the moveable feasts

Homemade Thin Mints

with 24 comments

homemade thin mints

I am writing to you from the sluggish, self-wallowing position of a lowly college student that must go back to school. I realize that almost all other students have been back in classes for a good week or two by now and that I am very fortunate to have had a little more than a full month for Christmas break, but still, it doesn’t ease that looming weight of what will soon be my bag filled with textbooks and essays. These cookies are my parting farewell from my home, the land of always-excuses-to-eat-cookies and never-ending-fully-stocked-pantry.

only a yolk add the flour
crumbly, but comes together

I made these as part of a routine I got while lazing around at home this past month. After waking up, feeding the dog, and watching the Martha Stewart Show, I’d head off to the gym which, upon coming home, I would of course need to counteract by making something addicting and unhealthy. I think a crumbly soft and crunchy chocolate shortbread cookie coated with glossy chocolate fits the bill, no?

flatten to chill roll out and cut cut

These cookies come from Heidi Swanson’s first book, Super Natural Cooking. They are not really healthy (as you may have already obviously concluded), but they are indeed super natural and there is certainly something to be said for that. I think they taste strikingly like the original Girl Scout thin mint cookies but my mom says they’re better. I would have to say that they’re more addicting than the originals, not sure if I’ve decided that’s a good or bad thing yet though.

cut out and ready for oven

just baked

dip in chocolate

The only downside to them is that you have to store them in the fridge or freezer and they don’t last long at room temperature before they start getting messy and sticky. It’s almost a good thing they’re that way though, because it ensures that you eat them when they’re best: straight from the fridge, crisp and cold. They’re a treat. A treat to savor, if only for a day or two, before I enter that dreaded routine of work and sustaining myself off nourishing but inconsistent meals. Hello again, school.

with more in the background

Homemade Thin Mints
Adapted from Super Natural Cooking
Makes quite a lot, about 2 or 3 dozen

Make sure you pick up peppermint oil, NOT extract at the store. Peppermint extract is something like four times less flavorful than oil, so if you do end up using peppermint extract, you may have to add a few more teaspoons to get the same level of flavor.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, or all-purpose flour
1 pound (16 ounces) good semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint oil, more as needed

Using a stand or hand-held mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and cream some more, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go to get it all incorporated. Add in the vanilla, cocoa powder, egg white and salt and continue creaming until the batter is smooth and creamy with the consistency of thick chocolate frosting. Add the flour and mix until the batter is no longer dusty looking. It’s okay if it’s still a bit crumbly (it will all come together), but try not to overwork the dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, gather into a ball and bring together in a smooth mass. The dough should be soft and a little crumbly. Place dough in plastic wrap, flatten to a one inch thickness, and put the dough in the freezer for about twenty minutes to harden up.

While the dough is chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees and center a rack in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Once chilled, remove dough and roll out until somewhere around a 1/6 inch thickness–but make sure to not make the dough too thin. The dough will be hard, but work with it to get to the correct thickness. It also softens up very easily, so you might have to stick it back in the freezer if it gets too sticky. Stamp out the cookies with a cookie cutter about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and place on prepared baking sheets. Bake for nine to ten minutes, until the cookies look hardened and are fragrant. Remove and let cool on a wire rack.

While the cookies are cooling, make the chocolate coating. Melt the chopped chocolate in a double boiler until glossy and smooth. It may seem thick at first, but give it time and it will smooth out and lighten. It might help to add a tablespoon or two of oil if the chocolate seems extra thick–the consistency of chocolate varies depending on the brand. Once melted and smooth, whisk in the peppermint oil. Drop in one cookie at a time, and using a fork, turn to coat with chocolate. When removing the cookie from the chocolate with a fork, tap the fork against the bowl to smooth out the top, and then place the coated cookies in the fridge or freezer to set. Keep the cookies in the fridge or freezer until ready to eat.

home, the northwestbeautiful sunset

Can you blame me for being a little reluctant to give up these lazy, cozy nights and sunsets for a heavy douse of reality?

Written by Amy

January 12, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Posted in Cookies and Bars

Tagged with , ,

24 Responses

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  1. These look like the perfect parting cookie. And who cares if they collapse and become sticky after a while at room temperature – I bet they still taste delicious :-) Good luck back at school at keep up the baking – looking forward to seeing what you post next!


    January 15, 2012 at 1:38 am

  2. I remember that going back to school feeling all too well. However much you love your life there, it can be so hard to leave the comforts of home. I love the idea of a crumbly chocolately cookie like this and I really like the idea of taking them straight from the fridge so they’re all cold and crisp. Delicious!


    January 15, 2012 at 1:49 am

  3. ahh college….those were the days. I remember having that month off, but it always did fly by. I remember seeing these cookies in her last book. They look really beautiful and definitely better than the girl scout version. I love those last two photos and no I don’t blame you at all. This was a fun one to read. Good luck heading back!


    January 15, 2012 at 3:48 am

  4. These cookies look so perfect, I would eat them straight from the freezer. You’ve really got the chocolate coating technique down, I’m jealous, I can’t seem to get the hang of it.
    Good luck back at school.

  5. I used to be a girl scout back in the day. I’m not sure I did a particularly good job of selling those cookies. I wasn’t terribly fond of mint back then. But now I may have to try making these for nostalgia’s sake!
    I don’t blame you for your reluctance about going back to school. The cookies and the sunset look gorgeous.


    January 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm

  6. Oh yum! I’ve been thinking about trying to make some homemade girl scout cookies soon!


    January 16, 2012 at 5:57 am

  7. These biscuits loos so delicious. I especially like the idea of putting mint oil into it. And, I have to the admit, the landscape photos are just amazing. Though, also enjoy being back to college. Looking forward to more culinary posts here, great blog.


    January 17, 2012 at 9:28 am

  8. Wow Amy, I must commend you for your ability to dip things in chocolate and have them turn out so perfect looking and fingerprint free! I am also insanely jealous of your beautiful view too. We just don’t get sunsets like that on the east coast. I completely understand not wanting to go back to school, especially for the spring semester since everything is cold and dreary from the start. oh well, at least we have things like cookies to help us make it through.


    January 20, 2012 at 5:32 am

  9. These cookies look lovely. I bet they are so much better tasting (and healthier) than the scout version.

    Amy (Savory Moments)

    January 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm

  10. Hi, where you do you buy peppermint oil? Doesn’t look like Boyajian makes any, and I don’t want to use something inferior. Thanks, Malcolm


    January 24, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    • Oh you know I’m sorry, I don’t really know what to tell you. I know a lot of grocery stores don’t care them… but you might find it in a specialty foods store? Otherwise, you can find it online I’m sure.


      January 24, 2012 at 7:50 pm

  11. I almost can’t believe you made these! They look so perfect.


    January 29, 2012 at 8:11 pm

  12. Another way to copy the thin mints is to take Ritz crackers and dip them as you did in your recipe with melted Andes baking chips…..they are pretty good!


    February 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm

  13. Is Simply Organic Peppermint Flavor okay to use?

    It is not an extract but it says peppermint oil and sunflower oil on the bottle.


    March 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    • That’s perfect! I would just follow along with the 1 1/2 teaspoons required and taste to see if you want it stronger or not.


      March 13, 2012 at 7:51 am

  14. Just came across your blog today and I must make these! And random question – do you by chance live in the Seattle area? Your picture of the water looks like Seattle (that’s where I live!) Can’t wait to try this!


    March 14, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    • Hi Carol! I live in Gig Harbor (right next to Tacoma, in case you haven’t heard of it). Happy to meet another person from the Puget Sound though! Thanks for commenting, and let me know how the thin mints go for you.


      March 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm

  15. Okay I made them. The cookie breaks very easily. Half mine broke. I didn’t think they were sweet enough either.


    March 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm

  16. Oops my bad! I apologize to the author of this recipe. As I was cleaning up I noticed I never added my egg white. Sorry about that. That may have just been what these needed to hold them together.


    March 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm

  17. Bought some girl scout thin mints the other day…and after having Amy’s thin mints, the girl scout cookies had no taste and were SO disappointing. These are the best chocolate mint cookie EVER. Gotta make some soon!!!


    March 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

  18. oh dear! i always hated the ends of holidays! i mean, really hate them! btw, these cookies! they’re just as delectable as those sunsets! i almost screamed out “I love you”

    Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen

    March 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm

  19. These cookies looks delicious – I’m not a huge chocolate fan (blasphemy, I know), but I DO like thin mints.


    March 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm

  20. Reblogged this on Books, Baking & Other Objects of Beauty and commented:
    These look so yummy I’m going to have to try them!


    May 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm

  21. […] Cookies (probably my personal favorite cookie), Raspberry-Almond Linzer Cookies, Nanaimo Bars, Homemade Thin Mints, Salted Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies, Ginger Slice, and Stout […]

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