I have another pumpkin treat idea for you today. It’s so simple but sure to delight children and adults alike. It’s this recipe for pumpkin cream cheese mints.
I saw this idea somewhere on Pinterest last year and then adapted the technique to my cream cheese mint recipe that I love. I made them for the first time for my in-laws surprise anniversary party last year. They were a hit! These mints are quite easy to make but make a great fall themed treat!
The recipe only uses a handful of simple ingredients – powdered sugar, cream cheese, pretzels, food dye and flavored extract.
There are 2 flavoring options.
You can use any pure extract flavoring you choose. Almond is my favorite for these mints while my brother prefers butter extract. Vanilla works nicely too as does peppermint. Simply buy pure extract at your grocery store or online. I like the Watkins brand myself (affiliate link).
You can also buy candy flavoring which is much more concentrated. It only takes a drop or two to flavor the whole batch so if you go this route, adjust your recipe accordingly. I’ve bought candy flavorings at our local bulk food store but you can also find them on Amazon. I like the LorAnn brand for candy flavoring oils (affiliate link).
Because the concentration is different, the cost is pretty comparable. The recipe below uses measurements for extract. If you are using candy oils add one or two drops and taste for strength of flavor. You can always add more but you can’t take any away!
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract (or any extract flavoring of your choice)
3 cups powdered sugar
Orange food dye
Colored orange sugar
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and extract. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until the mixture is smooth. Add in a toothpick full of orange food dye. Blend until smooth.
With your hands, roll cream cheese dough into 1/2 inch size balls (about the size of a nickel). Roll the balls in orange colored sugar. Place on an baking sheet lined with waxed paper, and flatten with a fork.
Take a stick pretzel and break off the top third of the pretzel. Gently press the pretzel into the top of the mint while at the same time making an indention in the bottom of the mint with your finger or another pretzel. (I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of this for you since both my hands were occupied with mints. It is simpler than it sounds. I promise!) You want the pretzel stem to go down at least one quarter of the way into the mint so it is secure. You do not have to make the indention at the bottom of the mint but I think they look more like pumpkins this way.
Store mints in an airtight container in the freezer or refrigerator. Depending on the size of the mints you roll, this recipe yields around 3 dozen mints.
This recipe uses a 1 to 1 ratio of 1 ounce cream cheese to 1 cup powdered sugar. If you would like to make more mints with this recipe, simply increase both ingredients equally, and adjust your flavor accordingly.
I highly recommend you use the Wilton concentrated food dyes for this recipe (affiliate link). Actually, I recommend you use these anytime you need to dye or color something. These work a hundred times better than the liquid food coloring you buy at the store! You can buy them at Michaels, Hobby Lobby or on Amazon. Like with the candy oils, they are so concentrated, a tiny toothpick of color will dye your cream cheese mixture the perfect shade of pumpkin orange.
You can buy colored sugar for this recipe or simple do what I do. Add a couple drops of Wilton food dye to regular sugar and stir with a spoon to dye the sugar yourself. It’s much cheaper to do it this way! You can use white sugar but the orange really makes the pumpkins stand out.
Cream cheese mints freeze great but do be aware that the pretzels will go stale in the freezer. Since the pretzel really is more for the stem effect, if this doesn’t bother you, feel free to make them ahead of time and freeze them.
Have you made cream cheese mints before? Do you have any other pumpkin themed ideas to share?