Recently, there had been a lot of talk about Girl Scout cookies, and those sweet, little girls standing at tables with stacks of cookie boxes are pretty hard to turn down. Everyone has a favorite Girl Scout cookie. I’ve always liked the Do-Si-Dos and Samoas, but the hands-down most popular has to be the Thin Mint. I had heard so much exicitement about them lately, I thought it would be fun to make them from scratch. I looked through a few books and found some reasonable facsimiles, but the one that seemed closest to the original in appearance and texture was the thin mint cookies from Super Natural Cooking. The chocolate wafers are made with whole wheat pastry flour and powdered sugar, and they’re dipped into mint-flavored melted chocolate.
The cookie dough was mixed and then wrapped in plastic and left to chill in the freezer for 20 minutes to make it easier to handle. Still, it was a sticky dough, and in the book, Heidi suggests rolling it out between layers of plastic wrap. I could tell that rolling it on a floured surface would have caused a lot of extra flour to be incorporated, but with big sheets of plastic, rolling the dough was a breeze. It was rolled to a thickness somewhere between one quarter inch and an eighth inch. Too thin and the cookies would have been brittle; too thick and they wouldn’t have had a nice crunchiness. The cut cookies were baked and allowed to cool. Then, semi-sweet chocolate was melted and flavored with mint extract. A tip to keep in mind is to add a little extract at a time and taste as you go. I added the extract in one half teaspoon increments and ended up adding a total of two teaspoons. But, each brand is different so, unfortunately, tasting is a task you just have to do. With a face full of chocolate, I set about dipping the cookies and then letting them dry on parchment paper.
The good news about making your own thin mints is that you can choose the ingredients that go into them. In the cookies, I used Van Houten cocoa powder from France (a lovely gift that I continue to enjoy). And, for the chocolate coating, I used 58 percent cacao El Rey feves. You can also decide how minty you want them to be. It’s hard to say no to those little girl scouts selling their cookies, but the homemade version is pretty irresistible too.