Handmade Candy Cane Altoids

I think the final countdown to Christmas has begun. I don’t dare look at my calendar to confirm, afraid I don’t have as much time as I’m pretending I do to package and put together gifts for neighbors, friends, teachers, service workers, family, kids, husband, chihuahua. There’s totally time, right?

We’re out of school this week, so something lovely needed to be created for the teachers before Friday. I’ve seen the piles of mugs and Starbucks cards sitting forlornly on their desks just before vacation begins, and I always want to give them something useful and unique. So this year, we pulled together a batch of handmade “Altoids.” And holyheck, they are brilliant! Easy, fun, tasty, quick, and totally kid helpable. That’s not a word, whatevs. There’s not time to go back and change that sentence. We’ve got Christmas gifts to make!

All you need is a 1-pound bag of gum paste. I purchased mine in the baking aisle at Joann. The sticker price was 10 bucks a bag, so toting in a 60-percent off coupon really brought the price to a reasonable amount. You’ll also need some red food coloring, peppermint essential oils, and a bit of powdered sugar for dusting.

Here’s how easy the mints are….just open the gum paste and drop in 15-20 drops of peppermint oil. Knead it together until your kitchen smells like a candy cane forest.

Split your gum paste in half, then drop a bit of red coloring paste into one of the halves. Use your sexy hands to knead. Or be smart and grab yourself a pair of kitchen gloves befores you get going.

Grab your mounds of gum paste and split each into half.

Roll into four thick ropes, then place them together, cut the roll in half, then roll into two long, thing ropes.

You want your ropes to be about 1/2 inch in diameter. Work quickly to keep the exterior of the rope from drying out and looking crumbly. Working on a long piece of parchment or cutting board to protect any workspace from bleeding dye.

With a super-sharp knife, slice the ropes into 1/4″ pieces. They might get squished a bit, so gently press them into rounds to make pretty little dots of mints.

Toss all those mints on a baking sheet and allow them to airdry for 48 hours before packaging them.

We purchased a pack of 10 metal bead tins, washed and dried them thoroughly, then hand printed labels for each tin. The 1-pound bag of gum paste made almost a perfect amount of mints to fill 10 small tins, with a handful of extra’s left over for tasting.

Yummy yummy.

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Handmade Candy Cane Altoids

Handmade mints make the perfect gift! Here's the quick, easy way to get yourself 10 perfect batches of red & white mints that everyone will adore!

Ingredients:

1 (1-pound) package of gum paste
15-20 drops high quality peppemint essential oils
1/4 teaspoon red food coloring paste
1/4 cup powdered sugar
10 small metal tins for wrapping

Directions:

Open the gum paste and drop in 15-20 drops of peppermint oil. Knead it together until your kitchen smells like a candy cane forest.

Split the gum paste in half, then drop a bit of red coloring paste into one of the halves. Knead until the red coloring is fully mixed into one half. TIP: grab yourself a pair of kitchen gloves befores you get going.

Split each mound of gum paste into two.

Roll into four thick ropes, then place them together, cut the roll in half, then roll into two long, thing ropes.

You want your ropes to be about 1/2 inch in diameter. Work quickly to keep the exterior of the rope from drying out and looking crumbly. Working on a long piece of parchment or cutting board to protect any workspace from bleeding dye.

With a super-sharp knife, slice the ropes into 1/4" pieces. They might get squished a bit, so gently press them into rounds to make pretty little dots of mints.

Toss all those mints on a baking sheet and allow them to airdry for 48 hours before packaging them.

We purchased a pack of 10 metal bead tins, washed and dried them thoroughly, then hand printed labels for each tin.

Some fun labels:
-Merry Mintmas
-Winter Breath
-Minty Christmas
-I made these mints for you
-Handmade Altoids
-Wishing You a Minty Christmas
-Good Breath Rocks
-Homemade Candy Cane Breath Mints
-Handmade Peppermint Altoids
-Merry Mints

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24 Responses to “Handmade Candy Cane Altoids”

  1. 1

    Katrina on December 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm Reply

    These are just delightful! Love this idea :)

  2. 2

    Jessica on December 13, 2011 at 7:23 pm Reply

    I seriously LOVE this idea! Adorable!

  3. 3

    Buttercup on December 13, 2011 at 10:19 pm Reply

    Fabulous idea and so cute. And yes, there’s totally time, or so I keep telling myself.

  4. 4

    benedetta on December 14, 2011 at 12:28 am Reply

    I really love your idea!!

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  6. 5

    shelly (cookies and cups) on December 14, 2011 at 7:44 am Reply

    What a fun idea! I need to get moving on my teacher’s gifts!

  7. 6

    Cookbook Queen on December 14, 2011 at 10:48 am Reply

    What the what?! Gum paste makes Altoids? Coolest thing evah!!

    • Brooke replied: — December 16th, 2011 @ 9:34 am

      I know, right?!

  8. 7

    megan on December 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm Reply

    you are amazing pretty much!

  9. 8

    Florrie Nuttall on December 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm Reply

    Genius! Simply genius.

    • Brooke replied: — December 16th, 2011 @ 9:34 am

      Aw. Thanks, Flo!

  10. 9

    Emily on December 15, 2011 at 2:31 pm Reply

    You use peppermint essential oil or peppermint extract? Are all essential oils food-grade?

    Thanks!

    • Brooke replied: — December 16th, 2011 @ 9:34 am

      I used essential oil. I’m sure you’ll want to make sure your oils are food grade before using them, but I always stick to DoTerra because it’s tremendously strong and totally food grade. Other than that, I’m not much of an expert on essential oils. Sorry!

      You CAN use peppermint extract, but the results aren’t nearly as strong or flavorful as it is with essential oils. Good luck!

  11. Pingback: how-to: candy cane mints | make handmade, crochet, craft

  12. 10

    Katie on December 19, 2011 at 6:43 pm Reply

    Where/when do you use the powdered sugar?

  13. 11

    sarah on December 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm Reply

    seconding the question on powdered sugar, I don’t see it mentioned anywhere!

  14. 12

    Leonor on December 20, 2011 at 10:57 am Reply

    This is just amazing. Since most of my gifts this year are going to be handmade, this is just made the list. Just bought the ingredients and will be doing it tonight. Can’t wait to see the result.

    @Katie & Sarah – Its mentioned above, the powdered sugar is for dusting.

  15. 13

    Shelley on December 20, 2011 at 12:49 pm Reply

    So simple! Saw this in CraftZine & I had to stop by. So fun & a cute little gift/stocking stuffer. Thank you for the recipe & the fun tutorial :)

  16. 14

    Nicole on December 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm Reply

    Yes, I too am wondering about the powdered sugar…what do you do with that? P.S. Thank you for sharing these things!

    • Brooke replied: — December 21st, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

      The powdered sugar is just to roll the gum paste out without getting too sticky! Good luck!

  17. 15

    Nicole on December 29, 2011 at 12:23 am Reply

    This is such a cute idea! Out of curiosity, what are the textures of the mints like? Are they harder than actual Altoids?

  18. 16

    Pip on November 12, 2012 at 10:14 pm Reply

    I know I’m a year late, but these look amazing! I’m thinking of making them with my students as part of our end-of-year activities week. Living in a small town in Australia the gumpaste is hard to get hold of so I’m hoping it will work with either regular rolled icing or my peppermint cream recipe!

  19. 17

    Adele Szaflarski on July 1, 2013 at 12:46 am Reply

    Some evidence suggests that peppermint oil may help relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion. But despite promising research, there is no clear-cut evidence to support its use for other health conditions. ^`’.

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