Coconut Butter. Raw Honey. Peppermint Oil. Salt. Dark Chocolate. THAT’S IT.
Peppermint patties remind me of my grandfather. I lived with my grandparents until I was 4, and then my parents bought a house down the street, so I grew up with two old people as my best friends. Most little kids love having sleepovers with kids their own age, but my favorite spot was up the street, snuggled up in bed between my grandparents and their dachshund, Holly. Then as I got older, I upgraded to sleeping in grandpa’s heavy-duty L.L. Bean sleeping bag on the floor next to their bed. Yes, there were 2 empty bedrooms down the hall I could have slept in, but there was nowhere else I wanted to be than right there with my grandparents.
I have so many memories with both of my grandparents: working down in Grandpa’s garage (aka ‘the barn’) on antique car engines; waking up before sunrise and hopping up on the counter to help Gramps brew a pot of coffee and ponder the mysteries of the universe; picking raspberries from their huge raspberry patch- and that year I decided I would sell them at the end of their driveway; walking down the street on a Sunday morning to make pancakes on the old griddle they used to have right on the stove; going grocery shopping with Nanny and helping her get just the right items on the shelf with my top-quality-kid-eyes; helping Nanny roll up heaps of quarters to bring to the bank; going on road trips with my number one best buds to Maine to see where Grampa grew up; flying to Florida with Nanny over February vacation and visiting all the theme parks, historical spots, and restaurants that we didn’t have up in Massachusetts. Building puzzles, learning how to read, and hearing stories about life in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s; you name it, my grandparents have lived it. Even now, in their 90s, my grandparents are my favorite people to be around. For the first time in my life I feel like they are truly getting old, but Grampa is still telling his stories from back in the day, and Nanny is still the fiery, stubborn Irish Bostonian we all know and love. They’re both still spreading their love and wisdom to our family, which is so appreciated the older I get.
There used to be a hardware store downtown, and Grampa would take me with him when he had to run and get a tool or a key, or pick up some miscellaneous item like spray paint or a new shovel. Everybody in town knew my grandpa, or at least all the old people did, so I often found myself wandering around the hardware store while Grandpa chatted. My favorite part about the hardware store was obviously the candy section. Gramps is a dark chocolate man, and sometimes, if I was lucky, or if he had made me wait forever, he would grab a York Peppermint Patty as we checked out so we could snack on it on the ride home. No one else in my family was a big mint fan, so we never had peppermint patties around growing up. Those strong, bold, melt-in-your-mouth bites of chocolate-mint goodness were like a whole new world to me.
These 5-ingredient peppermint patties are inspired by those trips to the hardware store, when I was free to roam around exploring the tools while Grampa finished talking about diesel engines, or the Revolutionary War, or potato farming, or whatever else he discussed while I was busy dreaming of the peppermint patty that might be waiting for me at the end of the trip.
When I set out to make a homemade version of peppermint patties, I first had to stop and think about what exactly that creamy filling was made out of. I knew I was going to use peppermint oil to make them minty, but I wasn’t sure what that white stuff really was. I mean, it’s been years since I’ve had a York Peppermint Patty, and I can’t say my 5-year-old self was thinking much about what was in them other than the obvious: peppermint and…patties? Duh.
A quick internet search led me to the ingredients on the back of one of those foil packages, and it turns out, the white filling is essentially just corn syrup mixed with powdered sugar and egg whites.
Since I’m all about tasty, nutritious treats, I knew I wanted to make a homemade version that used higher quality ingredients. I happened to make a batch of coconut butter a few days before this peppermint patty craving struck, and after eating a few spoonfuls of the freshly churned, drippy coconut butter, I realized it would be the perfect consistency for a peppermint patty filling.
To the coconut butter I added raw honey, which is thicker than honey that’s been processed (and still has all the natural enzymes that make honey so healing for your body!), peppermint oil, and a tiny pinch of salt. I scooped out the mixture with a tablespoon, pressed them down into patty shapes, and then stuck them in the freezer to firm up. While the peppermint patties chilled, I melted some dark chocolate in the microwave, then dunked each frozen patty into the chocolate. Another quick trip in the freezer hardens the chocolate, and you’re ready to eat!
I think you’re going to love these minty homemade treats as much as I do. When cold, their texture isn’t quite as smooth-and-melty as the originals, but at room temperature they are every bit as soft and luxurious as the ones I remember as a kid. Plus, as an added bonus, every patty is full of healthy fats, raw enzymes, and real peppermint. Really, what more could you ask for from a piece of candy?
P.S. I think these would make the perfect homemade candy to tuck inside of an Easter basket next weekend! This recipe makes a dozen, but you could easily double or triple it if you’re filling lots of baskets full of goodies!
- 2/3 cup raw coconut butter (homemade or store-bought)
- 1/3 cup raw honey (can sub maple syrup, to make these vegan)
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil OR 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate
- 1. Scoop coconut butter into a microwave-safe bowl, and heat for 10-20 seconds, or until soft. Add all remaining ingredients (except chocolate) and stir to combine.
- 2. Line a pan that will fit in your freezer with parchment paper. Use a Tablespoon to scoop the mixture onto the pan, then flatten and shape each scoop of the filling into patty shapes. Put pan in the freezer for at least 10 minutes, to cool and firm the patties.
- 3. While the patties chill, melt the chocolate. I did this by microwaving the chocolate in 25-second increments until almost melted, then stirring to completely melt it. You could also do this in a glass bowl sitting over a small pot of boiling water, if you don't have a microwave.
- 4. Remove the patties from the freezer, and dunk each one in the melted chocolate. Use a fork to flip the patties and scoop them out of the chocolate, letting the excess chocolate drain off. Set them back on the parchment-lined pan, and transfer them back to the freezer for 2-3 minutes for the chocolate to set. These are best kept in the fridge, though can sit out at room temperature for a few days, if needed.
- At room temperature, the texture of the filling is soft and creamy, and when chilled it is pleasantly firm. I enjoyed eating them both ways.