'Clean' Dark Chocolate Peppermint Treats

Without easy access to play in the snow, I feel like I have to eat something minty to celebrate the winters in Hawaii. I also can’t get enough dark chocolate and cocoa powder in my life, so I experimented with a few recipes and found easy peppermint and coconut treats to make with just a few ingredients. Warning: I really love dark chocolate. You’ll need a cold glass of milk to accompany these chocolate gems or pick a lower percent cacao if you don’t like that bitter taste. As any treat recipe, eat these in moderation, but enjoy a little heart-healthy dark chocolate in your diet! 

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patties 

This is a simple knock-off of a peppermint patty you would find in the candy aisle. But this one has more natural plant-based fat and less refined sugar. Some of these ingredients I had to pick-up at a local health-food store.

To make the inside white mint filling:

  • ½ cup room-temperature, refined coconut oil (you could use coconut butter) 
  • ¼ cup organic pure maple syrup (or another sweetener of choice, like raw honey)  
  • ½ tsp pure peppermint extract (try ½ tsp more if you like a strong peppermint flavor) 
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract 

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl. Place in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to solidify the liquid in order to form patties. Pull out of the freezer before the mixture hardens and form into quarter-sized lumps or medallions and spread out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and allow to cool longer in the freezer for about a half hour.   

To make the chocolate exterior:

  • 2 to 3 oz. melted dark chocolate bar (I used 80% dark chocolate by mixing one ounce of a 100%  baking chocolate bar with another ounce of a 60% dark chocolate Ghirardelli bar) 

Melt the dark chocolate in 30-second increments in the microwave. I tried about two minutes or so to get it to the right consistency, easy enough for dipping. 

Gently use a fork to dip and coat the white-mint-filling lumps. Place the chocolate-dipped peppermint patties back on parchment paper and store overnight in the freezer. Makes around 12 patties. Enjoy! 

My daughter insisted on helping with the dipping process, can you tell? 

Dark Chocolate Coconut Haystacks or Macaroons 

These treats are delicious with great texture, and a healthier alternative to processed candies you find at the store. 

  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut  
  • ½ cup chopped cashews, or other nut of your choice  
  • ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 2 oz. melted dark chocolate bar (I used 80% dark chocolate)  
  • 2 egg whites (optional- this is if you make baked macaroons, see directions below)  

Mix shredded coconut with nuts of your choice together in a small bowl. Melt chocolate bar in 30 second increments in the microwave until melted and mix thoroughly by adding to the bowl of shredded coconut and nuts. Form into cluster shapes or haystacks on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. It will be hard to form "mounds" but it will look better once it freezes. Allow to cool or harden in the freezer. Makes about six macaroons/haystacks. 

Frozen coconut cashew dark chocolate goodness. 

Alternately, you can make the same mix but fold the mixture into two stiff egg whites and form into macaroons and place on parchment paper. Cook at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. This cooked version has a toasted coconut flavor. It was a bit tricky to not burn the macaroons since the dark chocolate doesn’t give away whether the coconut is getting too dark. Another alternative would be to not mix in the chocolate, but rather just drizzle the chocolate on the coconut macaroons as a final step before cooking.

Toasty dark chocolate coconut cashew baked macaroons: