Do you have and hour? Then you can make gifts for a dozen people.
Remember those chalky pastel mints that filled your grandmother's candy dish, or sat on the hostess stand at the restaurant with cushy maroon booths and tiffany lamps? I learned from Liddabit Sweets on the Splendid Table last week that they are childishly simple to make. Mix a putty of confectioners sugar and butter, flavor it, roll out ropes, slice them up and dry them overnight. (It's like edible play-dough: a great project with kids.)
Fresh back from a few weeks in Japan, I decided to flavor mine with green tea instead of peppermint. These are decidedly more sophisticated than those minty pastels, though not as nostalgic (I made some peppermints too). Pack the finished candies in cellophane or wax bags, tie them with ribbon or washi tape, and you've got a thoughtful gift for a hostess/co-worker/relative/friend.
Green Tea Butter Candy
makes enough for about 6 small gift bags
- 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 4 cups confections sure (1-pound box), plus more for dusting
- 1 Tablespoon matcha green tea powder
- pinch salt
- 1 Tablespoon milk
1. Put the butter (ideally at room temperature) in a large mixing bowl. Beat with it an electric mixer until soft. Add the 4 cups confectioners sugar, matcha and salt. Beat, slowly, until the sugar begins to clump with the butter.
2. Increase the mixer to medium speed, and beat, scraping down the bowl occasionally, until a smooth paste forms and holds together somewhat. This should take about 5 minutes. Add the milk and beat it in.
3. The dough should come together into a malleable putty, If it's too soft or too thick, adjust it with a tiny bit more confectioners sugar or milk.
4. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Break the dough into golf-ball sized pieces. Dust a cutting board with powdered sugar. Using your hands, roll the dough into ropes about 1/2 inch tick. Slice the ropes into 1/2-inch pieces, then set the pieces on the cookie sheet to dry uncovered overnight.
Packed in an airtight container, these will last about 2 weeks.
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