You know in those last few moments before you fall asleep, how weird and wonderful thoughts can occur? This was one of those. As I'm sure you'll imagine, I tend to have buttons on the brain quite a lot of the time, but why the notion of peppermint cream buttons suddenly sprang to mind just feet away from the Land of Nod border... well, we'll never know.
I made a large batch and split them between my office and craft club, where they went down rather well. I think they would make rather lovely wedding favours, too.
This is a confectionery I've made many times over the years, but I finally decided that seeing as this lot would need to last over several days, and away from the fridge, I would adapt the recipe so as to leave out the egg white. Please welcome instead... condensed milk!
The following is for a large batch; just halve it if you require less:
450g icing sugar
230g condensed milk (plenty in one tin)
A few drops of peppermint essence
Food colouring (optional)
A small round cutter - I made one out of a plastic lid and gave it a good wash
Pour your condensed milk into a bowl (mmm, Winnie the Pooh moment) and sift the icing sugar into it. Give it a jolly good mix, then add your peppermint essence and food colouring if using. I split the mixture into two and made one half green. Knead the mixture until smooth.
Roll out your mixture in batches - keeping the unrolled batches in clingfilm to prevent them drying out - to about 5mm thickness. Cut out your rounds, and place on greaseproof paper. Leave to firm up for ten to fifteen minutes, then use a cocktail stick to make holes in your peppermint buttons and draw a rim around each. I made half buttons, half hearts. (I also used a posh doodah for my decorating, but a cocktail stick works perfectly).
Pop your creations in the fridge, and if using chocolate, drizzle it on or dip the buttons once nice and firm.
I had some leftover condensed milk, which I used to make flapjack. Peppermint creams make lovely gifts, after dinner mints... or in my case, crochet class rewards!