Makes 300 ½-inch pieces
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, plus extra for rolling
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint oil or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 tablespoons whole milk
Food coloring, optional
1. Using an electric stand mixer, combine butter and confectioners' sugar; beat on medium-high until smooth and creamy, 6 to 8 minutes.
2. Add peppermint and milk; beat until combined.
3. Lightly dust confectioners' sugar on your work surface; turn out dough. Add 1 to 2 drops food coloring (or more for deeper color).
4. Sift more sugar over work surface. Divide dough into 4 pieces; set 3 aside, loosely wrapped in plastic. Dust your hands with sugar; gently roll a dough piece into a 1/2-inch diameter log.
5. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a sharp chef's knife to cut the log into 1/2-inch pieces; lay the pieces on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Repeat with remaining dough. Let candies dry uncovered at room temperature overnight. Store candies, layered between parchment or wax paper, in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.
Variations: For coffee buttermints, replace peppermint with 2 teaspoons coffee extract, or 1 tablespoon espresso powder dissolved in 1 teaspoon hot water. For chocolate, omit
-- Liz Gutman and Jen King, "The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook" (Workman Publishing, $17.95, 302 pages)