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St. Nicholas Coins for Kids With Food Allergies, by Christy Wilkens

Updated: May 9, 2020

Making the holidays feel special can be a real challenge when you have kids whose medical needs require extreme dietary gymnastics. 

Our youngest son, Oscar, is on a medically necessary ketogenic diet (high-fat, low-carb). Including him in our family holiday traditions -- 95% of which involve special foods! -- has been a long exercise in education, patience, and trial-and-error. (Affiliate links below.)

To top it off, his birthday is on December 6, the Feast of St. Nicholas. What’s a mama to do? 

Learn to make sugar-free, allergen-free chocolate coins from scratch, naturally! These come together surprisingly quickly… and disappear pretty quickly, too. It’s probably for the best that Oscar isn’t yet able to open the fridge and help himself to a handful. (I wish the same was true for me and my other kids.)

Oscar’s siblings receive several other small treats for St. Nicholas Day: a candy cane, an orange or clementine, and some whole nuts. None of these are appropriate for Oscar! St. Nick has had to get creative with other ways to stuff his shoe, leaving little toys he can chew in place of the nuts and candy, and sensory objects like squishies and koosh balls in place of the clementine.

That’s what makes these coins so special, giving Oscar a little hint of the sweetness of St. Nicholas Day, just like his big brothers and sisters.

These look lovely in a mason jar with a sweet Christmas ribbon around the rim... or just a stick-on bow on top, if it’s one of those particularly trying Decembers. No matter how you dress them up, keep them stored in the refrigerator. They melt quickly due to the high fat content.

St Nick’s Keto Chocolate Coins


½ cup (8 tablespoons) coconut oil

½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

15 drops liquid stevia (or to taste)

Note: You can substitute any non-sugar sweetener of your choice. It’s added in the last step, so add a bit at a time until you reach a taste you like. If you are using a granulated sweetener, make sure your mixture is warm enough that the sweetener melts and combines thoroughly, or your coins will end up gritty! Ask me how I know.

Makes about 3.5-4 dozen coin-sized chocolates.


Place a silicone mold onto a cookie sheet for easy transfer. Use a mini-muffin pan for traditional coins, or try other fun Christmas shapes.

Melt oil and butter in a saucepan over low heat. When almost melted, add cocoa powder and whisk to combine. Continue stirring over low heat until melted and thoroughly mixed. 

Remove from heat and stir in sweetener to taste.

Pour chocolate into molds. For coins, only fill the wells partway, less than a tablespoon.

Freeze them for 20 minutes, then pop ‘em out and bag ‘em up!


For a dairy-free version, replace the butter with palm shortening or Earth Balance buttery sticks. The mouthfeel will be a little different, but hey, it’s still chocolate!

Stir in a few drops of your favorite flavor extracts after you remove the melted mixture from the heat. Almond, peppermint, or orange are delicious with dark chocolate!

Add ½ tsp of a warm spice like cinnamon or ginger, or a pinch of cayenne for the adventurous, along with the cocoa and sweetener.

Before pouring the chocolate, sprinkle sea salt crystals, chopped nuts, or toasted coconut into each mold.

Allergen info

Ketogenic. Free of nuts, sugar, gluten, soy, corn, eggs. Dairy-free option

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