February 25, 2009

How to Make Altoids (or How to Make a Peculiarly Strong Mint)


The other day , I was trying to purge my drawers of junk, so I could get started on packing up my apartment. While sorting through my makeup and jewelry containers, I noticed that I had quite a few Altoids tins holding bobby pins and change. Where did all these tins come from? I didn’t think I consumed that many Altoids in my lifetime. They are pretty addicting, but not by that much. I then started thinking about all the money I put into purchasing the tins. I guess it was well worth the investment because I found a new use for them. I hear people say that something isn’t as good as homemade. Sometimes, it could be done cheaper at home. Can Altoids be made at home?

Yes. Yes, they can.

First of all, you need a portion of gum paste. I'm not going to write in specific amounts because it's all based on taste.

Second, you will need a dram of your preferred flavoring. Wintergreen is my favorite,so that is what I chose.

Now, when you work with gum paste, it's a good idea to have powdered sugar available to dust with, so it is easier to work with. It's like working with a pie dough. You don't want the gum paste to stick to your surface or you will have an interesting time scraping it off the table. If that is your thing, then ignore this step.

Important! The next step is to add the flavoring. When you're working with these highly concentrated flavorings, less is more. I had about 3 ounces of gum paste leftover from a cake I was working on and I decided to go for it and add 1/4 of the dram. Bad idea! If you're looking for a great way to numb your throat and tongue, then add more wintergreen flavoring. Make you sure you add a few drops at a time, then taste. You can add as little or as much flavoring as you would like.

Roll out the gum paste to a little thicker than 1/8 of an inch. I prefer this size, but if you like a bigger mint, go for it.

Next, locate a cutter of preferred size.I don't have special cutters that are that small...yet. I found a large bubble tea straw and used it to punch holes. It turns out that the straw is the exact size as Altoids. Yay, I win!

All the labor that goes into this recipe is pretty much done after you cut out the circles. You'll have to leave the mints out for a few days to dry. They are thick for drying, so it will take awhile. It's a lot of fun when people come over and they notice you have a large pile of round white pills in a bowl. It makes for awkward great table conversation.

Will I get in trouble for using "altoids" in this post?

I was invited to enter Sugar High Friday by Marija of Palachinka. (Check out her blog. It is gorgeous) SHF is a monthly blogging event that was created by Jennifer, The Domestic Goddess and I am so excited that I was invited to enter this post. This month's theme is copycat recipes.


26 comments:

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

This is fascinating - I'm definitely going to try this at some point. I'm so glad I found your blog - I've been horribly disorganized and have missed some of the newer MLFB blogs.

Thanks, too, for your support of Blogger Aid!

giz said...

What a fabulous idea - who would have thought!!

5 Star Foodie said...

Wow, very interesting. Definitely something to try.

Jan said...

That is so interesting!

Maggie said...

Very cool idea! I'd love to try and make some orange-mint ones.

Nila Rosa said...

Jen: Yes, I've been trying to locate everyone's blog to add them to my list. Bloggeraid supports a really great cause and I am working on putting together a recipe for it. I can't wait to purchase it.

Giz: Yeah,the people who developed the recipe were really smart.Such a simple recipe.

5 Star foodie: Definitely worth it. You can play with the flavors too.

Jan: You should try it! :)

Maggie: ooo orange mint. That sounds really good. I think i'd like to make cherry flavored ones next. I still have some leftover gum paste.

Caeline said...

This is great! I definitely buy way too much Altoids-- I hate chewing gum. x( This will certainly come in handy. Thank you! The orange mint suggestion above sounds really good.

Ellieut said...

Wow, I would never even think of making these myself, what a great idea! Do you make your own gum paste or do you buy it? Thanks for sharing, can't wait to give it a try!

Femin Susan said...

aha! So that is the way of making these.
Cheers!

CookingCourtney said...

Once i saw the title i got excited LOL i am such a mint freak! FAB idea!

Chic Cookies said...

oh my gosh, this is great! A curiosity solved. I posted a link to your blog today and the mint post on my edible crafts column, part of craftgossip.com. (You can see the post at ediblecrafts.craftgossip.com). thanks for sharing! meaghan

Nila Rosa said...

Ellieut: I usually buy premade gum paste. Usually the powdered,just add water kind.I don't use gum paste all that often to make up for the cost of making it. It may taste better homemade tho! Enjoy! Let me know what flavor you come up with. :)

Chic Cookies: Thank you for the link! :)

duodishes said...

This is totally cool. It's official...you can make anything at home!

Scrumptious said...

What a fascinating project! I can't believe you actually made your own Altoids. That seems like beyond cooking into... science? magic?

Anyways, I just wanted to let you know the announcement for the March theme for Sugar High Fridays has been posted:
http://inmybox.wordpress.com/2009/03/03/announcing-sugar-high-fridays-53-the-test-of-time/

Hope to see you there this month!

Nate-n-Annie said...

That's really cool!

Thanks for adding us as a friend on Foodbuzz. We welcome you to come visit our site!

oysterculture said...

I'm an altoid fiend, this may put them out of business.

Marcia Cruz said...

Hi Nila, I live in Salvador - Brazil, and we have 90% air humidity (?), so you think that we can dry then in the oven, just like meringues?

Nila Rosa said...

Marcia: With the humidity, you may have an issue with working with gum paste. You can dry it out in the oven at a very low temperature,but they may soften if it rains. I would say to try it and to keep in a dry area. The humidity in Michigan gets pretty high as well and gum paste decors still keep pretty well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nila Rosa!

Thanks for the recipe! If I'm using the instant gum paste, exactly how much gum paste and water should I use? I'm also concerned about drying the mints because I'm in Texas where we have high humidity.

Simon said...

Tried this - awful - I notice nobody that has left comments seems to have tried it. Candies were like eating concrete - nothing like an altoid. I used premade gum paste purchased at Michaels Crafts store.

Nila Rosa said...

Simon- Thank you for the comment. May I ask what brand of premade gumpaste you were using? Since you purchased it at michaels,I assume it was Wiltons. I believe that is the only one they sell.As much as I love Wilton's tools, the taste of their fondant and gumpaste sucks. It tastes like garbage, so using that brand to make these would result in an unfavorable result. May I suggest CK Gumpaste? http://www.shopbakersnook.com/m5_view_item.html?m5:item=515 Their product has a better taste and is what I used to make these. I have had people e-mail and send me direct messages about making them and loving the taste.I will be posting a follow up on this sometime.

jimmycrackedcorn said...

Excellent! I finally found an Altoids recipe! Thank you, I'm going to try this as soon as I can figure out where to buy gum paste.

Instead of rolling a sheet of the mixture out and punching circles with a round tool, I think it could be done a different way.

I'm going to try rolling my mixture into a "snake" and then cutting round cross sections with a sharp knife. I should end up with the same shape you did after they dry, but without all the re-rolling of edge pieces.

Sildenafil said...

Excellent, they look pretty well, also that's what I was looking for, to learn how make this altoids, that they are very sweet and refresh our breath.

Sarah said...

I was so excited to see this post. Altoids helped me quit smoking and are still my vice, and almost as expensive as smoking was.

I have made them and I wanted to let everyone know that it doesn't work very well for the cinnamon Altoids. The cinnamon oil alone doesn't taste the same. I am going to keep trying though with extracts or something else.


THANK YOU!!!!

Anonymous said...

@Sarah - The typical cinnamon flavorings are from cinnamon leaf. Try a cinnamon bark essential oil; it tastes much more like the spice - sweet, spicy, and a little woody. It's also more expensive, but a few drops is all you will need.

imtori said...

I love this! I always thought my Altoids looked like they had been cut from a rolled tube, do you think that would work? Though your pic of the finished product looks spot-on :)

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