I wanted to make this recipe last week, as it is a great dessert recipe to make a few days in advance of the holidays, but alas- peppermint extract turned out to be hard to find! I think the grocery stores should be stocking up on it this close to Christmas, the season of peppermint-flavoured goodness ;)
Anyways, today I am sharing a classic family recipe that I have helped to make since I was a wee little girl. And did I mention that they are NO BAKE? And GLUTEN FREE? And DELICIOUS?
Yup, they are all around awesome and fairly easy to make! The ingredients are as follows:
- 1 Package of Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
- 3 1/3 Cups of Icing Sugar (plus extra as needed)
- 1/3 Cup Soft Butter or Margarine
- 1/4 tsp of Peppermint Extract
- 1/3 Cup Evaporated Milk (Approximately)
- Red and Green Food Colouring
- Wax Paper
Mix up the icing sugar, pudding mix, butter, and peppermint extract. Then slowly add in the evaporated milk while kneading with your hands. You want to end up with a dough that is like a stiff fondant (think playdoh consistency). If it feels really sticky, add in a bit more icing sugar. If it feels really dry, keep kneading or add in a tiny bit more milk.
Divide the dough into equal quarters. Two quarters will remain plain, but dye the other two (I did one red and one green, but you can really do any colours or dye the plain ones too!).
I find it takes a long time for the dough to have consistent colour, but just keep working it and adding more icing sugar as needed.
Once you have a ball dyed, roll into out onto a surface covered in icing sugar. You want to roll it into a shape that is roughly 4" x12", but as long as you have a rectangle you are good. I fold in the edges as I go to make the ends are straight as possible. Next, roll out one of your plain balls into roughly the same shape.
Next, place the plain rectangle of dough on top of the coloured one (whatever one is on the bottom will be the outside of the swirl candy at the end). I like the pinch the edges together a little to ensure they stay together.
Then, slowly roll up the dough along the long edge so you end up with a long, skinny roll of dough! Make sure the end is secure by applying a bit of pressure, but you don't want to flatten it!
For fun, I cut half my roll in half and rolled it in sprinkles. I didn't do the whole roll so that people could have a choice of classic Christmas Swirl or Sprinkled ;). I didn't want to mess with a classic family recipe!
Repeat the process with your red dough and the remaining plain dough. Wrap up all the rolls in wax paper and place in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up.
Once they are hardened, slice them up into bite sized pieces and they are ready to serve! The taste is really pepperminty (that 1/4 tsp goes a loooong way) and they are also super sweet since they are basically pure sugar. I find people love them or hate them, but they are a huge hit in my family!! If you like sweet desserts, then these are for you ;).
Does your family have any classic recipes? My mom also makes a mean vanilla fudge that we serve alongside the Christmas Swirls and my aunts and cousins usually provide other cookies, squares, and treats. We certainly like our sugary desserts!