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  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract or 6 drops of oil of peppermint (I prefer the
  • peppermint oil)
  • About 5 drops food color, if desired

Butter a marble slab or a 15"x10" jelly roll pan; chill jellyroll pan in refrigerator while candy is cooking. In a heavy 4 quart saucepan with lid, combine water and butter. Cook over high heat until butter is melted. Using a wooden spoon, stir in sugar. Remove spoon and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and cover the pan for 3 minutes; this will wash down the sugar crystals from the pan. This recipe will grain very easily if any sugar crystals are present. Clip on a candy thermometer. Cook to 260F or hard ball stage. Remove from heat and pour quickly without scraping onto marble or cold baking sheet. Let stand undisturbed until bubbles no longer rise to the surface of the candy, this will only take a few minutes. Using a spatula, gently turn the edges into the center of the hot candy (this will soften the edges). When candy is cool enough to handle, pour flavoring and food color over the surface. Butter fingers liberally. Form candy into a ball, then begin stretching and pulling as for taffy. Continue pulling and stretching until candy becomes porous and satiny. Parallel ridges will form and candy will look puffy and hold its shape. Threads of candy will form on stretched edges. Pull out into a rope about 1/2" in diameter. Using buttered scissors, cut candy into little pillows about 3/4" long. Store in an airtight container for 24 hours to allow candy to crystallize and mellow. If candy has not crystallized after this time, shake the pieces in powdered sugar, then return them to the airtight container; this will begin the crystallization process. Always store them in airtight containers. Makes about 1 1/2 pounds of candy. Note: Buttermints are a little tricky to make. Since they contain no corn syrup or milk they will sugar at the least agitation. Don't scrape the cooking pan or move the marble or baking sheet once the syrup is cooling. If they do turn into sugar, recook the candy with 1 cup water just as you did the first time. Be sure there is no sugar left undissolved in the pan or on the wooden spoon. Don't stir the candy once it reaches a boil. A marble slab or a throughly chilled baking sheet is necessary for success. You may want to have someone else with you to lend a hand when making these. Variations: Lemon: Use lemon extract or oil and yellow food color Licorice: Use licorice flavoring and black food color For Holiday Buttermints: At Christmas time, divide candy in two batches and color half of the mints red and the other half green.

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