I continue my love affair with chocolate and mint (see recipe for fudge brownies with peppermint ganache). There's just something irresistible about this flavor combination. I developed this recipe because I wanted to replicate the taste and texture of my childhood favorite treats with my daughter who has multiple food allergies. This allergy-friendly version of chocolate mint candy is free from wheat, dairy, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts. Depending on your choice of vegetable shortening and chocolate chips, it can also be made soy-free. Although there are several steps involved, you need only a few ingredients, and requires minimal cooking. Kids can even get involved in assembling the candies. I decided to break with tradition and make candy cups instead of patties. Dipping individual patties into melted chocolate was a messy process, and I like having candy that is individually wrapped. By the way, my child is now also a fan of mint chocolate!
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 1/2 Cup water
- 1/8 Teaspoon Cream of tartar
Make simple syrup ahead to so that it can cool and thicken.
Combine sugar and water into small saucepan.
Turn on stove to medium-high heat and bring water and sugar to a boil. When sugar starts to boil, reduce heat to low and stir constantly for 3-5 minutes, until sugar crystals are completely dissolved. Remove from heat and pour into container. Set aside to allow to completely cool. Do not stir the syrup while cooling. The sugar will recrystallize and your simple syrup will be grainy. Store extra syrup in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one month.
- 2 1/2 cups Non-dairy semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (e.g. Enjoy Life, Chocolate Dream, Sun Spire)
- 2 Tablespoons Canola oil
Line mini muffin pan with cupcake liners. Place 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a small bowl and set aside. Take remaining chocolate chips and canola oil and place in another microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high setting for one minute. Remove and stir. Repeat this step two to three times until most of the chocolate chips are melted. Continue to stir and allow residual heat to melt the rest of the chocolate. The consistency of the chocolate should be smooth and shiny, with no lumps.
Using a mini pastry brush, brush melted chocolate along the inside of each muffin liner. Repeat until all muffin liners are coated with chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or until chocolate has hardened. If the chocolate coating is too thin, brush additional layers of chocolate until you get desired thickness.
- 2 cups Confectioner's sugar
- 4 Tablespoons Vegetable shortening softened (e.g. Earth Balance Baking Sticks, Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening)
- 3 Teaspoons Peppermint extract
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup Simple syrup (see recipe)
Combine vegetable shortening, peppermint extract, vanilla extract, and simple syrup in a small bowl. Using hand mixer or whisk, cream together ingredients. Add confectioners sugar half cup at a time, mixing in between, to incorporate sugar. Scrape filling from the beaters and sides of the bowl and knead into a ball. It should have the consistency of very soft play dough. Pinch-off one teaspoonful of mint filling and roll into a small ball. Repeat until all the filling has been divided.
Assembling the Candy
Place reserved chocolate chips and oil in microwave-safe bowl. Repeat steps for melting chocolate in the microwave. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool. Place one ball of mint filling inside each chocolate cup. Press down gently to fill the space. Each cup should be 3/4 full. Pour enough melted chocolate over each cup to cover the filling. Place in refrigerator until chocolate has hardened. Makes 24 peppermint cup candies.