Monday, 27 August 2012

After Dinner Mints


You never saw a bigger to-do in my family than when company came to visit. The beach towels would get taken off the living room furniture, the toilet tank fur would be washed, my dad would rake the orange-and-gold shag carpet and my mom would pace back and forth between the front door and the living room window, reminding me to not. Touch. ANYTHING!

After Eight mints were usually reserved for company visits. (Well, in my family, you were lucky if the mints made it until after four.) We even had a silver-plated container to hold the box. My mom was the portrait of sophistication as she passed the mints around, bathed in Elizabeth Taylor’s Passion perfume, asking if she could boil anyone another cup of Nescafé.

These mints reminded me of those company visits and After Eights. I realize that mints made with mashed potatoes might not sound too appetizing. But they’re pretty good. So long as you mash the potatoes really good. (No one likes a chunky mint.) And since potatoes are vegetables, it's safe to assume there’s a vitamin or two in each fluorescent one.

½ cup mashed potatoes
1 teaspoon peppermint flavouring
Food colouring to suit
2 ½ cups sifted icing sugar (see note)

Combine potatoes and half the sugar, add flavouring and colouring. Mix in remaining sugar until still. Knead until smooth. Roll into long rolls, then cut into bite-sized pieces. This mixture may be divided and different colours added – with one left plain (e.g. red, green, yellow, white). Good!

Note: I used more icing sugar to get the right consistency for kneading. It ended up being closer to 3½ cups.

Source: Cook Book of the Mount Royal United Church




18 comments:

  1. Wow, those are really...bright. What kind of food coloring do they sell up there anyway?
    These mints sound kind of good, actually, and better than my recipe for after dinner mints: let blobs of toothpaste dry on edge of sink. Serve.

    I love "asking if she could boil anyone another cup of Nescafé..." You need to get your mom to do a guest post.

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    1. Funny you should ask about the food colouring, Veg-o-matic. I'm about to launch a new line called "Caker Colouring." The two colours I used for the mints were Nuclear Yellow and Hot Flash Pink. Be on the lookout for them next time you're watching QVC.

      While dried blobs of toothpaste doesn't sound very appetizing, I can imagine that your dentist is poorer than mine. Icing sugar comes with a heavy price tag.

      I'll see if I can get my mom to agree to a post. I think there's a star waiting in the wings...

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  2. Why use real mashed potatoes when there's a box of instant in the pantry?

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    1. You raise a very valid point, Godzilaw. See, folks? Cakers don't simply offer shortcuts. We go one step further by offering shortcuts to the shortcuts.

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    2. These would also count as a veg and starch.

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    3. You'd have to prepare the potato flakes with just hot water, rather than the milk and butter/marg that you'd normally use to reconstitute the flakes, otherwise you'd have fat and dairy in your mints, which would affect both the texture and flavour, as well as significantly shortening their shelf life. I can't imagine that cold potato mints are intended to last long, but after a couple of days out, milk products start to smell like sour death.

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    4. Even worse, they probably taste like sour death, too. Not that I've ever actually tasted sour death.

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  3. Wow, you were really fancy, we keep the towels on. Those mints sound AWESOME!!

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    1. Fifi Laru, my mom kept our living room furniture so well covered, we didn't even know what the couch looked like for the first three years we had it.

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  4. Eh...I don't know how I feel about this. What if you use garlic mashed?
    BARF.

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    1. Wouldn't mashed garlic defeat the purpose of a breath mint in the first place?

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  5. My mother added icing sugar to a hot boiled potato until the potato wouldn't hold anymore sugar, rolled them into balls, the balls into cocoa and then into flaked coconut. She made these "snowballs" every Christmas. They were so sweet, they made our teeth ache.

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    1. People gave me a hard time about this recipe, but I bet there's potato starch in store-bought mints. I'm very familiar with the "teeth aching" thing. It describes most of my childhood. Needless to say, I kept my dentist busy.

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  6. While this sounds totally disgusting, it's probably way less disgusting than what's in actual store-bought mints. Starch, sugar, dye....as long as you don't think about it, I'm sure it tastes great.

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    1. I agree, Kate. And the "don't think, just eat" rule applies to most caker fare.

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  7. My partner, who's family is from Québec, introduced me to this candy they made at home, they call it Bonbons Aux Patates (I wonder what's in it). Take one small cooked (boiled and peeled) potato, mash it well in a mixing bowl with a fork. Add enough icing sugar so it is a stiff dough and not sticky (depending on the size of your potato, could be 2-3 cups. Use a very small potato the first time you do this.) Then, roll it out to about 1/4" thick rectangle and spread liberally with peanut butter. Roll it up like you're making cinnamon roll and refrigerate a bit to stiffen up (or not, just go to the next step). Cut into many tiny slices, as small as you can manage as these are very sweet. Store whatever's left tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or an airtight container in the fridge. Oh these are awesome and a big hit!

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    1. Thanks for this recipe, Rana. I'll have to try it out sometime. Although, I'm not sure if the addition of peanut butter takes the original recipe to new heights...or new lows.

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  8. Potato candy! These sound divine, believe it or not. I would make them for a special occasion

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