Keto After Dinner Peppermint Squares: Your New Favorite Guilt-Free Treat
Imagine ending your day with a dessert that’s as indulgent as it is health-conscious. Our Keto After Dinner Peppermint Squares are the perfect fusion of rich chocolate and refreshing mint, all while keeping your carb count low. These squares are not only a delightful way to satisfy your sweet tooth but are also a testament to the versatility of the keto diet. Low in carbs and high in fats, they are the ideal treat for anyone looking to maintain ketosis without sacrificing flavor.
Whether you’re craving something sweet after a hearty meal or looking for a keto-friendly snack, these peppermint squares are sure to hit the spot. And the best part? They’re incredibly easy to make. With simple ingredients and minimal prep time, you can whip up a batch of these decadent squares in no time. Let’s dive into the delicious world of keto desserts with this must-try recipe.
A Personal Take on Keto After Dinner Peppermint Squares
As a lover of both the keto lifestyle and a good after-dinner mint, I’ve always been on the hunt for a dessert that could marry the two without the carb overload. That’s how these Keto After Dinner Peppermint Squares came to be—a personal creation born out of necessity and a passion for healthy indulgence.
These squares are the epitome of what a keto dessert should be. They’re low in net carbs, thanks to the use of almond flour and erythritol, and rich in healthy fats from ingredients like unsalted butter and heavy cream. The almond flour creates a gluten-free chocolate base that’s both tender and satisfying, while the unsweetened cocoa powder adds depth and a robust chocolate flavor without the added sugars.
The peppermint layer is where the magic happens. Heavy cream, whipped to perfection, provides a luxurious texture and mouthfeel, while the peppermint extract delivers that classic, cool flavor we all love. The green food coloring is optional, but it adds a visual cue to the minty freshness that awaits.
And let’s not forget the topping—the sugar-free dark chocolate chips and coconut oil come together to form a smooth, rich chocolate layer that perfectly complements the cool peppermint. This dessert is not just a treat for your taste buds; it’s a visual delight that’s sure to impress anyone who lays eyes on it.
For those following a keto diet, these peppermint squares are a dream come true. They fit within your daily macros while providing a sense of indulgence. And for anyone not on keto, they’re simply a delicious, healthier alternative to traditional sugary treats.
Mastering the Method
Creating these Keto After Dinner Peppermint Squares is straightforward, but a few chef’s tips can elevate your dessert from great to extraordinary. Let’s break down the steps and sprinkle in some professional advice.
Preparing the Base: When mixing your almond flour and cocoa powder with the melted butter and vanilla extract, ensure that your ingredients are well combined to avoid any dry spots. The consistency should resemble wet sand, which will press easily into your lined baking dish. Chilling the base is crucial—it sets the stage for a firm foundation that will hold up to the layers above.
Whipping the Peppermint Layer: Patience is key when whipping heavy cream. Start at a lower speed and gradually increase to prevent splattering. Once the cream begins to thicken, add your powdered erythritol and peppermint extract. If you opt for green food coloring, add it drop by drop to achieve your desired color. Remember, the goal is stiff peaks—this will ensure your layer maintains its shape and doesn’t weep into the chocolate base.
Applying the Chocolate Topping: Melting chocolate can be tricky, but with the microwave method, it’s all about short bursts and frequent stirring. This prevents the chocolate from burning and ensures a smooth, glossy finish. When pouring over your peppermint layer, use a spatula to spread it gently. You want an even layer that seals in the peppermint without mixing the two.
Once your dessert is fully set, warm your knife with hot water before slicing. This little trick makes cutting through the chocolate layer a breeze, giving you clean, sharp edges for a professional look.
Variations to the Keto After Dinner Peppermint Squares
Coconut Peppermint Squares
For a tropical twist, mix unsweetened shredded coconut into the peppermint layer. This adds texture and a subtle coconut flavor that pairs beautifully with the mint. You can also replace the almond flour in the base with coconut flour for an all-coconut experience.
Orange Zest Peppermint Squares
Orange and chocolate is a classic combination. Add some grated orange zest into the chocolate base mixture for a citrusy note. The zest’s natural oils will infuse the chocolate with a bright, fruity flavor that complements the peppermint layer.
Espresso Peppermint Squares
For coffee lovers, adding a teaspoon of instant espresso powder to the chocolate base will enhance the chocolate flavor and add a subtle coffee kick. The espresso’s bitterness balances the sweetness of the erythritol, creating a sophisticated flavor profile.
Substitutions for Keto After Dinner Peppermint Squares
Understanding that dietary restrictions and preferences can vary, here are some substitutions that keep the recipe keto-friendly while catering to different needs:
Almond Flour Substitute: If you’re allergic to almonds, coconut flour can be a suitable substitute. Keep in mind that coconut flour is more absorbent, so you’ll need less of it—about 1/4 cup for every cup of almond flour called for in the recipe.
Dairy-Free Option: For a dairy-free version, use coconut cream in place of heavy cream and a dairy-free butter alternative for the base. Ensure that your chocolate chips are also dairy-free to maintain consistency with this substitution.
Sweetener Swap: If erythritol isn’t your preferred sweetener, you can use other keto-friendly options like stevia or monk fruit sweetener. Be sure to adjust the quantity based on the sweetness level of your chosen substitute, as they can vary in intensity.
Frequently Asked Questions
|Can I freeze these peppermint squares?
|Yes, you can freeze them for up to a month. Just be sure to wrap them well to prevent freezer burn.
|Is there a nut-free alternative to almond flour?
|Sunflower seed flour is a great nut-free alternative that can be used in a 1:1 ratio with almond flour.
|Can I use fresh mint instead of peppermint extract?
|While fresh mint has a different flavor profile, you can infuse the heavy cream with fresh mint leaves and then strain them out for a subtle minty taste.
|What can I use instead of sugar-free dark chocolate chips?
|You can use a sugar-free chocolate bar, chopped into small pieces, as an alternative to chocolate chips.
|How do I store the leftovers?
|Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days to maintain freshness.
Keto After Dinner Peppermint Squares
- Medium bowl
- Large Bowl
- 8x8 inch baking dish
- Parchment paper
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- Microwave-safe bowl
- Knife for slicing
- 1 cup almond flour 112g
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 22g
- ⅓ cup granulated erythritol 67g
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted 113g or 4 ounces
- 1 tsp vanilla extract 5ml
- 1 cup heavy cream 240ml
- ¼ cup powdered erythritol 48g
- ½ tsp peppermint extract 2.5ml
- Green food coloring optional, to desired color
- ½ cup sugar-free dark chocolate chips 85g
- 1 tbsp coconut oil 15ml
- Prepare the Base: In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, and granulated erythritol. Mix in melted butter and vanilla extract until a dough forms.
- Press and Chill: Press the dough into an 8x8 inch (20x20cm) baking dish lined with parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the peppermint layer.
- Peppermint Layer: In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream until it starts to thicken. Gradually add powdered erythritol, peppermint extract, and a couple of drops of green food coloring (if using) until you achieve stiff peaks.
- Combine Layers: Spread the peppermint cream over the chilled chocolate base. Return to the refrigerator to set for at least 1 hour.
- Chocolate Topping: In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the sugar-free dark chocolate chips and coconut oil in 30-second intervals, stirring until smooth.
- Final Touch: Pour the melted chocolate over the set peppermint layer and spread into an even layer. Chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
- Slice and Serve: Once completely set, lift the parchment paper to remove the dessert from the dish. Cut into 12 squares and serve.