When I threw these little treats together for myself on Halloween, and posted a photo on Instagram, I had no idea they would be such a hit. The photo above happens to have the most likes on my page. Many people requested the recipe, and since it was a spur-of-the-moment, “mama needs some chocolate” treat, I didn’t have any measurements. So I made it again and actually wrote everything down. These mint chocolate candies are so easy to make! If you love all things chocolate, mint, and matcha, then you need to make these right away!
One of the main ingredients in these cups is coconut butter. Coconut butter is so easy to make at home. All you need is a high speed blender (like a vitamix or blendtec) or a good food processor. I used to make this with my food processor before we got a vitamix, and it would turn out great, with maybe just a bit more texture compared with the results in a vitamix. Also, it will take about 2 minutes in a vitamix, while it takes a bit longer in a food processor. Either way you go, making your own coconut butter at home is going to save you some serious cash! It only costs me about $3.50 to make a 12 oz. jar of coconut butter, while that same amount will cost you between $10 – $13 if you buy it online or at the store. I never buy it anymore now that I know how cheap and easy it is to make at home
Another important ingredient we should probably talk about is matcha powder. Matcha green tea originated in China around the 10th century, however the best matcha in the world comes from Japan, and most people associate matcha green tea with traditional Japanese tea ceremonies which have been in practice since the 12th century. Matcha powder is finely ground green tea leaves, but not just any green tea leaves. Up to twenty days prior to harvest, matcha bushes are covered to protect against direct sunlight. This increases chlorophyll as well as L-theanine. L-Theanine is an amino acid that has the power to calm and stimulate at the same time. When harvested, workers pick only the best buds. If the leaves are rolled out flat to dry, they will become Gyokuru, a premium green tea. If they are laid out to dry, they become tencha which is the leaf used to make matcha powder. The leaves must be de-veined, de-stemmed, and then stone ground. Because of the specific methods of growing, harvesting, and producing the powder, it can be rather pricy. My favorite matcha powder is Pure Matcha, which I order on Amazon. It is a high-quality, ceremonial, vibrant matcha powder, and isn’t as pricy as some other brands.
Matcha green tea has many purported health benefits. I will have to devote another post to talking about those! I love it lattes, but there are oodles of recipes and ideas out there for other ways to use it. I’ve made it into coconut milk based matcha ice cream, dairy-free matcha milk shakes, I’ve added it to fruit smoothies (like my tropical anti-inflammatory smoothie), and now these chocolate minty matcha cups.
If you’re looking for a treat that’s a little extra special, these melt in your mouth candies are just for you. They remind me of an Andes mint, with a hint of super food matcha and cacao nib crunch. They’re a refreshing mid-day treat or after-dinner sweet, and just one mini-cup is all you need.
Now go whip up some (cheap!) homemade coconut butter and treat yo’self today to these little cups of minty happiness.
Chocolate Minty Matcha Cups
makes 10-12 mini cups
- 3 Tbsp Coconut Butter (see instructions for making your own, below)
- 1 Tbsp of melted unrefined virgin coconut oil
- 1 tsp liquid sweetener, like coconut nectar or maple syrup, OR stevia to taste
- 1/2 tsp matcha green tea powder or more if desired
- 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
- a tablespoon of cacao nibs
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, optional
- 3/4 cup of dairy free chocolate chips + 1 Tbsp of coconut oil (or make your own chocolate by combining equal amounts of cacao powder and coconut oil plus liquid sweetener to taste)
- Mix the first 7 ingredients together. Set aside. Melt the chocolate chips and 1 tbsp coconut oil using a double boiler or a small pot inside a larger pot filled 1/4 of the way with water, over low/medium heat, stirring, until melted.
- Prepare a mini muffin tin with about 10 – 12 mini muffin paper cups. Or use a silicone mini muffin or candy mold. Fill the bottoms of the cupcake liners with a little melted chocolate then set the pan in the freezer to harden for about 5 minutes. Take the pan out and add a heaping 1/2 tsp mint/matcha/coconut butter mixture to each cup and press down slightly. Then cover the filling with more melted chocolate. Set back in the freezer to harden. Can be stored in the freezer or refrigerator.
Homemade Coconut Butter
4 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut
Simply add the coconut shreds to your food processor or high speed blender. If using a food processor, you’ll have to stop and scrape the sides down often. It may take more than 5 minutes to get a nice smooth, almost liquid consistency in the food processor. You may want to give the food processor a break every so often. With a Vitamix, you’ll want to use the tamper and increase the speed from 1-10 on low then switch to high, using the tamper to push the coconut into the blades. Once it’s broken down you’ll want to keep going to get it to that drippy stage.
Do you make your own coconut or nut butters?
Have you tried matcha? What are some of the ways you like to use it?