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!
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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!
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 (I used 3-4 drops per egg-sized portion of gum paste. More if you want stronger flavor! Mine were about average.) Update: There are a few essential oils that are not supposed to be ingested. Make sure to check your label first. You can also use candy flavoring oils.
- 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.
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.
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.
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 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”. :-)