~plastic gloves (optional)
~drinking straws (the big ones you have saved from your favorite restaurant work best) or tiny animal or shaped candy cutters
~1 package of gum paste (found in the cake section of your grocery store or Walmart)
~cooking oil (optional)
~food coloring (optional)
~essential oil (ex: peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, wintergreen)
1) Grab off a piece of gum paste about the size of a large egg, knead it in your hands. It will take just a few moments to warm-up and then it will become a nice pliable dough. If desired, you may use JUST A COUPLE DROPS of cooking oil to make it a little more pliable, but not greasy.
2) Once it starts to become pliable, add 2-3 drops of color (if you're using any) and 3-5 drops of your chosen flavor of essential oil (5 if you want them "curiously strong" :-)) and knead all through the gum paste as best you can.
3) Sprinkle just enough powdered sugar on your cutting board to roll the dough onto. Use your rolling pin to roll the dough out to about 1/8" thick.
4) Now the fun part ~ take your straw or candy cutters and start punching out those little mints. When you have cut out as many as you can, re-roll the remaining dough out again and make as many mints as you can; repeat as often as you need.
5) Once you've cut all the mints you can, sprinkle a little more powdered sugar over the mints and mix JUST enough to coat them and still see any color you've added; this will keep them from sticking together.
6) Put the mints on a sheet of waxed paper and let them dry and "cure" for at least 48 hours, then you can refill those old tins and put them to good use.
Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><