How simple can a recipe be, and still be considered a recipe?
Whatever it is, this one definitely pushes the bounds.
Last year I decided I was going to learn how to make honey mints, like the ones you get with heavenly organics (aff). I love those things! They are just honey, unsweetened chocolate and mint. But, they are a bit expensive, and not suitable for those with severe allergies as the processing equipment is not allergy free.
I set to work with those ingredients. The simple way to sum up the experiment= failure. Complete and total.
I have since learned a bit since then, and think it would be possible to do now. But as I recently made honey bon bons where I dipped balls of creamed honey into chocolate I can say not easy. Also, Natalia would not be able to have them as honey is one of the foods she is intolerant too.
Then one day as I was eating dates (you know I love them!) the texture got me thinking, what if you were to dip sticky sweet dates into chocolate? I could even sweeten the chocolate with a bit of peppermint oil since if is fairly easy to add small amounts of oil to melted chocolate.
The results exceeded my expectations. A hard minty shell around a chewy, gooey, and sweet filling. Couldn’t be easier.
I even used unsweetened chocolate with good success. I wanted to see how dark the coating could be with still yielding a sweet result as you bit into it and the flavors mingled. My finding? It was good, and if you aren’t able to do sugars because of being on GAPS or a similar diet I say it works, but a ever so slight sweeter shell is better. Not too sweet though, that bit of bitter before getting into goo-ey sweetness. It is part of the fun.
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- 20 medjool, make sure they are soft and sticky (any newly bought dates should be)
- 4 oz chocolate (see notes)
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon peppermint essential oil (do NOT sub extract) depending on strength of extract and how strong you want them to be
- 1 tiny pinch salt (not needed if using a salted chocolate)
- 1 teaspoon ghee/shortening/coconut oil
- Freeze a baking sheet.
- If using big chunks of chocolate chop it. Melt the chocolate until about ½ - ⅔ melted. Remove from heat and gently stir until the rest of the chocolate is melted. Check on your wrist to see if it just barely warm. Stir in the peppermint oil, added fat, and salt if using.
- Pit the dates, roll into a ball and flatten. Taking a few extra seconds to smooth out the edges will lead to prettier patties. Set aside. It is a bit of a sticky job, but worth it.
- Take the sheet pan out of the freezer and line with parchment (unless it is a well seasoned stone).
- Dip the dates in the chocolate. Let excess drip off so you have a very thin coating. Put on the cold pan. I had enough chocolate to thinly coat 20 dates, if you have extra chocolate, you can drizzle over the dates (or eat) if you have extra dates hand them to a nearby child (or eat them yourself :D).
- You can set up in the fridge for speed or counter.
The last batch of baker's baking chocolate said it was manufactured with milk (and previous ones said peanut and soy), so use fully enjoy life if need be for allergies.
You can use 100% chocolate if desired. It won't be as sweet, but works if you are on a special diet like GAPS.
You can also use any bittersweet chocolate bar you desire/as able. Liberty Chocolate is a GAPS legal option as it is sweetened with honey. They are dairy and soy free, but I do not know their allergy situation.
Use enjoy life for top 8 free patties OR 100% baking chocolate or Liberties's for GAPS Or simply any bittersweet chocolate (or combo) desired.