Chocolate Giveaways, Healthier Buckeyes, and Christmas Candy Making

Sugar-Free Buckeyes, how I love you so!
Sugar-Free Buckeye Candies (Low Carb)

To celebrate the season, I’m giving away two prizes to two readers who comment on this post. Up for grabs is a package of Green & Black’s Organic 85% cacao chocolate along with my cooking chocolate of choice, the Lindt Excellence 85% cacao bar. I have two of these bundles all wrapped up for the lucky readers!

Contest closes December 25th. The contest is closed. Thank you for your entry!

The following recipe for homemade sugar-free peppermint patties fulfills a special request made by my good friend Bethany. She had the delicious idea of doing a mint chocolate candy for the holidays. I melted down my homemade low carb chocolate chips into a candy base, created a creamy peppermint filling, and smeared my way through homemade peppermint patties and mint chocolate cups.


Next, I revisited my favorite recipe for Healthy Buckeyes, making a few tweaks and using my homemade sugar-free chocolate chips as the enrobing layer. The Buckeyes were a hit at a holiday gathering last night, and I ate far too many of them. Buckeyes will not be on the menu again for a very long time, so if you, too, have a weakness for peanut butter and chocolate, make these and immediately whisk them out of the house to a dinner party!

Fortunately, these are low carb candies that will NOT have the distressing side effects of the storebought kind! Erythritol is much easier to digest than other sugar alcohols. Because the sugar-free chocolate base made with erythritol can be hard to handle, here are some more detailed instructions. If you follow these steps, you’ll get perfectly smooth chocolate to coat your candies.

1. Make sure every utensil is extremely DRY, with not a speck of moisture on anything.

2. Powder erythritol to as fine a powder as possible (see below).

3. Stir together the powdered milk and erythritol.

4. Chop up the chocolate finely.

5. Microwave mixture on HIGH and stir after 20 seconds. Stir after another 15 seconds, then after 15 more seconds. It should be completely smooth by then. Just keep stirring until the chocolate melts completely.

Once you get to that point, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about the consistency of the chocolate. If it becomes too stiff for dipping the Buckeyes, warm up the chocolate in the microwave in 10 second intervals.

Powdering erythritol in a simple coffee grinder
Powdering erythritol in a coffee grinder

Laying down the chocolate bases for peppermint patties

Making chocolate mint cups and peanut butter cups

Rolled centers for Buckeyes
buckeye centers

A peanut butter cup on top of a peppermint cup

A peppermint pattie, oozin’ out of control
Sugar-Free Peppermint Patties

Sugar-Free Buckeye Candies

Yields 20
These buckeyes are sugar-free and just as decadent as the real deal! You can make them with 70% chocolate (contains a little sugar), or make your own sugar-free chocolate coating using my recipe.

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Prep Time
20 min

Prep Time
20 min

  1. 1 1/4 cup no-stir creamy peanut butter
  2. 1/2 cup ricotta cheese* OR cream cheese (I like Calabro or Breakstone)
  3. 2 Tablespoons organic unsalted butter, softened
  4. 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  5. 10 Tablespoons erythritol OR 8 Tablespoons Truvia
  6. 1/8 teaspoon pure stevia extract (if using erythritol)
  7. 1/16 of a teaspoon sea salt
  8. 1 cup melted homemade sugar-free chocolate chips OR 3.5 oz 70% chocolate bar
  1. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
  2. Soften butter in microwave.
  3. Powder erythritol or Truvia and sea salt in food processor, coffee grinder, or Magic Bullet blender.
  4. Process together ricotta cheese, vanilla, sea salt, and erythritol or Truvia until ricotta is completely smooth. This might take a couple of minutes.
  5. Add peanut butter, softened butter, and pure stevia extract. Process until smooth.
  6. Taste and adjust sweeteners if necessary.
  7. Chill mixture for 5 minutes, or until filling is firm enough to roll into balls.
  8. Roll filling into balls and freeze for 10 minutes.
  9. Melt chocolate chips or chocolate bar.
  10. Stick toothpicks in centers and dip in melted chocolate, swirling the center around in the chocolate to cover. Leave a small area at the top of the candy for the filling to peek through. Quick set candies in the freezer for 5 minutes, then store in baggies in the refrigerator.
  1. *Try to buy a brand of ricotta without a lot of added moisture. If you see whey (a clear liquid) pooling on the surface of the cheese, pour it out before using the ricotta. If the ricotta adds too much moisture to your filling “dough,” mix a tablespoon or two of coconut flour into the filling to thicken it.
Healthy Indulgences

Mint Candy Filling

1 tablespoon palm oil shortening (I used Spectrum) or unsalted butter
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon powdered milk (I used Organic Valley)
3 tablespoons erythritol, powdered
Pure peppermint extract, to taste
Stevia, to taste
A drop of green food coloring (optional)

Fold together ricotta, a few drops of peppermint extract, and erythritol. Cream with a hand mixer until erythritol is mostly dissolved and ricotta is completely smooth. Add stevia to taste, and beat in a drop of green food coloring if desired. Add more peppermint extract, to taste.

Healthy Peppermint Patties

1 recipe of mint filling
1 cup homemade sugar-free chocolate chips

Melt chocolate chips. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Spread circles of the chocolate onto the cold cookie sheet, trying to make a thin even layer of chocolate. Chill for five minutes to set. Spread mint filling just inside the circles and chill again. Finally, dip candies topside down in the chocolate to cover and seal the filling. Store on the counter top for up to a day, then keep in the refrigerator.

Healthy Candy Cups

1 recipe of mint filling
1 recipe of centers for Buckeyes
1 cup homemade sugar-free chocolate chips

Line a mini muffin tin with paper cups. Melt chocolate chips. Spread melted chocolate up the sides of the paper cups, and chill pan in freezer for 5 minutes to set. Next, add dollops of filling just to the brim of the cups and smooth over. Chill for 5 more minutes to set. Finally, top with a dollop of chocolate base and spread over the tops of the cups to cover and seal. Chill to quick set, and store in the refrigerator.


54 Comments on Chocolate Giveaways, Healthier Buckeyes, and Christmas Candy Making

  1. Brian
    December 21, 2008 at 3:29 am (14 years ago)

    I’ve always loved peppermint patties! I’ve never done much candy making, but I might have to try these sometime.

  2. Pepperette
    December 21, 2008 at 4:28 am (14 years ago)

    I have a bag of the granular E.- will the magic bullet make it powdered? And will any dry powdered milk do? Not sure where to get the Organic Valley. The green mint patties look wonderful, so I am thinking of getting brave enough to give those a try. YUMMERS!

  3. fit lil fiddle
    December 21, 2008 at 4:40 am (14 years ago)

    Oh yum!!! I found your blog from one of the LC boards. I finally found Erythritol. I’m going to make a few lc treats I can njoy for Christmas. Thanks so much for being such a creative healthy cook!

  4. Carolsue
    December 21, 2008 at 7:38 am (14 years ago)

    I’ve loved Peppermint Patties like forever! Someday I will get brave and try to make some myself, especially the green ones! Yum!

  5. Jessie
    December 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm (14 years ago)

    Mmm, chocolate giveaways! Those look great!
    (found you via the gluten-free news aggregator, btw)

  6. Lauren
    December 21, 2008 at 4:57 pm (14 years ago)

    Brian – Thanks for stopping by!

    Pepperette – Yes, the Magic Bullet is perfect for grinding E. Unfortunately, mine is out of commission right now. 🙁

    fit lil fiddle – Thanks! I hope you find some LC treats you enjoy this Christmas.

    CarolSue – They are easier than they look! 😉

    Jessie – Chocolate tends to perk my ears up, too!

  7. Kimberly
    December 21, 2008 at 5:31 pm (14 years ago)

    Now I’m in a real dilemma. I can’t decide whether to make the buckeye candy or the magic cookie bars! Was also wondering what to do if I don’t have a coffe grinder for the Erythritol.

  8. jeri
    December 21, 2008 at 5:43 pm (14 years ago)

    Oh my-Lauren-as usual, you’re pix are beautiful-I can’t wait to make some buckeyes-but will make the magic cookie bare first!

  9. Kid Feed Mommy
    December 21, 2008 at 7:13 pm (14 years ago)

    These all look so amazing, and your photographs are beautiful as well. I wonder if natural green food coloring would work in the peppermint filling? I have some forest green color that I got at that just might do it. If I make these, I’ll try it!

    Thanks, as always, for your incredible recipes!

  10. Viv
    December 21, 2008 at 9:02 pm (14 years ago)

    I am with Kimberly! I can’t decide what to make as they ALL look terrific. We LOVED the Pots de creme, BTW. I made a double batch and I was really glad I did. We loved them with whipped cream. Keep the recipes coming!!

  11. Lilymo
    December 21, 2008 at 9:10 pm (14 years ago)

    These look so good to make for holiday treats that aren’t loaded with sugar! Thanks Lauren 🙂

  12. jucy lin
    December 21, 2008 at 10:01 pm (14 years ago)

    your pictures are sooo pretttyyyy :p

  13. Suungoddess
    December 21, 2008 at 10:20 pm (14 years ago)

    I know I say this over and over again, but it is your outstanding photos that really sell the goods!! I literally drool at a Lauren food photo. I am so serious when I talk about a cookbook. I would love one with these fabulous photos. I was looking to see if you have done a roll-out sugar or ginger cookie. I can’t wait to try these mint patties! Thank you

  14. Julie
    December 21, 2008 at 10:25 pm (14 years ago)

    I love your recipes. And your pictures!!!! I especially appreciate that everything is gluten-free.

  15. daffodil-soup
    December 21, 2008 at 10:25 pm (14 years ago)

    Your pictures are always incredible and your recipes are much-needed!

    Happy Holidays, thanks for the grub!

  16. Lauren
    December 22, 2008 at 1:24 am (14 years ago)

    Kimberly – They are both delicious! I’d start with the buckeyes since they are so quick. Instant gratification! 🙂 Do you have a Magic Bullet? Even a regular blender should work.

    Jeri – Hi! Hope you enjoy the treats!

    Kid Feed Mommy – Thanks for stopping by! Try out the green food coloring and see if it’s visually appealing enough for you. I have not had much success with natural colors to be honest!

    Viv – So glad you liked the Pots de Creme! Keep an eye out for a similar recipe tweaked for the holidays. 🙂

    Lilymo – Thank you! It IS nice to have low-sugar treats. 😀

    Lucy – Heeeey Lucy! Thanks, girl.

    Sungoddess – What a compliment! Thank you so much. Got some gingerbread cookies just posted for ya.

    Julie – Thank you so much!

    Daffodil-soup – Thanks! You’re welcome for the grub. 😉

  17. Rachel C
    December 22, 2008 at 2:24 am (14 years ago)

    YUM! I. Love. Your. Blog! yay, I am excited to make these versions of my fave candies. 🙂 Thanks!

  18. Kimberly
    December 22, 2008 at 3:00 am (14 years ago)

    Hey Lauren,
    I did make the buckeyes. They were very easy but I had some trouble with the chocolate b/c all I had on hand was bakers unsweetened and I couldn’t get it sweet enough. I also see why the erythrtol needs to be finer:( I will try to use the blender to get it ground to a finer texture next time:)Over all though the buckeyes were very good. Thanks!

  19. simplenaturalnourishing
    December 22, 2008 at 12:34 pm (14 years ago)

    Peanut butter and chocolate is possibly my favorite. Yum.

  20. Cantering Cookies
    December 22, 2008 at 3:43 pm (14 years ago)

    I never knew there was cheese in mint patties? I’m gonna have to try this recipe sometime soon, that is, after I finish eating the chocolates I’ve already made! =)

  21. Sweeteater
    December 22, 2008 at 4:11 pm (14 years ago)

    I’ve just made about 200 of the high carb Buckeyes. After the first of the year, I look look forward to trying your healthy recipe!

  22. ikkinlala
    December 24, 2008 at 8:52 am (14 years ago)

    Those look great!

  23. Reva Skie
    December 24, 2008 at 4:11 pm (14 years ago)

    Those buckeyes look so, so, so good.

  24. Rachel C
    February 6, 2009 at 2:58 am (14 years ago)

    Question! Do you measure your E. before you powder it, or after? I notice the quantity seems to increase with powdering!!!

  25. Lauren
    February 6, 2009 at 3:28 am (14 years ago)

    Hi Rachel, I always measure erythritol for recipes BEFORE powdering. You’re right–powdering almost doubles the volume.

  26. niki
    March 15, 2009 at 10:56 pm (14 years ago)

    Is it too late to ppost a comment?
    Btw, that looks sooo tasty!

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  28. javieth
    August 15, 2010 at 6:48 pm (13 years ago)

    I love the candies and to share it with my boyfriend in a speciall time. Actually when he buy viagra we share not only our candies but a great time together. I really love it!!! for me the candy are very delicous.

  29. Marianne
    December 2, 2010 at 8:48 pm (13 years ago)

    Oh Lauren I havae so got to make these for my neighbor who is also doing the belly fat cure with me. she loves peppermint patties. it will make a perfect basket with all the options to choose from. will have to try to make each one.

  30. Megan
    December 9, 2010 at 12:07 am (12 years ago)

    These all look so delicious! So glad I found your blog!! Thanks! and the pictures are great as well!

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  33. BethanyRenae
    December 19, 2011 at 3:56 am (11 years ago)

    nothing says tis the season like mint and chocolate…I don't know why but it does 🙂

  34. Anonymous
    December 20, 2011 at 12:10 am (11 years ago)

    Loving the peanut butter cups. Do we have a recipe for sugar free chocolate covered cherries?????

    acm563 @ yahoo dot com

  35. Martha Phillips
    December 20, 2011 at 2:49 am (11 years ago)

    Buckeyes are a Christmas staple at our house. Now I can indulge without the sugar. Thank you!

  36. Laura S.
    January 19, 2012 at 7:32 pm (11 years ago)

    I noticed that you mentioned in the choco chip post that they won't melt at room temp so, is it necessary to chill the chocolate to firm it up before chopping? Or, will it harden at room temp too?

  37. Lauren
    January 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm (11 years ago)

    Laura, the chocolate is still a bit soft at room temp unless you use cocoa butter I discovered. You do need to still chill the candies if you're not using CB, but they won't melt all over your hand when you leave them outside of the fridge for a few minutes. Hope that helps!

  38. lisa lawrence
    December 2, 2012 at 7:58 pm (11 years ago)

    wow a nice contest for christmas
    I love your recipes they look scrumptiously delisious

    • Lauren B.
      December 22, 2012 at 4:32 am (10 years ago)

      Thank you, Lisa! The giveaway is a year old, but there will be a new giveaway posted tomorrow. 😀

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