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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Candied Christmas Mints

These little cuties are a quick little holiday sweet that pleases anyone who loves chocolate and mint together. And how festive!

The case is a cream cheese mint--yes just like those served at weddings. Tinted with some red and green for Christmas. I remember making dozens of these in pink and green for my sister's wedding back in the seventies. Those chocolate candies in the center are the trickier part. Those are Atkin's sugarfree chocolate candies. If you can find them, they make these so special. The package comes in assorted color m & m type candies, and I just picked out the red and green ones. I happened to find these at Big Lots the other day. No promises on you finding them at your local store, you know how that goes. You can order them through Amazon too.

Candied Christmas Mints

4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered erythritol / stevia blend or other confectioner's style sugar substitute
food coloring
2 pkg. Atkins Chocolate Candies, red and green only
optional: 1/4 cup powdered erythritol / stevia blend

Beat together cream cheese, butter, peppermint and vanilla. Add powdered sweetener, one half cup at a time. Divide the mixture and tint with food coloring. Chill for 1 hour. Roll into small balls.  press a candy into the center of each ball. Keep chilled. If serving these at a party, you may choose to dust each ball with additional powdered sweetener before pressing the candy in. This will make them less sticky to the touch if they get a little warm.

Makes approximately 36 candies. Each mint has about 20 calories and less than half a carb.

I have an approximate measurement on the sweetener, because the stiffness of the mint mixture will vary by brand. I have used powdered xylitol with this recipe and found I needed a bit more. Remember, if you don't have confectioner's style, you may grind it yourself in a blender. Just watch the cloud of dust when you open the lid. Don't ask how I know this!

These are perfect to keep in a small container in the fridge. Perfect for a sweet tooth and a drive by snack. They would be wonderful in a little candy paper cup as an after dinner mint.

Christmas is fast approaching. With married sons, my holidays are all over the place. Rather than having the boys all at home, they are all over the country, visiting with the bride's families. To get it all in, we will exchange gifts three different times. Sad, but a mom of boys will take what she gets. I am finding it much harder to get into the holiday spirit. Now that my boys are grown and our nest is so empty, John and I are trying to put more emphasis on serving. Yesterday, we battled  single digit wind chills to ring the bells at the kettle for Salvation Army. We will volunteer at several services at our church too, and of course I have all my kids at school. I miss Christmas with little ones, though. My prayers are that next year I will have my family all together in one place--and perhaps a grandbaby to love.

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