Last week I went home and helped my mom with a holiday dessert party. It was just her and me in the kitchen one afternoon. I like to think it's where we belong, where I grew up and where I always go back to. Right there in the kitchen with my mom.
You know, when I started this blog almost 7 years ago, I hadn't gone to culinary school. I didn't feel like a master baker or pastry chef. But, I learned my baking ways through my mom (that, and religiously watching Martha Stewart and just about every Saturday morning cooking show on the Food Network). It was a hands-on class each time I baked cookies with her or made homemade pies or canned jams. My mom has taught food/cooking classes, so I always felt that she was my own personal teacher of sorts!
I guess long story short, you can learn a skill or develop a passion anywhere. You don't need a fancy class or expensive tools. You need your heart in the right place and an excitement to learn. If you don't have that passion, well, even the most-trained person out there won't find joy in their work. Without joy, what's the point?
Passion has led to countless days in the kitchen with my mom and in turn, countless memories. And helping my mom last week is now added to the list!
One dessert I made were these dark chocolate peppermint cups. They were a huge hit at the event! So, I just had to share to recipe. I made 4 dozen of these little cups, so it makes a lot. But, they freeze beautifully so it's totally okay if you make way too many. ;)
The beauty of this recipe is that it is flexible. Feel free to cut it in half to make less. If you fill the cups up with too much chocolate and run out, then just melt more chocolate. If you have extra peppermint filling left over, you can roll in balls and dip in the melted chocolate for peppermint bon bons!
Vegan Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cups
(makes about 4 dozen mini cups)
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut milk or other non-dairy milk (light or full-fat)
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter or shortening
- 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 24 oz. good-quality dark chocolate, chopped (or about 4-5 cups dark chocolate chips)
- 1 tablespoon shortening or coconut oil
- 1-2 candy canes crushed, for topping
- Line mini muffin tins with paper liners (or, if you don't have liners just spray the mini muffin tins with non-stick spray).
- In a large bowl, stir together 4 cups powdered sugar with the coconut milk, butter, peppermint extract and vanilla. Stir until the mixture is combined. If it is too watery, add in up to 1 more cup of powdered sugar until the mixture is similar to a dough.
- Place in the refrigerator to chill and harden slightly.
- While the peppermint mixture is chilling, melt the chocolate with 1 tbsp of shortening. I do this in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval. When the chocolate is just about melted, stir with a spoon until it is completely melted and very smooth.
- Next, make the peppermint cups. Fill up the bottom of the muffin liner with about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate (it should go up the edges slightly). Then, place about 1/2 tablespoon of the peppermint mixture in the muffin tin. Cover with more melted chocolate and smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
- Freeze until chocolate is hardened. Once frozen, I like to remove the liners from the cups and store the chocolate cups in a container in the freezer. They will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- NOTE: If you only have one of two mini muffin tins, just fill those with the chocolate cups and freeze until hardened. Once hard, remove cups from the tins and repeat the process with the remaining peppermint mixture and chocolate.
My trick to make oh-so-good chocolate treats is to buy the best chocolate you can!
I always tell people that if you use really good chocolate, your dessert will taste good. This is especially true when chocolate is one of the only ingredients, like in these peppermint cups. I prefer to use Bissinger's, Whole Food's bulk dark chocolate or Ghirardelli.