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Refreshing “Tip of the iceberg” mints

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How to make refreshing mints?

Who doesn’t love those refreshing little mints that hide the fact that you’ve AGAIN drunk one too many cups of coffee? And haven’t you ever bought one of those cute little tins that may be a bit pricey but you just couldn’t resist? So here’s an idea: why not refill that tin with your own homemade mints? What follows is an easy recipe using xylitol, a sweetener derived from birch, to make candies that both your teeth and your taste buds will love!

Before you begin

  • Be careful to avoid burns! You’ll be handling sugar that has reached a temperature of almost 175° C.
  • Xylitol is poisonous to dogs. When the product is cooling, make sure the cookie sheet is out of their reach.
  • Eating too much xylitol can cause stomach problems.

Ingredients

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Tools

  • Small stainless steel pot
  • Stove
  • Cookie sheet
  • Candy thermometer
  • Parchment paper
  • Measuring cup

Good to know!

  • Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is present in many fruits and vegetables; it’s almost as sweet as white sugar, but contains fewer calories!
  • Studies have shown that not only does xylitol not harm teeth, but it’s actually good for them. It prevents lactic acid from forming and reduces the presence of plaque-forming bacteria.

Steps to follow

  1. Prepare and sterilize your equipment and workspace.
  2. In a small stainless steel pot, melt xylitol over low heat (about 5 minutes).img_3961
  3. If you have a candy thermometer, the temperature should reach about 300-350° Fahrenheit.img_3965
  4. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Remove the melted xylitol from the stove and let cool for ten minutes or until the thermometer falls to 275° or less.
  6. Add the drops of peppermint essential oil and mix well.img_3967
  7. Very carefully (it’s hot!), pour the melted xylitol onto the parchment paper, spreading it out as much as possible.img_3972img_3980
  8. Let cool overnight (or even longer) until the xylitol has completely recrystallized.img_4131
  9. Turn over the sheet of xylitol if it does not seem to have completely recrystallized (it should become opaque white again).
  10. When it has completely dried and hardened, break it into small pieces.img_4133
  11. Place the mints in small containers and take them with you wherever you go!

Variation using flavours

In case you’re wondering, we tried replacing the essential oil with flavours. Our favourite: strawberry! Instead of making mints, we made delicious little candies – that are good for your teeth!

Some observations:

  • You’ll need to add more flavour than essential oil! To add sufficient taste, add 15 drops of flavour instead of 4 drops of essential oil.
  • 2. Since our flavours are oil soluble, they don’t mix easily with melted xylitol. The trick is to whip the melted xylitol and the flavour until the temperature falls to about 100° C. At that point, the mixture will be thicker, making it easier to blend in the flavour. Quickly pour the mixture onto the parchment paper and spread it out. Mixtures made with flavours may harden more quickly than those made with essential oils.

Use and storage

  • Pop one or two mints into your mouth as needed
  • Don’t take too many to avoid stomach upset!
  • Store in an airtight container
  • Consume within a few months.

 

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