Making mints and making memories

At Thanksgiving when my daughters were young, they enjoyed making cream cheese after-dinner mints as their contribution to the holiday meal. The recipe for the mints was super simple, super yummy, and a super tradition that makes me smile just thinking about it.

cream cheese dinner mints

A few years ago, when my eldest grandson, Bubby, was two years old — and my youngest grandson, Mac, was just an announcement emblazoned across his big brother’s T-shirt — Bubby and I made the cream cheese mints together. We haven't celebrated Thanksgiving together since then (having nothing to do with the mints, I swear), but if we had the good fortune of being together this Thanksgiving, there's no doubt making mints with both my grandsons would be on the holiday agenda.

making dinner mints

If one of your Thanksgiving blessings includes having time with your grandchildren this Thanksgiving, consider adding the making of these yummy mints to the holiday agenda. Grandchildren of all ages will delight in sharing with guests the mints made from their own hands. The recipe is simple enough for little ones to do with help from a grownup — and with time allotted for lots of finger licking — while older kids can easily manage the mint making on their own.

cream cheese dinner mintsNo-Bake Cream Cheese After-Dinner Mints

6 ounces cream cheese

3/4 pound powdered sugar

1 teaspoon mint flavoring, to taste (err on the side of less is more, to begin with)

Food coloring, if desired

1 cup of granulated sugar

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients except granulated sugar on low, until well combined and smooth. Pinch off a small amount and using clean hands, roll into a ball. Roll ball in granulated sugar, then press into mint/candy molds (available in various shapes at craft store in cake decorating aisle).

Let dry a few hours, then pop out of mold to continue drying overnight on wax paper until semi stiff (they never get completely hard).

Place in candy dishes for sharing with holiday guests.

cream cheese dinner mints recipe

For grandparents, children and traditions are highlights of the season. This is a sweet and simple recipe for bringing the two together in memorable (and minty) fashion.

Today's question:

What contributions do the kiddos in your family make to the holiday meal?