I am originally from Chicago and Frango mints were always a big deal around the holidays. Marshall Field’s sold boxes in various sizes, so they always made a good Christmas gift–small boxes for co-workers, big boxes as hostess gifts. I loved those minty little chocolate squares, although, like so many other things, they don’t taste quite as good to me now that I’m an adult. I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m still embittered about Macy’s buying Marshall Field’s and changing its name. You can’t do that to an icon! It would be like if someone bought the Sears Tower and decided to rename it and expected everyone to call it by its new name when clearly it’s the Sears Tower and always will be. Oh wait, that happened too! Now, Macy’s sells Frango mints at all of its stores and they make them in eleventy billion different flavors, all shrink-wrapped and precariously stacked next to the cosmetics counter, so they’re not our special Chicago thing anymore.
Anyway! All of this is to say: the holidays are a good time to partake in Frango mints and since most of my family is now vegan, I thought I’d make a dairy-free version. Also, there’s a hole in my heart the shape of Marshall Field’s. (I guess that would be a rectangle?)
I made vegan fudge back in October and since it was a little soft at room temperature, I realized that enrobing it in chocolate would be a good way to fix that. (By the way, I’m pretty sure “enrobing in chocolate” are the three best words in the English language.) Because coconut oil liquifies when heated, the trick is to make the fudgy centers, freeze them, then quickly dip them in chocolate. You have to act fast because if you don’t, the center might start to melt into the coating or the coating might start to harden. Both of these things are bad! I sprinkled crushed candy canes on top to make the mints a little more festive, because you know me, I am all about being festive. (Note: I am not all about being festive.)
When served chilled, the centers of these vegan Frango mints are solid, but if you leave them at room temperature, the centers are smooth and melt-y, like liquid truffles. They’re delicious both ways! And if you want to skip the whole chocolate enrobing step, you’ll have delicious minty fudge—just keep it in the fridge or freezer and eat it while it’s cold.
While I tested this recipe with raw cacao powder, I think regular cocoa powder will work too.
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