Homemade Peppermint Patties

homemade peppermint patties -- a healthier version made with coconut oil!

The chore list of a busy homestead mom:

Making sure the animals are fed and watered? Check.

Making sure the kids are at least partially clothed? Check.

Making sure there is something semi-edible on the table for supper? Check.

Making sure the floors are mopped? Probably not…

Making homemade candy? Yeah right.

I don’t have the patience to make homemade candy anyway– the incessant stirring, the monotonous dipping, and those darn candy thermometers. Too tedious for me.

However, there are a few exceptions to my rule: homemade tootsie rolls and these knock-your-socks-off homemade peppermint patties.

homemade peppermint patties -- a healthier version made with coconut oil!

Seriously guys– if you are even just slightly enjoy York® peppermint patties, you must try this healthy peppermint patty recipe I’m sharing with you today. You MUST.

When I say healthy, I’m referring to the fact they use honey and coconut oil in the filling, instead of powdered sugar and corn syrup like most homemade peppermint patties.

But the crazy part? YOU CAN’T TELL. Even my hubby, who has finely-tuned radar when it comes to my “healthy” substitutions in dessert recipes, was blown away when I told him these little patties-from-heaven were made with coconut oil.

(this post contains affiliate links)

homemade peppermint patties -- a healthier version made with coconut oil!

Homemade Peppermint Patties (Healthy Version)

Makes 12 patties

Instructions:

With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla until very smooth.

Drip in the peppermint essential oil or extract. Taste as you go to make sure you are satisfied with the level of mintiness.

Place this mixture in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to allow it to slightly harden (It will be far too sticky to handle at this point.)

Once the mixture is firm enough to handle, divide the coconut oil mixture into 12 portions, and roll them into small balls.… [Continue Reading]

Eggnog Recipe

homemade eggnog recipe

As a kid, I was absolutely certain…

I was taking my own life into my hands every time I would eat raw cookie dough.

My mom did a very thorough job of scaring us silly about the life-threatening dangers of raw eggs. Sad to say, it didn’t stop my sister and I from pinching off bits of dough when she wasn’t looking…

Without fail, I’d get a stomachache an hour or two later (Not from the raw eggs, but rather the raw sugar and flour. Or maybe the guilty conscience.) and I would lie there, positive I was going to die a slow death as a result of my forbidden nibbling.

Therefore, thanks to my cookie-dough experiences, I was leery of drinking eggnog for quite a while. Not the store-bought stuff, as that’s always thoroughly pasteurized (and full of other junk, of course), but rather any raw eggnog recipe I would see floating around.

eggnog recipe

Risks of Eating Raw Eggs

Becoming a homesteader has turned me into quite the risk-taking rebel… First raw milk, and now homemade eggnog made with raw eggs. What can I say… we like to live on the edge around here…

However, as I’ve learned more about food production and fresh foods, my fear of raw eggs has decreased significantly. Especially if said eggs come from healthy pastured chickens, like the ones we raise.

According to Dr. Mercola,

“The salmonella risk is increased when hens are raised in unsanitary conditions, which is extremely rare for small organic farms where the chickens are raised in clean, spacious coops, have access to sunlight, and forage for their natural food. Conventional eggs, making up the vast majority of eggs in typical grocery stores, have an increased risk for salmonella, which is why I advise against eating conventional eggs raw.

[Continue Reading]

Hot Chocolate Recipe with Whipped Cream Cutouts

hot chocolate recipe

By Renee Kohley, contributing writer

It’s a fact:

December = hot chocolate.

We make it a tradition the weekend after Thanksgiving to decorate the house for Christmas and enjoy the first night of Christmas lights with mugs of hot chocolate with whipped cream.

A few years ago when my oldest was getting at that age where she wanted to try *everything* that we were having, I decided I really needed to figure out a way for all of us to enjoy the simple pleasures of the holidays and keep the food real at the same time.

I love freezing a simple sheet pan of easy whipped cream and cutting out shapes to make the girls’ hot chocolate mugs special.

Our local health food store carries naturally dyed candy canes that I crush up on top and it really turns out super pretty in their mugs! You also can adorn them with these naturally-sweetened homemade marshmallows.

Cozy Hot Cocoa With Whipped Cream Shapes

 (this post contains affiliate links)

Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Put the milk, butter, vanilla, and sugar in a sauce pan and heat until the sugar dissolves.

Pour out about half the milk into a blender with the cacao powder and blend until smooth.

Return the blended cacao mixture to the pan with the rest of the milk mixture. Stir and heat to desired temperature.

This hot chocolate recipe makes 2 big mugs of hot cocoa – my 5 and 3 year old split one mug, just for reference!

whipped cream cutouts

For the whipped cream cutouts:

Freeze a batch of homemade whipped cream for at least 30 minutes before serving.… [Continue Reading]

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

homemade cranberry sauce recipe -- you won't believe how easy it is to make it yourself!

*Slurp* *Plop!*

Ah… the lovely sound that canned cranberry jelly makes as you delicately extract it from the can…

Even back before my real food transformation, it always seemed out of place. I mean, you spent all day basting the turkey, and making the rolls, and mashing the ‘taters, only to have the last item you put on the table be this bizarre ridged cylinder of store-bought cranberry jelly. But hey– who was I to argue with tradition?

As a young newly-married cook, I had a life-changing moment: I realized you could make cranberry sauce FROM SCRATCH. (Ok, ok… I know those of you who grew up with homemade cranberry sauce are rolling their eyes right now… but you have to realize I had my head in the sand for a good many years…)

Ever since then, I look forward to making this cranberry sauce recipe every year. It’s sweet enough that you won’t pucker, but sweetened with honey and orange juice so you don’t get a sugar-rush from it either. It’s pretty much cranberry perfection. And here’s the recipe—>

homemade cranberry sauce recipe -- you won't believe how easy it is to make it yourself!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

  • 3/4 cup orange juice (about 2 large oranges if you are freshly squeezing it)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup honey (see note below) (where to buy- affiliate link)
  • 12 ounces whole cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

In a medium saucepan, combine in the orange juice, honey, and zest. Bring to a gentle boil, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the cranberries and continue to cook them until they burst and the mixture thickens (about 15 minutes).

Spoon the cranberry sauce into a mold (or bowl, or whatever you want) and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, or until set.

Kitchen Notes:

  • I like to use freshly squeezed orange juice, but if that’s not available, premade orange juice will work too.
[Continue Reading]