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.