thin mint chocolate cookies

It’s that time of year again. Here in the MidWestern U.S., the weather is teasing us, taunting us, tossing us little reminders of what warmer weather feels like, then just as quickly statching it away again. Hey! Remember what it’s like to go outside without a coat? or Remember when you didn’t have to slather lotion on your hands 10x a day to (try to) keep them from getting chapped? The tulips and hyacinths that I planted last year are unfurling their leaves above the ground now, poor brave little souls. I don’t know how they can cope with the incredibly cold weather (I want to tell them to get back down underground until warmer weather is here to stay). And, with the changing of Winter to Spring also, with just as much regularity, come the tables, just inside the grocery stores and mall entrances, manned by cheerful little girls in vests. It’s the Girl Scouts. They’re baa-ack!

successful replication of girl scout thin mint cookies!

Before I found out that I am gluten-intolerant, my favorite Girl Scout cookies were Thin Mints. I never wavered; never went the way of the Do-Si-Do or Samoas; I was faithful to the Thin Mints. Once I find something lovely, it can be very difficult for me to change it up and try something new; if the new one doesn’t measure up, I pine after my real love.

Last week, I was a bit hungry at work, and one of my coworkers offered me a few Thin Mint cookies, before she remembered that I couldn’t have them. Oh, just the sight of them took me back, and I could practically taste them. The light crunch of the cookie, the breath of mint in the chocolate coating. I had no choice – I had to try to recreate them at home.

I’m incredibly delighted to say that I did it! John said that they’re delicious (he asked me to tuck a few into his lunch today), and another coworker of mine said that they taste just like the “real” thing. Success!

thin mint cookies close-up

Thin Mint Chocolate Cookies
cookie adapted from Bette Hagman’s “Mock Oreo Cookies” recipe, found in The Gluten-Free Gourmet Makes Dessert

for the cookie:
3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks)
1 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

2-1/4 cups Featherlight Mix *
1 scant teaspoon xanthan gum
2/3 cup cocoa (I used Hersheys, and would even up this by a tablespoon)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

* Bette Hagman’s Featherlight Mix consists of equal parts white rice flour, tapioca flour, and cornstarch, with 1 tablespoon potato flour (not starch) per cup of mix used. I substituted the cornstarch with arrowroot starch.

In a stainless steel bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until they are light and whipped. Add in the egg, vanilla, and peppermint, and beat well. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients, and add them, in 1-cup increments, into the butter mixture. Beat well after each addition; if the dough becomes too dry, or too stiff to work with, add 1-2 tablespoons milk (or non-dairy milk substitute). The dough should not be sticky or crumbly. Shape the dough into two 10″x1-1/2″ logs; wrap in tinfoil, and chill in your refrigerator for two hours.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper – do not grease the paper. Cut the dough into 1/4″ slices, and lay them on the sheet, a few centimeters apart from each other. Bake for 8-10 minutes. When they are finished baking, the surface of the cookie will have a dull finish, and look like this:

cookies, cooling

Let cool on the pan for a few minutes, then set them on a wire rack to finish cooling. When they are thoroughly cooled, they will be crunchy.

Chocolate-Mint Coating:
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/8 teaspoon pure peppermint extract, to taste

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate in 30-second increments, stirring after each (it will take about 2 minutes, total). Stir in the peppermint extract. Prepare your workspace by laying a towel or flattened paper bag under a wire rack, to catch any drips. Using a fork, lower a cookie into the melted chocolate, making sure to coat all sides. As soon as the cookie is covered, move it to a wire rack and let the chocolate harden.

Note: The chocolate might be a little thick; if so, use another fork to assist in both removing the excess from the cookie, and leaving decorative marks on the top.

John and I both especially love these cookies when they’ve been kept in the freezer – that cold mintyness!

Edited to add: I made my slices 1/4″ thick, as it makes for a heartier cookie. Also, I would up the amount of peppermint extract in the cookie dough to 1/4 teaspoon.

6 Responses to “thin mint chocolate cookies”

  1. 1 take5 March 2, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    this looks so tasty!!!
    Thank you for the recipe.
    I might try making it this weekend :)

  2. 2 kimtori March 3, 2009 at 6:38 am

    They do look yummy. I’m afraid I can’t keep up with you in the baking stakes as far as amount produced! Silly school seems to be spoiling all my fun of late. But I’m very jealous of the successful recipe conversion. I’ll have to try these sometime. Never had the original though. A grocery-store chain here produces gluten free mint shortbread-type cookies covered with chocolate. I think they cover them with chocolate so they don’t crumble so much. But chocolate on chocolate as per this recipe – now that sounds good. Particularly because it wouldn’t have a scary ingredient list of funny fats and additives!

    (Apologies for the exceedingly long, somewhat rambling comment.)

  3. 3 Mom March 3, 2009 at 10:12 am

    I always loved thin mint GS cookies, but they never looked as pretty as those in your picture. Presentation is [almost] everything, and the dark cookies on the white plate on the green and white background — beautiful!

  4. 4 abbey March 3, 2009 at 11:10 am

    what your mom said. plus, “YUM!”

  5. 5 lemoineau March 3, 2009 at 11:49 am

    take5, thank you! I hope you do make the cookies – they’re delicious!

    kim, I completely understand about school taking up all of your time; when I was working on my undergraduate degree, I felt like I never had time to do things that I wanted to do, and longed to have free time. Also, I haven’t heard of the kind of cookie you’re describing, but something that I do like about this recipe is that the cookies aren’t crumbly, they actually have a nice, solid crunch, rather than just falling apart. And I always shy away from odd fats and preservatives, too, so I usually make things at home – it’s a bother sometimes, but generally delicious. :)

    Thanks, Mom! :)

    abbey, there’s a reason I only baked/finished half of the dough (I have the rest in the refrigerator for later)- it would be way to easy to just eat my way through the whole batch (with help from John, of course). if they could survive the trip, I’d send you some. :)

  6. 6 Dr. Jean Layton March 17, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Thank you from the bottom of my Girl Scout Leader heart. My twin daughters are just finished with the whole site sale madness and this year was harder than last.
    We have been gluten free for 3 years and they just don’t miss most foods since I can replicate almost anything.
    But now I don’t have to reinvent the wheel for these. Can’t wait to make some for them.

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