Looking for a quick, real food mint candy recipe? These dark chocolate covered cream cheese mints are easy, delicious, and make a fantastic gift!
There are two super easy homemade mint recipes I've made for years at the holidays, air-dried Homemade Butter Mints, and the classic three ingredient cream cheese mints, the kind you shape with the tines of a fork.
Making your own butter mints was new to me when I found that recipe, but I remember making the cream cheese mints with my mom at Christmas. So yeah, they've been around awhile.
So do we really need another cream cheese mint recipe?
If it were the same old recipe, no. But when it's been updated with chocolate? Um, yes!
My daughter actually came up with the idea to coat the shaped cream cheese mints in dark chocolate one Christmas, which turned out to be simply genius.
Coating the mints turns a nice, mint candy into an amazing treat that rivals any store-bought chocolate covered candies. Really. Special enough to gift to people all on their own.
Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Mints
The recipe remains simple and easy even though the original three ingredients have been increased to five. You can still whip them up in just minutes.
And after years of making these, I do have a couple of tips to pass along:
- Use the lower fat Neufchatel cream cheese to make mixing the dough easier, since it's softer than regular cream cheese. You can use it right from the fridge without softening. It's still a real food product, the only difference is that Neufchatel is made with all milk and regular is made with cream and milk.
- Use peppermint extract, not peppermint "flavor," which is an oil based product and doesn't work well in this application.
Dip or Coat with Chocolate?
You can, of course, coat the entire mint with chocolate and create your own version of peppermint patties, but we usually dip just one side. It's a bit quicker and you still get all the chocolate flavor plus a fun black and white look.
Cream Cheese Mints Gift Idea
While these are a great addition to a cookie plate with other goodies at the holidays (my favorites include whole grain cut out cookies, mocha chip cookies, and caramel coconut bars...among others, ha!), the mints also make a sweet little gift all on their own - especially when gifted in a vintage mason jar.
Of course mints are classic additions to tables at weddings, showers, and graduations, too.
With this recipe in your arsenal, you can become known as the homemade mint queen...or just someone who brings those delicious mints to parties.
Oh, one more tip before you go: Do you ever wonder what to do with leftover melted chocolate from a recipe like this?
Don't waste it, make nut clusters!
Simply grab any roasted nuts you have (bonus points if they are these incredible DIY roasted almonds) and add them a handful at a time to the leftover chocolate until they're all coated.
Spoon the mixture onto a lined cookie sheet into about tablespoon sized mounds. Scrape the chocolate at the end and add that to the tops of the clusters (I don't like to waste any of it!).
Put in the refrigerator to cool and harden, then remove from the pan and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. Perfection.
Classic Cream Cheese Mints Updated with Dark Chocolate
- 3 ounces cream cheese preferably Neufchatel, or softened regular
- 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (not 'flavor' which is oil-based)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips or chopped bars
- 1 teaspoon butter or coconut oil
- In a mixing bowl combine the cream cheese and peppermint extract. Beat in the powdered sugar until a smooth ball forms (add more as needed to create a moldable dough).
- Using about 1 teaspoon of dough, roll into a ball, set on a large parchment-lined cookie sheet and press ball into a flat disc with a fork. If the fork sticks to the mint, rub a bit of oil on the back of the fork. Repeat with remaining dough, covering the dough in the bowl with a damp cloth if it starts to dry out.
- Let the mints dry on the cookie sheet for an hour or two.
- Melt the chocolate with the butter until smooth (using a microwave or double boiler).
- Dip one side of each mint into the melted chocolate, tapping excess and setting them back on the parchment-lined sheet to harden. Alternately, you can coat the entire mint in chocolate to create a small homemade peppermint patty.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Other Easy Homemade Candies:
- Dark Chocolate Coconut Clusters (Low Sugar & Just 3 Ingredients)
- Easy Homemade Honey Caramel Corn with Moose Munch Variation
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles (gluten-free & maple syrup sweetened)
This recipe has been updated - it was first published in December of 2013.
Used exact measurements and this does not form a smooth ball. It's all crumbly. Little balls. What did I do wrong?
Gosh, without being right there with you it's hard to troubleshoot - I just made these the other day and they turned out perfect. I spoon the powdered sugar into the cups and smooth the tops to measure if that makes any difference.
Kate Edwards says
I love how beautiful these look! Both elegant and vintage at the same tim in the Mason jars! I will be attending my sister-in-law's baby shower in two weeks and these delicious, chocolate, mints will be perfect. Absolute perfection. Thanks,
Thank you, Kate - that seems like a great use for these mints!
I served these at a Mother's Day tea party this weekend and they were SO good! No one could believe that I made them. The taste reminds me of York peppermint patties. I sent each of the guests home with the extras; now I need to make more so I have some of my own!
Wonderful idea, Dawn! You just reminded me that I need to make these again, too. 😉
Heidi Peterson says
We are making these today as gifts. Was just wondering how long they last in the fridge?
We've had them for more than a week right now and they are still great, Heidi! I think they'd probably be good for up to a month, but they haven't lasted that long around our house. 😉
I LOVE these! They taste delicious and look so fancy. We put ours in a piping bag with a star tip and drizzled the chocolate over top instead of dipping them. Perfect for a cheap DIY Christmas gift 🙂 Thank you for sharing the recipe.
We made these for my wedding 13 years ago...but we rolled them into balls and dipped them into white chocolate and decorated the top...they made beautiful truffles! And the white chocolate was delicious...We also had some with dark chocolate as well and alternated the place settings with dark and white truffles.
What a great idea, Cheryl, I bet it was lovely - and tasty!
These sound wonderful (and look so fancy shmancy too!). I was wondering if you think they would be appropriate gifts for dance teachers, etc? I have Mason jars and plenty of beautiful ribbon and can't really afford gift cards for everybody this year. Just don't want to look cheesy (no pun intended)...can't wait to sample them!
Yes, Mary! I was a preschool teacher for years and always appreciated homemade, yummy gifts. 🙂
Joyce @ It's Your Life says
Oh, coconut and mint my favorite, pinning to my dessert board. Would love for you to share this on Real Food Fridays Link Up.
Yummy! These sound delicious.
I love, love, love melted chocolate with nuts and dried cranberries. Oh my gosh, I could eat them until I was sick.
I opened our first jar of pickled jalapenos last night from your recipe. Deeeeeelicious!!! I almost don't want to give any away as gifts!!!
Woot! Brian won't let me gift any - I make enough to keep him for the year and if he runs out, he's not a happy camper. 😉
Charlotte Moore says
Coconut is also good with the leftover chocolate. These mints look so fancy.
Oh, yes, that would be good, too, Charlotte! I'm trying that next time. 🙂
Brian (Jami's husband) says
These are ridiculously good. I don't really like traditional butter mints. But with the chocolate, these are addictive. Now that Jami's taken the picture, I'm going to go find where she hid them.
You had me at cream cheese - then finished it off with dark chocolate! Oooh, can't wait to try these.
Kari J. says
Oh. My. Goodness. Your daughter is certainly a genius! You've just taken a candy I've never really cared for & turned it into something I can't wait to try. Plus, you make them in such a simple way that ends up looking so classy & I don't have to go buy any of those fussy molds. Whoo-Hoo!! Thanks for sharing your brilliant ideas -- wish I'd know about (thought of on my own. duh.) using up the leftover chocolate by making nut clusters a few days ago. We had a fair amount leftover after making buckeyes & it ended up in the trash. 🙁
Oh, my heart actually hurt when I read you sent chocolate to the trash, Kari, ha! Glad to know future chocolate will be saved. 🙂
Kari J. says
I hear ya! Although I had to make the difficult decision to toss the hardened mass, I didn't actually have to do the dirty work. 🙂 You have definitely done a good deed today, in saving all future left-over chocolate at my house. I'm still shaking my head over the fact that I never thought of making nut clusters. Again, I say duh.