Thursday, February 28, 2013

Homemade Thin Mints

We all have a favorite, and we look forward to each February when we can finally have it - Girl Scout cookies.  We indulge and then must patiently wait until next year when those adorable girls come to us with their sign up sheets.  Well, NO MORE! 

Not that I'm discouraging supporting the Girl Scouts, of course not!  This recipe is for all of the other months in the year, when we crave those cookies, and they are unavailable to us.

The husband loves Thin Mints, so I thought I'd take a crack at those before I try my favorite (Tagalongs).  There are a myriad of recipes to choose from, and after sifting through the options, I chose this one.

Now, the original called for some more all-natural ingredients, which are great, but I stuck to the easily-accessed ingredients.  It calls for powdering some special sugar, but I just used regular granulated sugar.  I did powder it, in my little grinder that I use for flax seeds (so perhaps some extra fiber and omega-3s snuck in...), but I'm sure you could live dangerously and use straight granulated sugar.  I didn't use confectioner's sugar because it contains an anti-caking agent and I didn't know if that would react differently or not.

Some folks preferred making the dough into logs and slicing them, but I liked the idea of using a small biscuit cutter to get perfect, uniform circles compared to a slightly-misshapen cookie.  Also, after the cookies were dipped and the chocolate set, there was the inevitable excess that created a little pool around the cookie.  I thought it unattractive, so I found that a pizza cutter worked extremely well for trimming it off.

These cookies have a great flavor.  They're not quite as sweet as the real deal (but is that really a bad thing?)  Mine also weren't super-crisp, but again, I consider that a point in its favor.  And the husband?  He loves them!

So tuck this recipe away for when you're craving them and give them a whirl!

Homemade Thin Mints
(adapted from Mother Nature Network)
 Makes roughly 2 dozen

1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, room temperature
1/2 cup of granulated sugar, powdered (or not)
1/2 cup of good quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chocolate chips (I used 60% Ghiradelli chips, and the better chocolate made the final product that much better)
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil

With a mixer, cream the butter. Add the sugar, and continue to cream until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder, salt and vanilla and mix until well combined and it is the texture (and flavor) of frosting.  Add the flour and mix until just combined. Gather into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap well and place in the freezer for 15 minutes or the fridge for 30+ minutes.

Put parchment paper on two cookie sheets. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Dust a work surface with flour and roll out the dough thinly (remember that these are supposed to be thin cookies), but not so thin as to make it hard to transfer, about 1/8 of an inch. Cut out with a small round shape (a small biscuit cutter worked perfectly).  The dough will crack a bit when it's straight out of the freezer, but when it warms slightly it is flexible.  If it becomes too sticky/warm to work with, place in the freezer or fridge for a few minutes to firm it back up.  Place on cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and carefully slide the parchment paper with the cookies onto cooling rack and let cool completely.

Melt chocolate chips with butter/coconut oil in microwave or double boiler.  When melted stir in peppermint extract and mix well.

Put more parchment on the now-cooled cookie sheets.

Carefully drop each cookie into the melted chocolate and spoon chocolate over the top of each cookie. Use two forks to fish it out and gently shake them to remove excess chocolate. Place on parchment paper. Repeat until all of the cookies are covered. Place cookies in freezer for 30 minutes to harden.  Trim off excess chocolate with pizza cutter.


No comments:

Post a Comment