Peppermint Meltaways

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Last weekend Matt and I traveled to Minnesota for our annual family weekend “up north” on the Gunflint Trail. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the area, the Gunflint Trail is a 57-mile roadway that begins in Grand Marais, Minnesota and ends at Saganaga Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, near the U.S. border with Ontario, Canada. The weather during our stay was chilly to say the least. On Saturday the high was a balmy negative three degrees.

The weekend was the perfect get-away amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. We managed to keep ourselves busy making wreaths, singing Christmas carols, hiking in the woods, and gorging ourselves on walleye chowder. Since our cabin was outfitted with an oven, I took the opportunity to do some baking. These peppermint meltaways really do melt in your mouth. The little morsels also look very festive and would be perfect displayed on a cookie platter.

Peppermint Meltaways
Makes approximately 3 dozen

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Cookie Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

Frosting Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons 2% milk
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 to 3 drops red food coloring, optional
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

Directions
In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract. Combine flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

In a small bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, milk, extract and, if desired, food coloring; beat until smooth. Spread over cooled cookies; sprinkle with crushed candies. Store in an airtight container.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
Always use unsalted butter for balanced flavor in your baked goods. Unsalted butter allows you to control the amount of salt in the cookies. Although salt is a flavor enhancer, the flavor can be overpowering in a delicately flavored cookie.

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17 thoughts on “Peppermint Meltaways

  1. What a perfect family gathering Heather, sounds so idyllic and also I never ceased to be amazed by your photographs! These Peppermint Meltaways are the perfect Christmas treat! Can you please come over to my house and do all my Christmas baking, please, pretty please… ;-)

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  2. These are one of my new favorite Christmas cookies, Heather. They truely do melt away in your mouth with a buttery warmth and peppermint zing. These beling on every list of ‘do these every year’. I have some frozen in the fridge to keep dad and I from eating them all up.

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  3. So pretty! Glad you had a chance to spend so family time! I have a couple of little “peace and quiet” times scheduled in for this week and I think they will be perfect in the midst of the holiday bustle. But I’m not complaining. I like getting ready for Christmas and making it special for my family.

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  4. Holy cow!!! That’s cold! And you went hiking? Aren’t you courageous??? I would have spent the entire day next to the fireplace in the company of a huge blanket! ;-)
    Your treats look so festive and perfect for the season although peppermint is not really my thing! :-)

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    • I was seriously questioning my motives as I tore myself away from the fireplace to go on a hike.Surprisingly, the hike was really challenging and both Matt and I worked up a sweat while we were outside. Afterwards it was back to the warmth of the fireplace ;)

      So interesting, Matt isn’t a fan of peppermint either! Although he said the cookies were okay, there weren’t really his thing either!

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