February 25, 2013

Thin Mint Cookies


A long, long time ago, I was a Girl Scout ... and a Brownie before that.  And I bet if I got real serious I could find my old badges and sash.  Yes I used to sell Girl Scout cookies and yes they've been around for a long, long time.  But now I don't know any Girl Scouts and nobody asked me if I wanted to order cookies this year.  What to do, what to do?  




For almost a year I've seen a post for homemade Thin Mints on Sue's Blog - The View from Great Island.  It's one of her most popular posts so it's always there, haunting me and taunting me, each time I pay her a visit.  While I didn't use her recipe I was inspired by her beautiful cookies and wonderfully written post.



After researching several popular Thin Mint recipes I found they're all very similar and all look amazing.  Deciding which recipe to use can be agonizing - ha ha.   I recently made some wonderful Chocolate Wafer Cookies so I thought I'd go down my own path and adapt that recipe by omitting espresso powder.  I rolled the cookies very thin to about 1/8 inch and used the Special Dark Cocoa Powder in the mix.  If I remember correctly Thin Mints are a very dark chocolate cookie on the inside.



Most of my research found recipes recommending semi-sweet chocolate chips as the coating.  But again I was thinking about the dark chocolate on the cookies I remembered.  I went with dark chocolate chips for the coating and  tested two different brands.  



While the taste of the two different dark chocolate chips were very much the same, the dipping texture and final product was a little better with the Toll House Dark Chocolate Chips.  The other brand I used was Hershey's Dark Chocolate Chips.  The Toll House morsels are full size chips and the Hershey's are mini's so I'm not sure if that made the difference in the melting factor.


These make lovely little gifts ready to pop in the freezer.  The cookies are better kept in the refrigerator or freezer since the chocolate is not actually tempered to prevent melting on your fingers.



Are you ready for a stack in your freezer?



Be sure to check the peppermint and adjust the amount to your own taste.  The recipe as written below seemed just about right to us!

Homemade Thin Mints
(the wafer cookies are based on a recipe by King Arthur Flour)

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Special Dark Chocolate Hershey's Cocoa (unsweetened)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-2 teaspoons peppermint extract (not spearmint)
2 to 4 cups dark chocolate chips 
(Toll House Dark Chocolate Chips worked best for me.  Note the wide range in the amount of chocolate chips.  You can dip one side of the cookie and use about 2 cups or use 4 cups to cover the entire cookie.  Honestly they were great either way.)

In a large mixing bowl beat the granulated sugar and butter until fluffy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined.  In a separate small bowl whisk together the flour, salt, cocoa and baking powder.  Add the flour mixture to the butter and beat until combined.  Transfer the dough to a bag or cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Roll dough out to 1/8 inch thick on a large piece of parchment or wax paper.  Using a cookie or biscuit cutter, cut dough into 2 inch rounds.  Bake on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet for 8-10 minutes.  Since the cookies are a very dark chocolate it may be hard to tell if they are done.  If you start to smell chocolate, the cookies are done.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips in a deep 2-cup measuring cup.  I always use the microwave melting instructions on the individual bag or label.  Melt the chips at 50% power for 1 minute, then stir.  Repeat using 50% power at 30 second increments until almost smooth.  Stir until all chips are melted and add 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract.  Taste the chocolate and increase or decrease the extract depending on your preference.  Dip a completely cooled cookie in the chocolate coating both sides.  Using a large serving or meat fork, hold the chocolate covered cookie over the melted chocolate tapping gently to remove the excess.  Slide the Thin Mint onto wax paper.  Cool until the chocolate is set and refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve!

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Since I had an issue with my cat eating our lemon tart last week, I was watching him pretty close as he was sneaking around my photo shoot.  Captain Cat is a funny, smart, slightly crazy full blooded Bengal, and he is a pretty big pain in the rear - but he sure is purdy!


He didn't go for the cookies but wanted to be involved in the set up.


It's in the eyes - he has beautiful eyes.

Hope you have a wonderful week - and thanks so much for stopping by!


Tricia

17 comments:

  1. I just bought a box for my grandson. Only you could do something so lovely.

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  2. ARGH! Between you and Sue, I am going to cave and eventually try my hand at these, aren't I? They look amazing! Your cookies are simply gorgeous, Tricia. Again and again, you make me wish that we were neighbors. Your son and daughter in law are SO lucky!

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  3. I wish I were getting a shipment of these cookies Tricia! I just got delivery of my Girl Scout Cookies and promptly sent them off to my daughter, so I'm desperately in need of a few of these :)

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  4. They are soooo pretty. I don't think I could make them. I would eat them all. ALLLLL!

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  5. I have a bunch in the freezer right now, This year was my daughters first time selling and she done pretty darn good. She did set a goal of 3000 boxes when she heard she'd get an iPad for that. I had to explain a few things ;)

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  6. Oh my, these look amazing - good thing we're not neighbors - I'd be sneaking in your refridg all the time when you weren't looking My mom could testify that this is VERY true, were she still alive - she always wondered where all the thin mints went :)

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  7. What a treat! These really look amazing and this is a very good idea for those of us whose Girl Scouts are all grown up:-) I hope your week is off to a great start. Blessings...Mary

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  8. The stacks in our freezer, supplied by our cheerful neighborhood girl scouts, disappear quickly. Then we used to be left waiting for another year to go by. Now I can keep the freezer stocked year round :) Thanks for the recipe!

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  9. Be grateful for superb recipes. I merely got and yes it tasted great: -)
    I have a site having birthday cake formulas by myself when you are attracted. You can find it at http://recipes-for-food.com/

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  10. these are just lovely! I LOVE these and would a lovely gift!
    Mary x

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  11. wow Tricia, these mint cookies look so professionally prepared. The glaze is perfect. Meow ... Captain, keep puring!

    Angie

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  12. Oh, wow! Captain Cat sure IS purdy! LOL! He knew that lemon tart was delicious. LOL!

    I love thin mints, Tricia, and I KNOW these are even better than the GS ones! blessings ~ tanna

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  13. Captain Cat sure is purdy! The cookies are purdy too. There's no shortage of the real thing here right now though, because: 1.I teach elementary school and 2.I'm a sucker and buy a box from everybody who asks. When my freezer stash runs out I know where I'll look for the recipe to replenish it. :)

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  14. Tricia - if I made these - I would EAT the entire batch and gain 10 pounds....LOL...
    but you are one fabulous baker!! love these!! :)

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  15. OH MY! These look perfect!

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  16. These are beautiful! I definitely need to try these next! My cat is fond of butter so we are always on guard too. :)

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