This is another recipe that makes a BUNCH -- at least 5-6 dozen or more, depending on the size of your bon bons. Still, with Christmas get togethers with family, church groups, faculty, friends...they generally disappear in a hurry!
8 oz cream cheese, softened
¾ C butter, softened
2 tsp peppermint extract
6+ C powdered sugar
18-24 oz chocolate chips
2 Tbls paraffin
optional: food coloring
Mix the cream cheese, butter and peppermint until smooth and creamy. Add food coloring at this point if desired; a pale green can look festive and minty. Add powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until mixture is firm and beginning to form a ball and pull away from the bowl. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Note: Suit your personal preference: adding more powdered sugar creates a firmer consistency; you may even be able to skip the refrigeration. But I like soft, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth centers to my bon-bons...which means slightly less powdered sugar and it really needs to be refrigerated or it melts-in-your-hands when you try to roll it into balls!
Roll into bite sized balls. Return to refrigerator for 1 hour.
Melt chocolate chips and paraffin in a double boiler. Using one or two forks, dip peppermint balls in chocolate and place on wax paper or aluminum foil to cool and harden. Store in covered container(s) in the refrigerator. Remove from frig an hour before serving for softer bon-bons.
Variations: Substitute a different extract for any variety of flavors...orange is a favorite of my sister's, but feel free to get creative! If you have anyone who is allergic to chocolate, or (gasp!) doesn't like it...simply roll the bon-bons in colored sugar or other festive 'sprinkles' (like you'd buy to decorate a cake/cupcakes).