One of our favorite holiday treats is peppermint bark. We love the perfect combination of smooth chocolate and crunchy mint pieces. What we don’t love is the fact that it’s only available in limited supplies around the holiday season–and, of course, all the sugar and calories. We’re big on DIY candy, so we came up with a healthy way to enjoy this treat all year round. We layered dark chocolate with homemade coconut butter for a vegan version that’s even better than the real stuff. Make some just for you, or double the recipe and give it out as a homemade holiday gift. Crushed candy canes are optional–but it just wouldn’t feel like peppermint bark without them!

Vegan Peppermint Bark

Inspired by Chocolate Covered Katie
Makes 12-16 servings

*1 7-oz. bag shredded unsweetened coconut flakes, room temperature
8 oz. dark chocolate
1/4 tsp. pure mint extract (add a little more if not using crushed peppermints)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4-1/2 cup crushed candy canes or peppermints (optional)

Place coconut flakes in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds on high. Blend in a food processor for about 10 minutes or until it reaches a nut butter consistency. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Create a double boiler by bringing some water to a boil and placing a glass or other heat-proof bowl over the pot. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in the bowl, stirring frequently. Add a few drops of mint extract if desired. When fully melted, pour into a baking dish or cookie sheet lined with waxed paper and spread into an even layer, about 1/2 inch thick. Place in the freezer to set.

Meanwhile, stir mint extract, agave, and crushed peppermints into the coconut butter. Remove chocolate from freezer and spread coconut mixture in a layer over it. Top with more crushed mints and freeze for at least 5-10 minutes. Cut into pieces and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

*If you would prefer to use store bought coconut butter, use 1/2-3/4 cup depending on how thick you want your bark to be.