Peppermint Patties

peppermint_facesI’ve discovered the world of homemade chocolates. Who knew it was so easy? Melt up some chocolate and roll something in it. Voila!

That said, it’s been a challenge to come up with combinations I truly love, especially since my sweetie is vegan and so I have been trying to do it without butter, eggs, etc. I made some peanut butter cups which came out pretty good. And various “meh” attempts at non-butter toffee. Beth liked the unsweetened tahini balls, but they were too much for me.

But I finally hit one which is pretty perfect. The peppermint patty.

And it’s so simple. Here is the total list of ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp mint extract
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used 73% dagoba chips)

You barely melt the coconut oil, and to get rid of all the lumps: keep stirring rather than continue heating. Then stir in the powdered sugar and mint extract. If you want it super-minty, or even sweeter I don’t think upping either of those two ingredients will ruin anything (within reason, “reason” being one of those imprecise thing that can-only-be and really-shouldn’t-be left up to the individual).

The next step is personal choice: how much do you let the mixture cool. You see, you form the inside of the patty first. You do this by spooning out the white stuff into little discs on a sheet of parchment paper. If it’s still really worm and liquidy: they’ll be super thin. Which is lovely. If you wait and stir longer, they’ll be thicker. Which is lovely. I tried both and liked both. See?

peppermint_sizes

Then you freeze the white discs. ESPECIALLY if you make them super thin, because the moment you put it in warm chocolate, it’s going to start to soften and liquidize. The freezing will slow this process.

Preparing the chocolate: just barely melt it. You should do it with some sort of double boiler (we use two pots. Heat water in a bigger pot with  the smaller pot in it, a vegetable steamer thing in between, with the chocolate in it, inside). It’s important that you keep stirring it, because then you won’t have to heat it up as much to melt it. And the cooler it is, the less it will melt the inner part. Savvy?

Take it off the stove and then just drop one white disc in, flip it over, make sure no white is showing, and then spoon the patty out and put it again on the parchment paper.

In the spirit of the holiday I added jack-o-lantern-like faces by carefully spoon-drizzling the chocolate over the finished patties.

Then put them in the freezer or fridge for a bit to cool. And if you’re lucky, the hosts of the party you attend will tweet things like, “@chris__baldwin btw the vegan peppermint patties are delicious! Can we get the recipe?” And you can link them here.

peppermint_me_dip

7 comments to Peppermint Patties

  • War Pig

    Did you temper your chocolate before dipping?

  • No! But I have just read how to do it. How convoluted and strange! Why does it doe that. Hm. Must try it.

  • War Pig

    Must work sort of like hardening and tempering steel, I guess. I just know when I temper mine, for coatings or bars, it comes out better. You can buy a tempering machine, but I am too cheap so I take the extra time to do it by hand with the microwave. It helps to have a good, instant-read food thermometer.

    I tried tempering the chocolate when making scratch chocolate pies but it doesn’t make any real difference with them because they are in reality a cooked chocolate pudding, and the chocolate simply remelts in them with the other ingredients.

    I use peppermint essential oil and also homemade jalapeno oil for the small chocolate treats I make in plastic molds I bought long ago. The peppermints look like candy canes and the jalapenos like peppers. People are shocked when they try the jalapeno ones, but I’ve found they tend to come back for more later on. I don’t make them blistering hot, just about like a jalapeno popper. Takes practice. I used to use colored candy for the peppers and canes, but for some reason the chocolate has a more novel taste and I and others preferred the straight, flavored chocolates. Plus the super-smooth plastic molds make them even shinier.

    You can use any of the food grade essential oils for chocolates. Cinnamon, Orange (goes GREAT with chocolates), rosemary, or even Bergamot (the flavoring in earl gray tea). You have to use VERY little of the essential oils as they are very potent. A drop or two may do it. I do not think anyone sells essential jalapeno oil so I make my own non-essential oil with peanut oil, sesame oil, cumin, sugar and peppers.

    Here’s where I got the recipe for the jalapeno oil (you could also use red bird’s-eye chilies, I guess). I use it in all sorts of food, from scrambled eggs to stews and sometimes as a drizzle for baked Alaska (fire and ice).

    http://chinesefood.about.com/od/sauces/r/chilioil.htm

  • gaygeek

    So how long did it take you to make these and how many were produced? Thinking of doing these as part of a Xmas goody basket so I need to know yields and such. Thanks

  • War Pig

    Tried your recipe (with tempered chocolate) yesterday. Delicious.

    Second batch I made I added a little coconut flavored rum to half and a little banana liqueur to the others. Not enough to make the insides runny, just for flavor, still had to add a dash more powdered sugar to thicken them. Amazing. I thank you for publishing this one. I have used powdered coconut and even toasted coconut snow, but not just the oil itself. The rum and liqueur mix so well with the coconut oil and they alter the flavors, subtly in the case of the banana liqueur, and not as subtly with the rum. For adults only of course, as the rum and liqueur retain quite a bit of their alcohol content. I suppose for youngsters you’d have to use rum extract.

    I’m going to experiment with a few drops of oil of cassia the next time to add a little cinnamon flavor to the coconut.

  • Matt

    Next time I see you I’ll relay Fran’s cookbook to you for referencing tempering. The woman’s a master at the craft and I think you’ll find her description thorough and helpful.

    btw. isn’t it fun to make candy? :D