For some reason, everyone starts drooling anytime Thin Mints are mentioned. It’s like some kind of holy dish people only get to indulge in once a year. I’ve always thought, “They’re good, but aren’t they just processed cookies?” I’ve seen the back of the box before, and in my opinion, if there’s ingredients that are more than thirteen letters long – that’s definitely a sign that it isn’t good for you.
I buy one box from my neighbor’s daughter every year (at $4 a pop, which according to my friend, is a steal), but I would probably buy more if they were organic, all-natural, or homemade. I hate to burst the Girl Scout cookie bubble, but they’re made by Interbake Foods, LLC. There’s nothing really that cute about it.
I have to admit, I’m also a little bitter about my own personal Girl Scout experience. My mother enrolled me into Girl Scouts one summer just to try it out, and it turned out to be a traumatic experience. I was the last in line while we were hiking in a single file line through the woods one day, when the third to last girl stepped on a wasp hive. All three of us, being at the end of the line, ran as fast as we could in the opposite direction down the trail, frantically batting away the wasps. I ended up with the most stings – 26 to be exact – countless oatmeal baths, and a vow to never, ever be a Girl Scout.
So anyway, here’s to me being a Girl Scout, 15 years later. I don’t have any badges to prove it, but these cookies are damn good.
Makes 48 to 60 cookies | From Pearvana
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and extracts and beat until smooth. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
Mix until just combined. Place dough in the fridge for about 10 minutes — this will make it easier to shape into logs.
Divide the dough into 2 equal portions.
Turn one portion onto a piece of waxed paper and roll into a log about 10 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. (Or bigger, if you want bigger cookies.) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or up 24 hours. Repeat with remaining dough. (You can also freeze the dough for a month, then slice and bake directly from the freezer.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the dough into 1/4- to 1/3-inch rounds. Place on a cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are firm around the edges but soft on top, about 13 to 15 minutes (or a little longer for frozen dough). Let cool.
Melt the chocolate and vegetable oil in double boiler, or in the microwave. Line two baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Use a small offset spatula to spread a layer of the chocolate glaze over the top of each cookie. Place the cookies in the fridge for 15 minutes, or until the chocolate is firm. Store at room temp in an airtight container.
Suggested listening: Paula’s Folk Station on Pandora
These are the ingredients that I used. Magazines and cookbooks usually aren’t allowed to show branded products but the great thing about blogging is that I can – and I like to, too because this is the way real people cook. Real people don’t go browsing the farmers markets every weekend in France
for the freshest produce, or buy ingredients in special little jars from Whole Foods. Nope. Real people buy Safeway branded dairy, and Costco vanilla (but may I mention that it is 100% natural).
“double boiler”. Of course I don’t have one of those, so I used a large bowl on top of a pot of hot water on the stove. I kept the heat medium high to melt the chocolate, then I turned it down to low so I could keep it smooth while dipping. It worked beautifully. It might be ok to do this part in the microwave, but I’ve never had luck with it.
attractive than spreading it on the cookie.
Update: March 22, 2009
This post has been getting A LOT of views. That’s great. Thanks to everyone who has checked it out, and good luck to making your own Thin Mints! Show the Girl Scouts what you’ve got.