1In large bowl, by hand, mix cream cheese with 3 cups of powdered sugar until thoroughly mixed & really gummy.
2Now, mix in 3 more cups of powdered sugar, by hand.
3Just keep kneeding by hand until thoroughly mixed.
4Now, wash your hands.
5Keep adding in a small amount of powdered sugar at a time until it starts leaving your hands & is no longer gummy but is in a ball & you can work it with out sticking to your hands, like a good bread dough.
6At this point, determine the colors you will use & the flavors you want, such as green mints or red cherry flavor, etc.
7Break off as much of the ball as you want for a specific color, & flavor & place in smaller bowl.
8Say you are using half of the ball as pink mints. Work in 4 drops of mint oil thoroughly. Then taste it. Mint oil is stronger than creme de mint or peppermint extract, so be careful not to add to much. Taste as you go. Add 1 or 2 more drops if needed, mixing thoroughly.
9Now, place the ball back in the bowl. I prefer the paste colors for this. Using a small thin paring knife, dip the tip only into the paste coloring, so it has the equivalent of about 1 drop of coloring on it. Now, slice it into the ball. Do this twice, cleaning the knife in the ball completely.
10Knead the coloring into the ball until all one color. May need to repeat step 10 again until desired color is achieved.
11Be sure to keep this covered at all times with a thick towel to keep it from drying before you mold it.
12Now, have one bowl of granulated sugar (1 cup) & one bowl of powdered sugar (about 2 cups) available.
13Place wax paper on a cookie sheet to completely cover.
14Pinch off a small handfull to work with. Keep the other covered. If this feels too wet, press in the powdered sugar on one side, turn it over & press into the powdered sugar again. Now knead it in the small ball until the small piece is not shiny but a dull, dryer consistency, but still smooth & pliable.
15Using desired mold, take a piece of the ball you are using from & press into the mold to wet it with, so to speak. Now, take that out, without trying to keep the shape. You are just priming the mold. Now, dip that mold in your granulated sugar to coat the cavity.
16From this same small ball, pinch off a dime size piece & roll in both hands to form a ball or football shape. You would rather have a little too much than too little to work with for one piece. You can pinch off the excess that over fills the cavity, but when you have to add more to the cavity, it can cause the finished mint to possibly seperate by being pieced together.
17Now, press the ball into the cavity firmly but don't overpress it, making sure it covers all parts of the cavity & is level on top. If you have too much, take your thumb & press it off even with the top of mold. Make sure you have no excess hanging over the edge of the cavity on top of mold or you won't have a nice looking finished piece
18Now, holding over the prepared cookie sheet, gently press out the the mint so it holds its shape. Make sure it is upright. If it sticks to the wax paper too much, where you can't scoot it across the paper to line it up, then you need to knead in more powdered sugar into your small ball.
19If you can't gently pick up your mint also & place it in line without it loosing it's shape, it needs more kneading in the powdered sugar.
20Repeat the process of making all the mints, keeping them lined up neatly without touching on lined cookie sheet.
21Do the same with a different color or flavor or mold for the other half of mixture.
22Let set out at least 24 hours to dry. If there is humidity in the air, or if thicker molds were used, allow longer time. You don't want them hard as a rock but dried enough to hold their shape, & be able to handle & stack in container without them crushing. But you want them to still melt in your mouth. If they are still sticking to the wax paper after 24 hours, break them loose gently & allow to dry another hour or so.
23Now, in an airtight container, & using clean wax paper in between each single layer, stack the mints gently & place lid on & keep in freezer. Take out when you need them. No need to thaw, as they don't freeze hard.
24This recipe will make about 360 of the small leaves shown in green.
The butter recipe will make about 190-200 of the larger thicker mints.