Paleo Andes Mints

Source: Livin' the Crunchy Life

For the chocolate layers

1 1/4 cup chopped chocolate bar, or approximately 6 oz (or chocolate chips)
1/2 tbsp coconut oil (1 tbsp with chocolate chips)
1/2 - 1 1/2 tsp mint or peppermint flavoring oil* (Start with less and adjust to taste.)

For the middle layer
1/4 cup coconut butter, melted
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted (or cacao butter)
1/2 - 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional)
1/8 - 1/2 tsp mint flavoring oil* (Adjust to taste.)
Optional green color: 1/8 - 1/2 tsp spirulina and/or green matcha powder or 6-8 mint leaves (about 1/2 tbsp)

***Important: I used Frontier flavoring oil which is mint oils diluted in a carrier (sunflower). Start with low amount of flavor and adjust to taste. If you use peppermint instead of mint, use less as it's more intense. I use 1 1/2 tsp mint OR 3/4 tsp peppermint (both were diluted flavoring oils) for chocolate layer and 1/2 tsp mint OR 1/4 tsp peppermint for middle layer. This is what suits my taste. See notes for alternatives.

**If using mint leaves, only add mint oil if needed to taste.

How to make:

1. Melt coconut butter set aside. To melt in the jar, place opened jar in a saucepan with water and place over low heat until melted. This may take 10-15 minutes. Once coconut butter is melted, set aside and add coconut oil to small Pyrex and place in saucepan of water to melt. Set these aside until ready for middle layer.

2. Melt chocolate in a dry glass bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Do not allow water to get in the chocolate. While chocolate is melting, cut a piece of wax paper to fix the bottom of a 8x8 glass pan. (See notes for using mini cups.)

3. Remove chocolate from heat and wipe moisture from bottom of bowl. Add coconut oil and mint flavor, mixing well. Pour half (about 1/3 cup) of chocolate into pan and spread with the back of a spoon or gently shake pan to distribute. Place in freezer for 4-6 minutes or until just firm.

4. While chocolate is setting, mix together melted coconut butter, coconut oil, mint flavor, and optional color. Add green powders until you reach desired color. I use about 1/16 of spirulina and 1/8 of green matcha powder together. *For mint leaves, add all ingredients to food processor (except mint flavor) to puree for color and flavor. Add mint flavor only if needed to taste.

5. Remove pan from freezer when chocolate has matte finish (no longer shiny). Don't leave too long or layers will not stick. Pour coconut butter mixture on top and shake or gently tap on table to create a thin layer. Place in freezer until just firm (4-6 minutes).

6. Remove from freezer when firm and gently pour chocolate on top (should be about 1/3 cup), shaking gently to spread out. Place back in freezer (again) until just barely set.

7. Before the chocolate is completely set, after 4-8 minutes, cut into bars. For Andes mint-size pieces, cut 8-10 rows down the length of the pan. Turn pan and cut into four rows holding down wax paper if needed. Place back in freezer (yes, again) until completely firm, then break apart mints and enjoy. Store in refrigerator or freezer in an air-tight container.

Notes (see original recipe for more):

  • Mint flavor:   
    • Flavoring oils (diluted): I really, really like these best with mint flavoring oil (peppermint and spearmint oil in a carrier). The one I use, here, is in sunflower oil. If you don't like the taste of the spearmint flavor, you can use peppermint flavoring oil (which I've tried), but start with a little less. It's more intense. See recipe for amounts I used.
    • Extracts: Add to taste. I made one batch with mint extract and used 3/4 tsp for chocolate and 1/8 tsp for middle. I used Watkins brand.
    • Concentrated oils (ones for internal use): I haven't tried this, but you will use much less. I would start with a drop or two and taste.  
  • For mini cups (which are actually easier to make), add almost a tsp of chocolate to bottom of each liner (silicon or doubled paper). Place in fridge until hard (5 minutes). Add 1/2 -1 tsp coconut butter to each cup, spreading with spoon or tapping gently on table to distribute. Harden, then repeat with top layer of chocolate. Refrigerate until firm. 
  • Coconut butter troubleshooting: If your coconut butter mixture is not smooth after mixing with coconut oil, add to a food processor with 2 tbsp of warm water and process until smooth. Don't have coconut butter? Make your own.