I baked and cooked a lot before I started blogging. So, I’ll be using Thursdays (aka TBT or Throwback Thursday) and Fridays (aka Flashback Friday or FBF) to share some of my favorite baking and cooking projects from the past.
First up for TBT is a DIY Thin Mints recipes. One unfortunate side effect of moving from a suburban area to the middle of a developing urban, downtown area is that I no longer had visual reminders of Girl Scout cookie season. For the past three years, I kept missing my chance to buy Thin Mints during Girl Scout cookie season, but this year, I finally had a Girl Scout sighting and bought enough boxes to make up for all the lost years. During the previous years as I was experiencing my Thin Mints cookie drought, I eventually took matters in my own hands and decided to make a DIY version. The Girl Scouts’ version of Thin Mints (at least the kind sold in the Los Angeles area, although there has been talk about different versions of Thin Mints being sold) has a thin, crunchy, dry, and crumbly chocolate cookie covered in a thin layer of slightly waxy, minty chocolate. I found a variety of recipes online (even some involving Ritz crackers which puzzled me a bit), and after much research, decided that the recipe below would most closely resemble the original. Good news! No need anymore to carefully ration out your Thin Mints supply until the next Girl Scouts cookie season. You can just make your own Thin Mints.
DIY Thin Mints
(Adapted from All the Good Cookies by Gretchen Holt-Witt)
Makes about 8 dozen cookies
2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter, at room temp
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon peppermint extract (1 1/4 teaspoons if you want it extra minty)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- Beat butter and granulated sugar in a mixer bowl until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
- Mix flour, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl, then add it to butter mixture. Beat until well incorporated. Add peppermint and vanilla extracts. Scrape down the sides of bowl and mix again.
- Form the dough into two 12-inch logs (I wrap the dough in plastic wrap and then form it into logs while wrapped.). Make sure to pack the dough well to remove all air pockets in the dough. Refrigerate the dough logs for at least 1 hour (or long enough so that the dough logs will be firm enough to hold their shape when sliced) and up to 3 days.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Slice the chilled logs of dough into 1/4-inch thick slices (don’t slice them too thin), and place the dough 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets.
- Bake until the cookies are just firm at the edges, approximately 12-14 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets on the oven racks halfway through the baking time.
- Cool the cookies on the cookie sheets for 3 minutes. Then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough on cool cookie sheets.
For Chocolate Coating
- Line cold cookie sheets with parchment/wax paper.
- Combine chocolate and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high, stirring every 45-60 secs until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has the consistency of thick heavy cream.
- Using a fork, dip cooled cookies, one at a time, in the melted chocolate. Drain well and transfer to parchment/wax paper to firm up.
Store the cookies in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze them for up to 3 months.