Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Make Your Own “Curiously Strong Mints” {Altoids}

homemade altoids I don’t know about you, but I personally can’t get enough of these “simple handmade gift ideas”!  I find that even if I don’t end up making them…if I see a really great creative idea…it gets my OWN creative juices flowing and then who KNOWS what can come of it!  I have seen that time and time again on this website. I post something and all of YOU comment on it and add to it and get each other thinking and it’s like a brilliant chain reaction!  It’s most amazing to watch! I love it!

So, today I offer one more idea that you can take and make or use as a springboard for your own ideas!  Homemade Altoid Mints!

I always have a tin of mints in my purse and it never even occurred to me that these little gems could be duplicated at home until I saw it posted on Nila Rosa! When you see how EASY it is you will most likely be asking the same question I OFTEN do…why didn’t *I* think of that!? :-)

Not only were these a fun project to make…but think of the different possibilities!  They could be a little favor/thank you gift for a teacher or a neighbor, or you could include it in a gift basket of several different goodies.  Or you can do like I did and put them in your purse! :-)  And the different FLAVOR possibilities are virtually endless as well!

homemade altoids What You Will Need:

  • 1 pkg (or recipe) of Gum Paste
  • Powdered Sugar (just enough for dusting your surface & for tossing the mints in)
  • Essential Oils or Flavored Oils (I used 3-4 drops per egg-sized portion of gum paste. More if you want stronger flavor! Mine were about average.)
  • Food coloring – just a tiny bit is needed! (optional)
  • Citric Acid for “sour” flavors – I didn’t use. (optional)
  • Plastic straw (the fatter the better)

I figured the gum paste might prove challenging to find…but I found it in the cake decorating section of my local Walmart. The rest of the ingredients you probably already have on hand.

homemade altoids

Start out by pulling off a piece of the gum paste about the size of an egg and start kneading it. It’s pretty hard at first, but the warmth from your hands will soften it quickly. This is when I added the food coloring and flavoring. (I forgot to take a picture of adding the essential oils for flavoring.) I decided to use a latex glove the hubster had in his BBQ stuff so that the food coloring didn’t stain my fingers…but in hindsight I don’t think I really needed it. I also ended up using a just a few drops of regular cooking oil to help soften up the gum paste and help mix in the coloring and flavoring better.

homemade altoids

Once the color has been worked all the way through the “dough”…go ahead and sprinkle a little powdered sugar on your working surface and roll it out about 1/8″ thick. Now you can start “punching out” mints with the straw. I happened to have these “fat” straws that I found at my grocery store, but I also tried it with the skinnier straws and it worked just fine that way too. Anything that will cut a small circle will do. Come to think of it…you could even use a pizza cutter or a knife and make them square-shaped.

homemade altoids

Once you have all your mints cut out, toss them with a little more powdered sugar to keep them from sticking together and let dry for at least 48 hours. The longer you let the dry…the harder/crunchier they will be…like a good mint SHOULD be.

I ended up making 3 different flavors in 5 different colors:  Yellow = Lemon; Orange = Wild Orange; and Pink, Green and Purple = Peppermint.

homemade altoids

I had a blast making these! Of course I originally set out to make ONE kind of mint….Peppermint, and couldn’t stop after just one! :-) Then at the end I went all CRAZY and mixed them all together for my own “custom Jillee blend”. :-)

homemade altoids

 

 

sparknaturalsJillee

 

 


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149 thoughts on “Make Your Own “Curiously Strong Mints” {Altoids}

  1. Billie Jean

    I love all your homemade projects and solutions. So far none of your post have let me down and I’m sure this one won’t disappoint either. THANK YOU& LOVE YOUR SITE

    Reply
  2. Sandra R

    Your blog is the best in the whole wide world. I love, love, love it! You never cease to amaze me and you have never disappointed us yet! Each post is a winnder and I find I can’t wait until I read your daily post. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration to us all and encouraging us to use our creativity. Long may your blog live. YEAHAH!!

    Reply
  3. WNCmountaingirl

    For those who can’t find gum paste or prefer to make your own (cheaper!!) for this here is a simple recipe for it …

    EASY GUMPASTE RECIPE
    Ingredients :
    1 Lb Powdered Sugar Fine -10X (reserve 1 cup)
    plastic bag
    1 Packet Knox Gelatin
    2 TBS of Lemon juice
    3 TBS of Water
    1 Tsp of Glucose (can use corn syrup)

    Instructions :
    Add gelatin, water & juice over double boiler; dissolve about 5 to 7 minutes.
    Add glucose (corn syrup) stir.
    Use a mixer with dough hook.
    Place sugar (reserve 1 cup for kneading later) in mixer then add liquid mix until slightly together remove and knead. (can be mixed by hand but use spoon til gelatin mixture cools off a bit while stirring then use hands)
    If it feels too sticky add a little more sugar.
    Wrap with plastic wrap and place in plastic bag (GET ALL AIR OUT!) , seal.
    Let rest over night.

    After resting – Allow to come to room temp if rested in fridge (can microwave for 15 to 20 sec increments til room temp is reached) then knead using more powdered sugar (reserved cup) if needed to keep from sticking) til softened up and stretchy..

    Will keep up to 2 weeks at room temp or a month if stored in fridge – remember to get all air out so it doesn’t dry out!!

    Reply
    1. Jillee Post author

      You rock WNCMountainGirl! I was going to look up a recipe to include for those who can’t find gum paste at the store and I totally dropped the ball. :-) But you picked it up! Thank you!!

      (I edited your original comment with the correct amount of powdered sugar. thx again!)

      Reply
    2. Natalie

      So will the ones made with the bought gum paste last out of the fridge longer than 2 weeks or no? How about the recipe including butter below – does anyone know how long that will last out of the fridge? (LOVE the idea!)

      Reply
    3. Cheri

      This recipe worked great and I had everything I needed on hand. I made 7 flavors so far. I wasn’t sure where to find a wide straw and then remembered my daughter had some for “bubble tea.” I think they were purchased at an international foods store.

      Reply
    4. wendy H.

      my gum paste is not stretchy. I looked up other homemade recipes and they call for gum arabic, or something else (TRI-something). I followed recipe as stated here

      Reply
      1. wendy H.

        ty have consistancy taste of those pastel mints, also dough is crumbly when cools. my kitchen is cold so i warmed in microwave so was easier to knead. Can I salvage this? HELP

        Reply
  4. Murphy

    Would these work for the peppermint – hot choccolate mix? Representing those shopping in European supermarkets – thanks for the recipe, WNCmountaingirl! Jillie, your ideas are great, too, just the shopping is sometimes challenging. But, that’s what the rest of the team is for :-)

    Reply
  5. Sara Jones

    I would love to make some of the mints, however, where do I find such things as the essential oils, gum paste, etc. These are not normal items in the grocery store. Please guide me where I can find them to purchase?

    Reply
    1. Kelly

      Please do be very careful with the oils. Those not set up for eternal use can do harm. You can also look at your health food stores too. They have many of those from various dealers. Thanks for the tips to check my local pharmacy’s would have never thought to look there.

      Reply
    2. WNCmountaingirl

      Craft stores like Micheal’s carry cake decorating items .. you can also get pre made fondant and add tylose to it (again can find at craft store cake area) there are youtube vids about to make fondant into a gumpaste…also Amazon.com carries a lot of cake decorating items … youtube also has recipes for making your own fondant..

      Reply
    3. claudine

      You can eve use flavourings, like vanilla…… but you can find them at any health food stores too, same as gum paste. Hope that helps.

      Reply
      1. claudine

        Dont mistake essential oils for flavouring!! You can get essential oils for fragrance but you can’t and wont want to eat these!!!

        Reply
    4. Danielle

      For essential oils, you should ONLY be using ones that are deemed food-grade safe. These can be purchased through doTERRA or Young Living and will run you $15 per bottle and up.

      Let me know if you’re interested in purchasing doTERRA oils like she used in this tutorial!

      Reply
    1. Jillee Post author

      Angela….I don’t think you would use EXTRACT for this recipe…but you can use flavoring oils that you purchase at a craft type store (or any place that sells candy-making supplies). They don’t need to be essential oils. Hope this helps!

      Reply
    2. Landon

      One word of caution to those using essential oils – make sure the brand you have is edible. We have one herbal store here that sells essential oils, Hobby Lobby & I buy from Mountain Rose Herbs. The herbal store here in town will tell a person every time they are looking at the essential oils that their oils are strictly topical & not to be taken internally.

      Reply
  6. Debbi

    And to think that they all laughed at me for saving/hoarding my Altoid containers for all these years!
    Well whose laughing now???????? hahahahahhahahahahha!

    Reply
  7. Landon

    I can’t wait to try these. With the line of work my son is in, he goes through a lot of mints when working with the families. Our Hobby Lobby has a whole row of Wilton products to choose from & I decorate cakes, so I already have a ton of products on hand. =) All I need is some gum paste & flavored oils. I can even use their weekly 40% coupon to buy the supplies if the products aren’t already on sale. Double =) =)! McDonalds has some nice fat drinking straws & I often run through for a Diet Dr. Pepper when I’m out shopping. Do the mints freely fall from the straw when you cut them, or do you have to squeeze the straw above the mint flat between your fingers to work the mint free of the straw?

    Does anyone have an pocket/purse friendly storage ideas for those that don’t have altoid tins?

    Reply
      1. Jillee Post author

        I rolled the straw between my fingers a few times to “encourage” the mints to come out of the straw…but for the most part they fell right out. The dusting of powdered sugar helps.

        Reply
    1. pegt13

      hi there i have made 2 batches already. the first batch i only used 4 drops of peppermint flavor oil and it is too weak for me. the 2nd batch i used 8 drops of wintergreen flavor oil. can’t wait to try them, also i found some fat straws at dillons for milkshakes/smoothies they work perfect. also i cut the straw in half and i used a wooden skewers to push it through the straw. works great and jillie love your ideas and your website. love those mints.

      Reply
  8. Lorilei Cochran

    ohohoh, these are wonderful! BUT, just recently found breast cancer and I’m tipping my food intake upside down, ie NO GMO anything. It’s really hard, specially when I love love to make sweet stuff and home made anything. Gum paste, even home made is made from the no. 1 GMO product, corn syrup. SO, please all you smart creative crafty ladies, help me figure out a way to make these organic? pwetty pweese with organic sugar on top?

    Reply
    1. Sue Hodge

      You can purchase organic corn syrup, Organic should be non GMO. If you cant find it local they do sell it on Amazon. I cant wait for the world to wake up on this GMO thing it is so terrible.

      Reply
    2. Tonya

      I’ve been making my own syrup from organic raw sugar and water and using it where corn syrup, and sometimes honey, is called for and it has worked perfectly, but never made my own gum paste so not positive it would work. I have had much success with everything else I’ve tried it in!

      Reply
    3. Safaia

      Somewhere in her earlier posts Jillee has a substitutions thing, INCLUDING FOR CORN SYRUP!!!! Try checking it out and then make your own using the substitution!

      Reply
  9. Beverly

    A couple of questions: How do you get the little circles out of the straw after you cut them, do they just fall out easily? And where do you find essential oils? I’m not familiar with what they are or what they look like, can you find that at WM too?

    Reply
  10. Beverly

    Sorry, I just saw my questions answered above. I have another though, can you get sugar free gum paste? I try to do everything as sugar free as possible, my hubby is pre-diabetic and I just don’t need the calories. I know there’s not that many calories in one little mint, but if you suck on a lot of them it can add up!

    Reply
  11. Amanda C.

    Hmm…these look like they could be made into the Valentine conversation hearts. I’m going to have to try this recipe for both and see how it turns out!

    Reply
  12. Terri

    While picking up supplies at my local craft store I found tins that they use for gift cards. I popped the plastic card holder out and am planning to decorate them for gifts.
    Thank you!!!

    Reply
  13. a

    I don’t normally comment but seeing how I am super addicted to mints (I have a package in each purse I have and two in the kitchen, one in my top drawer in my dresser and some in the bathroom and living room, lets just say I keep them handy all over the house). This is a perfect project for me and will help bring down my mint bill. Plus I can make them all the colors I want.

    Reply
  14. Dianne

    Another recipe:
    1 stick of butter
    1 pound box of powder sugar
    drop of two of food color
    couple of drops of favored oils

    Melt the butter, add food color and oil, then slowly add the powder sugar. We use mint molds for this but you can shape them by hand if you want. Let air dry for a couple of days.

    My favorite favor is clove. Awesome.

    Reply
    1. Pamela

      LOVE clove, make “glass candy” every year for teacher gifts, and everyone’s favorite is CLOVE! This project will give me another way of adding that addicting, intoxicating flavor to candy gifts( and of course for myself, and the kids get lucky to get any of this flavor!)

      Reply
  15. Margaret

    Oh,they were my favorites – I can´t buy them here anymore. Lucky me, now I can make them thanks to you!!

    I stil have someboxes (with buttons on), so tomorrow – it´late here in Sweden now- I will start! One little problem though, how much is one package gelatine?

    Exciting times now – is there a new president tomoorow?

    Reply
    1. Natalie

      One packet of gelatin is equal to just under 2.5 teaspoons of gelatin, and the packet – 0.25 ounces. And yes, to the president! As long as there are no long recount issues or anything!

      Reply
  16. Elizabeth

    OOO this is awesome!! I’m totally going to try it. Definitely a fun idea for a Christmas gift!

    I do have to say – your straw immediately made me think of a tampon applicator. Didn’t turn me off to making these though. haha!

    Reply
  17. Rose Myrtle

    Such a great idea to serve as stocking stuffers or to give as little gifts to friends (expecially if you made them in differnt colors!)…..I might give them to my dad as a stocking stufferj…

    Reply
  18. Martha

    Jillee,
    You have done it again. Every year for Christmas eve I make homemade vanilla ice cream. I take store bought candy canes and crush them to add to the ice cream. Peppermint stick ice cream has been a family tradition for years. Now I can make these and just cut them small. Love, Love , Love your ideas.

    Reply
  19. Carolyn

    I am thinking about using these as my wedding favors and put them in a small baby food jar with a cute label and our wedding colors! :) I love this! Thank you!

    Reply
  20. Michele

    I always have a tin of these in my car and my bag. Never thought about making them myself! I have all but the flavorings, so I’ll have to pick some up. Can’t wait to try this recipe out!

    Reply
  21. Michele

    Anxious to try these! I keep tins of cinnamon altoids in my car as well as my bag. How many drops of essential oil do you use? Obviously, since I keep the cinnamon on hand, spicy doesn’t bother me!

    Reply
  22. Kaye

    I went to WalMart this morning and the gum paste was $8.75 for a small bag. For about $.75 of ingredients I made a batch using the recipe above. In my massive collection of craft supplies I found five different flavors and a zillion colors. . . so, guess what I have been doing this morning. My middle son came home for lunch and tried a peppermint one, despite the fact that it wasn’t totally dry. He was impressed. I made two batches so I have enough for about a million mints, conservatively speaking. Thanks for the idea and the fun!!!!

    Reply
  23. Landon

    If you have a Hobby Lobby, Michaels, JoAnn, or the like, they all have a Wilton row and they all have weekly coupons.

    I print my HL coupon from their web site – http://www.hobbylobby.com/weekly/coupon.cfm Most weeks it’s 40% off any item in the store as long as it’s not on sale. It’s a drive to another town go to Michaels or JoAnn, so I don’t check their sites for coupons. I do see their coupons in the Sunday paper though. That would make the mints even cheaper.

    Reply
  24. KatieK

    Hi Jillee, what a great idea! I have been wanting a more wallet friendly gift idea for friends and colleagues this year, but something that is fairly fool proof since I don’t have tons of time this season to cook,bake or the like. Love your blog- I use it ALL the time. The rubbing alcohol and cornstarch solution for oily hair has saved my life. And currently experimenting with all of your laundry tips for fresher clothing. Vinegar of all kinds might be the best thing ever invented EVER.

    Reply
  25. DB

    Glad I found this site on Pinterest! Awesome recipe! Interestingly enough, my sister has Altoids on her Christmas list this year…can’t wait to make these! How long do they keep for?
    BTW…Hobby Lobby has an app for your phone. The coupon automatically comes up and they can scan for it! No more cutting out or printing (and/or forgetting at home) your coupon! I think Michaels and JoAnn’s has one as well but I don’t personally have those apps…

    Reply
  26. Brenda

    Lorilei, Sorry to hear about your recent health issues. I don’t know of any way to adjust this recipe for you but I found a site that does lots of healthy versions of recipes. You may already know about it it is called chocoltecoveredkatie.com, I have not tried these recipes yet, but they sound amazing. You might even ask her to help you change this one. She sounds like a very sweet person who’d be up for the challenge. Good luck and hope everything works out for you. Will say a prayer for you and your family.

    Reply
  27. Candie

    Hi! Thank you for the wonderful idea!

    I was wondering, I couldn’t find essential oil but I did find candy flavoring oil at my local Joann’s! Would that work? Or will that taste differently?

    Thanks ahead of time!

    Reply
    1. Landon

      The candy flavoring oils is the exact thing you need. I can’t wait to try them myself. My errand list is ready for tomorrow’s shopping. They’ll make perfect stocking stuffers too. =)

      Reply
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  29. Landon

    I don’t have an Altoid tins, but I have been on a search looking for everything before I start. My Walmart has heart shaped Wilton favor tins in the wedding section near the other Wilton stuff. They are $0.75 each. I searched the whole store looking for mini containers – crafts, party, fishing tackle, kitchen, etc. What I finally wound up doing was going to the pharmacy & getting those little clear pocket pill boxes. They came 1 to a pack for around $1. Before buying them I figured I’d check the Dollar Tree across the parking lot. They had the same sized pill box 2/$1. =)

    Mine have an AM & a PM side & each side has a divider to give a total of 4 compartments. I’ll use acetone to remove the lettering, then I’ll have a smart container that can hold more than one flavor of mints. Once I make my mints, if that container doesn’t hold enough then I’ll make a run to a party store to see if they have any favor tins. I don’t think my guys would want a heart shaped tin in their pockets. LOL Hopefully I can make them & hide them while everyone is gone for the day so that they can be a stocking stuffer.

    Reply
  30. Carole Lewis

    Hello,
    Just a thought. on flavoring oils…. At the Dollar Tree, They carry a product called ICY BREEZE breath drops. You Put 1 or 2 drops on your tongue and have fresh breath for hours.
    Any way there are 3 small bottles in each pack for $1. Sugar free, fat free & no calories.
    Ingredients:SD Alcohol 38-B, warter, Glycerin, Cinnamal, Sodium Saccharin, and red 40.

    Best of all it comes in Cinnamon, Spearmint and Peppermint.

    Think this will work just fine. What do you think?

    Reply
  31. Carole Lewis

    Landon,

    Also at the Dollar tree they have neat little tins look like packages about 4×4 and a little more shallow than an Altoid Tin. Anyway, the come in Red and Blue with an embossed Silver Bow. Perfect for the mini Christmas gift. Also only a Dollar. Perfect.

    Reply

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