Thursday, December 8, 2011

Festive Peppermint Chocolates

So beings the holiday baking extravaganza!

Who will eat all these treats, you ask?

Well since I have a very small group of people I know here in my new town I'll be eating most myself. Perhaps my neighbors and Mitch's coworkers will be lucky enough to get a platter of goodies delivered to them.

Or I might just not share at all.

Just joking . . .

My first try at a new holiday dessert recipe is a good one for sharing, only because it's so rich that eating more than one is a tad much for even the biggest sweet tooth. But delicious nonetheless.

Peppermint chocolates! (or peppermint patties as they are also known as) Yum!

I was inspired by the recipe found here, but my lack of ingredients made me alter it a bit. I was also a tad intimidated by the reviews of the recipe saying it was really difficult, but I think I got it down and I'll tell you how to make these so that it's the easiest thing ever! Ever!

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup peppermint bits (a guesstimation, mind you)
dark chocolate chips for melting

I have my little blogging buddy/baking partner back!

The original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil, but after running around from grocery store to grocery store with no luck of finding the elusive flavor extract, I found the next best thing . . .

Peppermint candy!

I think the patties turned out fantastic and the inside was pink which seems extra festive in my opinion. And I felt a bit like I was on Iron Chef or Chopped, using a weird ingredient instead of the original. Awesome. So, that being said, the first step is . . .

1. Melt the peppermint candy. You can do this with a glass bowl and a small saucepan with simmering water on the stove, or simply microwaving it. Stir frequently.

2. After the peppermint is melted, mix in the coconut oil and agave nectar until combined. Make sure the coconut oil is at room temperature.

I melted the coconut oil and let it sit out to cool down before mixing, but you can also use un-microwaved coconut oil as well - just make sure to mash it so that it combines well and the texture of the mix is smooth.

3. Toss the bowl of peppermint deliciousness into the freezer for a few minutes (somewhere around 2-5 minutes) to set up. This would be a good time to snuggle your sweet kitty.

4. Take the bowl out of the freezer and mix up again (mine was separated a bit). The texture should be significantly thicker if you started out with melted coconut oil.

5. Roll the mixture into little balls and place on a baking sheet (or any sort of tray) lined with parchment paper. (Beware that if you keep the mix in your hands too long it will begin to melt.)

Squish down the balls into small patties with the back of a spoon.

The original recipe recommends using a 1.5 teaspoon ice cream scoop to measure out the servings, but you can make them however big you want, I say. Mine were a pretty decent size. Maybe next time I'll make little tiny ones as suggested.

6. Place the patties back in the freezer to set up. (I left them in for a couple of hours.) Check that they are firm before moving on to the next step.

7. Melt the chocolate chips in a bowl. Let the bowl sit out for at least 20 minutes. You don't want the chocolate to be hot when you coat the patties or else they will melt into a big ugly mess.

8. One at a time drop the patties into the bowl of chocolate and use a spoon to make sure they get coated with a good layer.

Use the spoon to serve them back on to your cold, parchment paper lined cookie sheet. (The cold cookie sheet is key here because it helps them set up when the chocolate is still a bit melty.)

9. Place the patties back in the freezer to set up and then eat! Served cold these are amazing.

The flavor is great - peppermint, but not so strong you feel like you're eating toothpaste (ick). And the dark chocolate pairs really well with it. The texture is also really fantastic, mind you I ate this right out of the freezer. I wasn't sure how much I was going to like these considering there isn't much to them, but it's surprisingly yummy. It also fits into the category of "paleo desserts" so that's a bonus as well!

It's so easy to do. And it's a fantastic treat. Like I said, with the peppermint and the dark chocolate they are very rich so it's unlikely that I could eat all of these in one night. That's good because I have a habit of eating handfuls at a time of my baked goods that turn out well.

I hope you try these, and I hope you like them. Let me know what you think if you do!  

Happy holidays!

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