “hard crack” I totally zone out and look for the door.

I am not a complicated candy maker.

But it’s nice to have something small, sweet and delicate on hand from time to time and that’s where these creamy-smooth cream cheese mints come in to play.

You only need a bowl, mixer and something to shape them with and you’re all set.

Bag them up for a simple holiday gift or fill a bowl for your next baby shower or get-together and you’ll have a treat that looks more complicated than it is.

Use quality ingredients in your cream cheese mints

Because this is a recipe with limited ingredients (four to be exact) you’re going to want to use really good ingredients for the best flavor.

That’s why I chose Prairie Farms cream cheese and butter for this recipe. They get their products from farm to store in just 48 hours so I know I’m getting fresh dairy products that haven’t been sitting around for ages, come from happy cows, and will taste as fresh as they really are. Plus one other very important reason:

Prairie Farms is for the farmer.

What’s happening to the dairy industry?

To make a very long story somewhat shorter, dairy farmers are being paid less for their milk than what it costs to produce it (figuring in everything from raising the food for the cattle to equipment and much more).

Right now, farmers are bringing in 30% less than what it costs to produce milk–and we can help bring them the most return on each gallon by making sure we buy from them instead of other companies.

farmers outside with a baby calf

How can I buy local dairy? I don’t know any farmers.

You can buy local dairy without trekking out to a farm. Here are some tips for supporting your farmers:

[list style=”style5″]
[li]Know what dairy brands in your grocery store are sourced locally and buy them. Prairie Farms dairy is farmer owned and that means more money comes back to the boots on the ground (or the hooves) and supports quality care for the cows, a real family’s bills, and your own community’s economics. [/li]

[li]If you aren’t sure if your favorite brand is giving back to the right places, do your homework. Visit their websites, do some reading. If it doesn’t say it’s farmer-owned or supported, chances are it isn’t. [/li]

[li]Ask your grocery store management to carry Prairie Farms dairy. If enough people ask, we can make change happen! You can request Prairie Farms in your own grocery by filling out this quick form and then taking it to your grocery store and you can also join the Prairie Farms MOOvement to support local diary farm families.  [/li]
[/list]

Now let’s make these mints!

Just mix up your softened Prairie Farms cream cheese and butter. A stand mixer is better than a hand mixer if you can manage it–the mixture is pretty stiff!

butter and cream cheese in a mixer

Add powdered sugar. Add it slowly so you don’t take a bath in it.

powdered sugar in a mixing bowl with cream and butter

Add extracts of your choice (see section below) and mix well to combine. Taste it to see if it’s strong enough.

 adding peppermint extract to mixer

Tint with natural food coloring. If you don’t have natural, skip it and let them be white. White is better than those synthetic chemicals.

tinted cream cheese mixture in a bowl

Once you have your mixture ready, put it in a piping bag with a star tip or a ziploc bag.

Can you pipe cream cheese mints?

Yes you can. You’d need a piping bag and a star tip or other shape you like. If you have a cookie press, those make adorable little mints or you can also buy silicone molds and shape them in those if you choose.

But feel free to keep things simple.

If you don’t want to pipe your mints, you can simply shape balls and flatten them with a fork, or squeeze out mounds from the end of a cut ziploc bag.

piping cream cheese mints with a piping bag or just cut the corner from a ziploc bag

Can cream cheese mints be frozen?

Yes they can. Place your mints in an air-tight container with layers of parchment or wax paper between them. Don’t stack too many layers on top of each other–you wouldn’t want to crush the bottom ones.

How long can cream cheese mints be left out?

You’ll  need to leave them out for 24-36 hours to let them harden, then after that move them to the fridge. When you’re ready to serve them, you can easily leave them out for three to four hours (if they last that long). Return them to the fridge or freeze any leftovers once you reach that point. Remember to keep them in an air tight container so they don’t absorb other flavors from your fridge.

How long will cream cheese mints keep?

If refrigerated, they should last a week or more easily as long as your cream cheese is well within its expiration date. If you freeze them well sealed, they should last a month.

What flavors can I use in my mints?

There are so many options! I found that my mint flavor seemed to mellow as the mints sat out to dry, so keep in mind that you may need to add a bit more of some flavors when you mix them (give them a taste as you go) to account for any fading of the flavor.

Also remember that some extracts are very, very strong and just because I used a teaspoon of peppermint does not mean you should use the same amount of other flavors. Almond extract for example–only a few drops will be plenty. So add a little, mix, taste, add a little more until you’re there.

You can use an extract or an essential oil if you have those. Just remember that essential oils will be much stronger than extracts.

Some flavors that would be great here would be:

-Vanilla

-Orange

-Lemon

-Rum

-Almond

-Cinnamon

cream cheese mints in a bowl on a holiday table

The Easiest Cream Cheese Mints

Smooth and delicate, these cream cheese mints are flavored with peppermint but feel free to add any extract you like for fun twist! 
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 15 people
Calories: 283kcal
Author: Rachel Ballard

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces Prairie Farms cream cheese softened
  • 2 tablespoons Prairie Farms unsalted butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract you may also try coconut, coffee, or orange
  • 7 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 3 drops natural food coloring optional

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add the cream cheese and butter and beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer until combined. 
  • Add the peppermint extract (or other flavor if using) and mix 30 seconds to combine. 
  • Add 1 cup powdered sugar and mix to combine. 
  • Add remaining sugar 2 cups at a time until mixture is stiff and holds its shape. You may not need all 7 cups of sugar. 
  • If you'd like to color your mints, divide the mixture into smaller bowls and add one to two drops of natural food coloring if you choose. You can leave them white as well. 
  • Fill a piping bag with the cream cheese mixture and pipe circles, dollops or shapes of your choice onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. 
  • Allow to air dry for 24 to 36 hours to firm them up, then refrigerate or freeze. 

Nutrition

Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 20mg | Sugar: 55g | Vitamin A: 250IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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Recipe Rating




Deborah

Wednesday 19th of December 2018

Rachel, your experience is enough for me! Thank you for such a speedy reply ~ your consideration now allows me to craft and share these beautiful treats with my loved ones on Christmas Day.

Bountiful blessings to you & yours during this season of wonder and into the coming new year!

Rachel Ballard

Thursday 20th of December 2018

Blessings to you as well Deborah! Merry Christmas. :)

Deborah

Tuesday 18th of December 2018

Very excited about trying these for Christmas because no one has ever brought anything like them and they are simply gorgeous! I do have a couple of quick questions first. (1) Are these meant to be like the old-fashioned buttery, melt-in-your-mouth mints you used to get in restaurants? (2) How does the cream cheese not go bad sitting out of refrigeration so long during the drying/setting-up phase?

Thank you, Rachel, for running such a great site. I don't know how you successfully juggle so many things: marriage, motherhood, businesswoman, farming...it makes me tired just thinking about it! Kudos to you!!

Rachel Ballard

Wednesday 19th of December 2018

Hey Deborah, Phew! Yes I'm tired myself sometimes. :)

To answer your questions: 1) They do melt in your mouth but I find their centers a bit softer than the old-fashioned ones. They are very close though. The longer you dry them the better they are in my opinion. So if your house is cool, you may need the full 36 hours and not 24. If you pick them up and they go soft in your hands, they need more time.

2) I don't really know. :) Most commercial cream cheeses have been pasteurized and contain stabilizers and preservatives. I can't guarantee that these factors keep room temp cream cheese "safe", but for me it goes along with the idea of leaving a cake with cream cheese frosting out on the counter. I've done that plenty of times and been fine. I also fall back to the experience issue. I regularly leave cream cheese out to soften--which may mean I toss it out of the fridge the night before I need it, and use it without concern the next morning. That's far beyond the two hour window.

I'd never do that with much else, but butter and cream cheese don't bother me a bit. Sorry that's not a technical answer.

--Rachel

Jean Miller

Wednesday 5th of December 2018

Rachel, I love your site and all the "simple"recipes you offer. Thanks heaps. You make cooking fun!!!

Rachel Ballard

Wednesday 5th of December 2018

Oh Jean, that's so nice! Thank you so much. :) --Rachel

Rachel Ballard

Saturday 1st of December 2018

We just love these!