Friday, 27 May 2016

No Bake Peppermint Patty Slice

"It may have been paradise for Jack and Jacqueline..."  Do you recognise the song?  It is the Big Nosed Bard from Barking, Billy Bragg.  Yesterday I sat at the kitchen table cracking walnuts for a third version of this Peppermint Patty Slice and this brilliant song, The Great Leap Forward, played on the radio.  For a moment I was lost in a pleasant nostalgic haze of memories of my school friend's walnut tree and cooking to music in student households.  And I was making a slice that had some of the key elements of favourite childhood treats - chocolate, mint and coconut!  Yes, I think it may have been paradise!

The slice did not start off as paradise.  I was having a distracted day when I just followed the recipe.  I didn't mean to.  I just forgot I was going to put some extra coconut in.  The mixture was so dry I took it out of the tin and kneaded some extra milk in.  There are a lot of oats in this mixture so maybe my oats were less absorbent than the ones in the Oh She Glows recipe. 

I made the slice again aiming to use less than the 2 cups of oats.  But I got confused and added 3/4 cup of oat flour rather than 1 and 3/4 cups of oat flour.  So I added lots of coconut.  In addition my little food processor attachment to my blender died and I substituted 90% chocolate when I ran out of cocoa.  It was not the sort of cooking to be repeated.

I really liked this second version.  In fact it reminded me of grubs that I made regularly with condensed milk.  It was very soft and coconutty without the firm oaty texture I first achieved.  We took it to a family where Sylvia had a playdate while I went to bookclub.  They liked it very much.  Sylvia, however preferred the first and firmer incarnation of the slice.

Then it became very important that I make it again.  You see, we arrived at school one morning this week and Sylvia's friends were agog with important news.  The teacher who taught them in in Prep (two years ago) had announced she is leaving the school for another job.  Sylvia and her friends started planning farewell presents.  She had a great idea that we could give some of the slice that I had planned to make again.

I made the slice while Sylvia was at school and put the chocolate mint topping on when she got home.  While we were about to cut up the slice, an elderly neighbour visited because he had lost his mobile phone.  I went to his house to ring the number to help locate the phone.  Which was on his kitchen bench, plugged into the charger!  When I returned Sylvia had set up house with rugs under the kitchen table and eaten rather a lot of slice.  The neighbour had kept me talking so long that she had tired of waiting and stated to watch television.  Oh dear!

Sylvia had one more request.  I really loved the look of the flaked coconut on the slice which was on the photos I first admired in Oh She Glows.  This was what made me think there should be some coconut in the slice to replace just a little of the oats.  Sylvia asked if I could sprinkle desiccated coconut on top instead.  Excellent idea!

So I had made this slice three times in the last couple of weeks.  Every time we have gobbled it up eagerly.  It is a really satisfying (and slightly moreish)  slice packed with nuts and oats that are quite delicious when flavoured with cocoa and maple syrup.  The peppermint flavouring is subtle.  E is not a fan of choc-mint but he enjoyed the slice. 

I swithered over whether I should rename the slice.  I am not really sure if I have ever tasted a peppermint pattie.  According to the web, I don't think this slice is very similar.  It is more energy bar than "candy".  But I like the name because it reminds me of Peppermint Patty in the Peanuts comics.

As we packaged the slice with ribbons and labels, Sylvia was less interested in a name.  She just made sure I wrote out a list of ingredients.  I guess kids these days refuse to be fooled by misleading names but they are very interested in what is in food, given all the food allergies.  With everything in order, Sylvia set off for school this morning with a little package of slice along with a card and some loom bands to farewell a favourite teacher. 

I am sending this slice over to Choclette at Tin and Thyme for We Should Cocoa, one of my favourite events where bloggers share chocolate recipes.  This month the theme is chocolate and oats.

More peppermint recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Candy cane brownies
Chocolate peppermint layered fudge (gf, v)
Chocolates with healthy peppermint filling (gf, v)
Chocolates with peppermint filling (gf, v) 
Kale cheesecake surprise choc mint cupcakes (v)
Rice krispie slice with peppermint candy canes (gf, v)  
Spicy chai tea (gf, v)

No bake peppermint patty slice
Adapted from Oh She Glows

1 3/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
5 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
5 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp soy milk
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
75g chopped dark chocolate

75g dark chocolate
1 tsp neutral oil, such as rice bran
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
Coconut, for sprinkling (optional)

Process oats into flour.  Coarsely grind the nuts and mix in the cocoa salt and brown sugar.  Mix in maple syrup and milk, then coconut and chocolate.  Finally mix in the oat flour.  (I do the oats and the nuts separately in my high power blender and mix everything else by hand.  Ange from Oh She Glows does the oats in a blender and the rest in a food processor.)  Press mixture evenly into a lined 20cm square tin.  Set aside.

Made the topping by melting the chocolate, oil and peppermint extract together.  (I do this in the microwave for about 1 minute.)  Spread over the slice mixture.  Scatter with coconut.  Place in freezer or fridge for a short while to set chocolate.  Cut into bars or squares.  Keeps in an airtight container at room temperature for at least a few days.

On the Stereo:
Step right up: a musical journey compiled and sequenced especially for MOJO by Tom Waits


  1. I'm not normally a fan of 'minty' things, but this sounds just lovely! Maybe I should stop reading food posts when I am hungry haha

    1. Thanks Lisa - E enjoyed it even though he doesn't really like mint and chocolate

  2. This sounds good! I like peppermint chocolate treats, and this one is definitely different from the traditional version of peppermint slice that I have tried.

    1. Thanks Cakelaw - ooh I loved mint slice biscuits when I was little - such a treat - this is a bit healthier

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Faye - I made it quite a few times because I didn't have time to bake a cake so no bake suited - and I could make most of it and come back later to do the topping

  4. Although I like herbal mint tea, I am not a huge fan of mint in sweet things, but these I would certainly try.

    1. Thanks Shaheen - it is not a lot of mint in these but just a little extra flavour

  5. I always like to change up recipes too and adding coconut inside as well as on top sounds delicious! And although I love no bake slices I find the additional oven warmth good around this time of the year :D

    1. Thanks Lorraine - I find coconut more popular in Australian recipes than American ones or perhaps it is more popular in my house :-) If I had more time to bake right now I would but no bake has been suiting my lifestyle

  6. Oh I always used to buy peppermint patties at my primary school canteen! They're the BEST! Actually, this slice looks even better. YUM!

    1. Thanks Lucy - I have a feeling I might have had one once but not sure - can't remember them being a regular in places I was as a child!

  7. I am not familiar with this song - I will have to track it down :)
    It sounds like despite the beginnings not starting out so well - it turned out great in the end!
    I think peppermint patty is an apt name actually. These sound great! It's something I tend to think of in the winter, but look forward to trying them out now =)

    1. Thanks Kimmy - yes the song is brilliant - always gives me a smile - and yes check out this slices - I wondered if our oats are different to American ones that my first go was so dry! Or perhaps it is because I didn't use a food processor.

  8. This sounds fantastic even if it took a few incarnations to cover all bases - but then the fact you made it three times in a few weeks highlights how good it must be irrespective of firm, softer or coconut topped!

    I have had peppermint patties that are small chocolate covered discs (similar to a golden rough in size) with a peppermint filling - a bit like a peppermint cream biscuit really. However, if the flavours are captured in this slice then I think call it whatever you like :-)

    1. Thanks Kari - it was a fun slice to have to make a few times - I think you are right that the peppermint patties is similar to golden roughs - I think I always preferred the golden roughs which is perhaps why I needed to add some coconut!

  9. Oh yum - this looks like just my sort of dessert - definitely worth all the trials you had to go through to make it! I've never had a peppermint pattie before, so I can definitely say this is exactly what one should look like!

    1. Thanks Joey - I have a feeling this has very little in common with peppermint patties but pleased to get your feedback :-)

  10. Oh this is so much nicer than what I was expecting from the name, which as you say, makes me think of candy. Three different versions is really some going, but it sounds like Sylvia was appreciative. I think I would be too, they sound delicious. I love the pictures showing big chunks of chocolate in it too.

    How lovely that Sylvia wanted to give her teacher a farewell present and thought about the ingredients too - I am impressed.

    Thanks for sharing with We Should Cocoa - love it.

    1. Thanks Choclette - perhaps I should have changed the name - I also thought it lovely that Sylvia and her friends were so excited at making some farewell cards and gifts for the teacher.

  11. Children can be amazingly thoughtful can't they? What a lovely gift.
    I always think Chocolate and mint to be a perfect combo and I am impressed that you persevered so many times to get it just right xx

  12. This sounds delicious. I'm especially tickled that you made it three times in a week! I've just done this week's grocery list but I think I'll have to sneak a few extra ingredients on so I can make this yummy slice! :)


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