These chocolate Christmas balls are so much fun! We take notes from creamy peppermint hot chocolate to create healthy date balls, and stuff mini marshmallows in the center. Then we roll the whole thing in crushed candy canes for an ultra-seasonal treat that's kind to your heart. Peppermint hot cocoa cookies are super yummy, really easy, and no bake. Using dates as a base means the only added sugar comes from the candy cane coating and surprise marshmallow center!
Tips for making no bake peppermint hot cocoa cookies
While the recipe is relatively straight forward, here are some great tips that may help you along!
If you don't have a high speed blender, like Vitamix or Ninja, try soaking the dates and cashews first.
Dates are very sticky and they are hard to blend up with a regular blender or food processor. Cashews can be hard, especially if they're roasted. To soak them, place them both in a bowl, and cover with warm water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow them to soak for about 10 minutes. Then drain (but reserve the water), and proceed with the recipe as written. Use the reserved water to thin as needed during that step, but because you soaked them you may not need any additional water.
Use plastic disposable gloves to roll the cookies.
It's written in the recipe, but bears repeating. The dough will be very sticky, and will also stick to your hands. Plastic gloves are perfect for this task. The dough won't stick to them, and you'll be done in record time.
You can get those types of gloves in the pharmacy section at most any store.
If you can't get a hold of gloves at all, you can try lightly coating your hands with olive oil. You may have to re-coat a few times.
Roll the peppermint Christmas cookies in crushed candy canes within a few hours of serving.
Moisture dissolves sugar over time. The chocolate date balls hold a lot of moisture, and candy canes are made of sugar. So it will appear that the smaller pieces of candy cane coating disappear after a few hours.
To make sure your cookies look their best, roll them in the candy cane coating as close to serving as possible.
Or you can always just "refresh" the coating right before serving.
How to store peppermint chocolate cookies
These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about 2 days.
For storage up to 5 days, keep them in the refrigerator.
They may start to sweat a little no matter how you store them. This is a normal and expected occurrence.
Re-roll them in the candy coating before serving, if desired.
How to freeze these no bake cookies
These date truffles are great to freeze! To freeze them, follow the recipe as written, down to step 4. Do not roll them in crushed candy canes.
Arrange the date balls on a cookie sheet, so they are not touching each other, and freeze them for at least 2 hours.
Once they're frozen solid, you can remove them from the cookie sheet, and put them all in a freezer storage bag. They can stay this way for up to 6 months!
To thaw: Remove them from the freezer, and put them on a plate, in the refrigerator, covered lightly with waxed paper, for 12-24 hours.
Once they're completely thawed, roll them in the crushed candy canes and serve!
Other Holiday recipes to try
- Christmas Fruit Tray with Cinnamon Yogurt Dip
- Cinnamon Spiced Nuts
- Pecan Cranberry Bread
- Gingerbread Hot Chocolate
- Mulled Grape Juice
- Pomegranate Mocktail
Also try our Cherry Filled Chocolate Date Truffles, that also use dates to make a delicious, no-bake cookie!
If you try these fabulous no bake Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies, let me know in the comments!
Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies (no bake)
Peppermint chocolate cookies that are super yummy, really easy, no bake, and use dates as a base, so the only added sugar comes from the candy cane coating and surprise marshmallow center!
- 1 ⅔ cup Whole Pitted Dates
- ½ cup Raw Cashews
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- ¼ cup Ground Chia Seeds or Ground Flax Seeds
- ¼ teaspoon Peppermint Extract
- 2-3 tablespoon Water, as needed to thin mixture
- 20 Mini Marshmallows
- 4 Candy Canes, crushed, for coating
Add the first 5 ingredients to a food processor or blender, and process on high until well blended, scraping down sides as needed.
Add water, a tablespoon at a time, to the running blender/food processor, until the mixture forms a thick, dough-like consistency.
Using plastic gloves, measure out 1 tablespoon of the mixture, and carefully form it into a bowl shape.
Place one mini marshmallow in the dough "bowl", and carefully form the dough around the marshmallow to form a sphere. Smooth out the sphere and roll it into a ball.
Roll the ball in crushed candy canes, carefully pressing the candy pieces into the ball so they stay. Alternatively, you can use more of the cocoa powder for coating.
Repeat with remaining mixture.
Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Longer storage in the refrigerator.
Note that the moisture from the Hot Cocoa Bites will dissolve the candy cane pieces over time, so these are best served within a few hours of coating. They can easily be made ahead and rolled in the candy before serving if desired.