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Try these retro, do-it-yourself Easter mints

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 12:01 am

A little retro and a whole lot of fun, cream cheese mints are the perfect way to keep little hands busy during Easter dinner preparations.

Make up the dough, then let the kids play around with different flavors and colors (or not, if you're trying to avoid pink and green hands). They also can form the mints in a variety of shapes. Consider making lemon mints, classic peppermints, or orange cream mints. You even could do mocha mints with coffee and chocolate extracts.

Retro cream cheese mints

Start to finish: 30 minutes, plus drying

Makes 7 dozen

8-ounce block cream cheese

2 pounds powdered sugar

Flavorings or extracts of your choice

Gel food coloring (optional)

Superfine sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and about a quarter of the powdered sugar. Using the dough hook, begin mixing. As the mixture comes together, add the remaining powdered sugar, a quarter at a time, mixing well between each addition. The dough also can be mixed by hand; treat it as though you are kneading bread dough. The mixture will be quite stiff.

Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the flavoring or extract of your choice. Alternatively, you can divide the dough and make multiple batches, each with a different flavor. Once the flavoring is mixed in, add food coloring, mixing until evenly colored. As with the flavoring, the mixture can be divided and different colors can be used for each batch.

Pinch off pieces of the dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in the superfine sugar. Press the pieces into candy molds or press with a fork or the bottom of a glass to make a decorative impression on the tops. Place on waxed paper and allow to dry, uncovered, overnight. If keeping longer than a few days, place in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper and freeze for up to 1 month.

Per mint: 50 calories; 10 calories from fat (20 percent of total calories); 1 g fat (0.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 0 g protein; and 10 mg sodium.