Friday, March 5, 2010

Donna Lee's Buttermints - takes more than just LUCK for these creamy little bites...

I always looked up to my mother's friend, Donna Lee when I was growing up.  Every Christmas she made to-die-for creamy buttermints for her gift to all the neighbors.  I’ve tried to duplicate them several times, but I’ve never mastered it until I had a lesson firsthand from my neighbor JoAnn.  It wasn’t until then that I had my first success.  These are still not foolproof, but I’ve raised my success rate to a whopping 50 percent (& counting!)

I’ve decided these are better to make at a less stressful time of year than the Christmas holidays - but a holiday no less.  GREEN buttermints are just right for St. Patrick’s Day as well.

I have to admit I haven’t made these for a few years because they are just too tempting.  If I know these are in the house, (it doesn’t matter how deep I bury them so to make them INCONVENIENT to get to) - I’m like a heat seeking missile and I go for it.  It’s sad to have absolutely no willpower.  But if you taste these, you’re hooked for life!

I snapped these photos three years ago, so please forgive how awkward they appear.  And it's hard to show you just how creamy they are.  They literally melt in your mouth.  You will need peppermint OIL, not extract.  And it’s helpful to have a marble slab - but if you have a granite countertop (and if by some chance, it’s COLD) you’re set.

It wouldn’t hurt to round up some teenage boys who have a little muscle... you will appreciate that when it comes time to pull the mints.  Perhaps it won’t hurt to work out your “mother arms” (as my daughters call my jiggly upper arms)  I can’t wait till my grandchildren are old enough to help me with these - but six little ones under the age of six sounds a little risky?!  I think I’ll wait a few years for that bonding experience.  

Here are a few of the DEEP, DARK secrets...  
The biggest secret is LUCK - followed by: 
  1. Only make them on a clear day with no rain or snow. 
  2. Find the magic temperature - at our house and with our thermometer that is 252 degrees 
  3. Pull them for the magic amount of time - only until they begin to turn just a hint of a “satin” look, slightly white with a “string” in the strand.  
  4. You will find that even when you make two batches exactly the same - sometimes only one will work.  If that happens, add water and boil them down again!  I’ve never had success 100% of the time - usually only half of the batches work - but it's still worth it.

And now, so you don't have to depend purely on LUCK - consult this link for all I ever hope to know about making creamy buttermints  (HERE)

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