Surprise! This week, in addition to the regularly scheduled blog on Saturday, you’re getting a bonus today! (Now that I think of it… for two out of four weeks, I’ve done a “bonus” blog. I fear a pattern is beginning…) This one was a surprise to me too. In fact, I hadn’t decided that I was going to do this project until about an hour before I started it yesterday. What can I say, I’m just so spontaneous.
Let me start at the beginning. Yesterday, I took a trip back to my second home: YMCA Camp Mohawk. After spending ten summers working, laughing, and living there, it’s been an odd experience to not be back there this year in my normal capacity. Therefore, I plan to visit there so often that they won’t notice I’m gone. (Sorry not sorry, Mohawkers!)
During yesterday’s visit in particular, I was excited to wish my girl Maggie a happy belated birthday with the best gift I know how to give…food! As I looked through my freezer and refrigerator taking inventory of ingredients, I noticed a box of Tagalongs I had frozen during Girl Scout cookie season in the Spring. And that’s when it hit me. Homemade Girl Scout cookies are on my bucket list! I furiously texted Maggie to find out her favorite flavor, and was given a choice: Samoas or Thin Mints. Since I’ve been using coconut so much lately, I went with the latter. Delicious, chocolatey, crunchy, Thin Mints. Oh God, I’m getting hungry just remembering this.
Before we get to the recipe, let me rant for a quick second. I need to ask, does one need to take out a loan from the bank to support the Girl Scouts these days?! I mean, four dollars a box! Back in the day, when I was a proud scout myself, we sold those boxes of gold for three dollars. And, there were so many more cookies in each! Now, you pay four and get less cookies! Now, don’t get me wrong, I will continue to buy Tagalongs like it’s my job, because let’s face it, they’re still hella good. But, I just wanted to state for the record, I’ll be doing it begrudgingly. Luckily for you and for me, you’ll already have most of the ingredients you’ll need to make these homemade Thin Mints, on hand. In fact, all I needed to buy was peppermint extract.
When I wrote this recipe, I wanted to make only a small batch. One thing I’ve noticed lately, is that it’s really difficult to bake for yourself. Almost every recipe out there makes food for many. Well, if you’re like me, and your relatives and friends are getting tired of you constantly begging them to eat your food, a small batch recipe can come in handy. This recipe in particular makes 24 cookies. While you might be rolling your eyes at the quantity of 24 being considered “small”, keep in mind they’re little cookies, and a normal recipe would make closer to 4 or 5 dozen of them. Of course, if you want to make that many, mine is really easy to double! You can find the complete recipe at the end of the post.
To make these guys, I put Stella to work. If you don’t have a Stella of your own, you can easily use a hand mixer here. To make the dough, you’re simply going to cream the butter until it’s smooth, and then add your sugar. Once it’s creamy and pale, beat in your egg and extracts. Let me tell you, once you open up that peppermint extract, your mouth will begin watering for at least the next hour.
In a separate bowl, you’ll need to sift your flour and cocoa together. Now, this is a step that is so tempting to skip, but trust me, sifting is a must. It’ll cut down on any clumps and make for a smoother dough that will come together and roll out easier.
Once you have a dry and wet bowl, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet, until a dough comes together. Warning: this will be a soft dough, so when you turn it out onto the parchment paper to roll it, use lots of flour on your surface AND your rolling pin. (This took me a few too many minutes to come to terms with.) Now, other recipes might have you wrap the dough in a disk first and chill, but by rolling it out now, you’ll save yourself the hassle of having to work with hard, cold dough later. Once it’s rolled, place your dough in the fridge to chill for at least an hour. Again, this is a tempting step to skip, but the dough is just too soft for you to work with now. Just. Do. It.
Once the dough has chilled, cut out 2 inch circles and place on a cookie sheet that’s either been sprayed or covered in parchment paper. I didn’t have the cookie cutter I needed, so I used to the top to a container of chili powder, which worked like a champ. Bake these cookies in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes. Once they are out of the oven, let them rest before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cookies are cooling, make your coating. Simply melt the chocolate and oil in the microwave until it is smooth and thin. If you find that the chocolate is too thick once it’s melted, add in a little coconut oil gradually to thin it out. And by a little, I mean a little. Like, 1/4 teaspoon at a time.
Time to assemble! Dip each cookie into the chocolate and flip to coat both sides. Use a fork to scoop it out and place it on another piece of parchment. Once all the cookies are done, you can drizzle them with some more chocolate for an added texture, or leave those beauties the way they are.
Throw them (well, not really) in the fridge to set. Afterwards, you can eat them all, give them away, or freeze them. I take that back, I require you to freeze and then eat at least one, because that’s definitely how these Thin Mints taste their best. Nice and cold.
There you go… your “bonus” blog of the week. At this point, I should really stop calling them “bonuses”. Anyways, shouts out to all of the Mohawk lovelies I saw Wednesday. You’ll be seeing me again before you know it!
And, now, back to your regularly scheduled programming. Check back on Saturday for this week’s “real” post.