After the Girls Scouts are gone…

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To be clear, there is no replacement for bonafide Girl Scout thin mints. Also to be clear, thin mints are the only Girl Scout cookie. O.N.L.Y.

And while I think many of us have gotten wise and learned to squirrel away a box or two in the freezer, let’s be honest–even the most stalwart of thin mint hoarders never makes it through the year.

I’ve got a stop-gap for you.  These aren’t quite thin mint duplicates.  But, they’ll do during the long, dark days of summer when that neatly stacked roll of  crumbly minty, chocolate goodness is but a distant memory.

True thin mints are more cookie than chocolate.  These are about two-parts chocolate to one part cookie.  This is because unlike the Girl Scouts of America, I have to hand-dip.  And, I use real chocolate, not chocolate flavored dip mixture.  I mean, you can use those melt things you find at Michaels if you want.  I won’t judge.  Too much.

As you’ll see in the recipe, there is very little sugar in the cookie dough.  Two reasons for this.  First, you’re going to use an entire tin of crushed Altoids.  Trust me.  Don’t hold back.  Second, because they are enrobed  in chocolate, the cookie doesn’t really need to be sweet.

A word to the wise on dipping.  See how the cookies are neatly lined up on the rack below?  Don’t do that.  I made a complete rookie mistake in thinking this would allow the excess chocolate to drip.  It did not.  Instead it allowed the chocolate to fuse with the rack grid making it nearly impossible to free the individual cookies without ruining them.  Instead do what I’ve got going on in the corner: dip and then gently set directly onto parchment.

I made another grave mistake when making these.  Once complete, I photographed them, packed them up and immediately gave them away.

This means I missed the crucial step of setting some aside to freeze.  Seriously?  SERIOUSLY?  Is there any other way to eat them?

Speaking of Girl Scouts, I only lasted a year.  It was the third grade.  I was a brownie.  In retrospect, I should have loved the experience–they did all the stuff I liked to do: socialize, earn rewards for completing tasks,  arts and crafts.  There were snacks.  However, eight year old me had strong sartorial objections to the outfit.  I hated it.  And, so ended my career.

(Okay, I also switched schools between third and fourth grade which is probably the real reason my mom let me off the hook.  But as I remember it, it was just one in a string of fashion boycotts that shaped my participation in youth activities.)

Thinish Mints

Makes about 48

the cookie base is adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Cocoa-Cayenne Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of peppermint altoid mints, finely ground
  • 1 1/2 C (204 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 C (42 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound, 8 ounces, 226 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 12 ounces chocolate of your choice for melting and dipping

Directions

  1. Sift together flour and cocoa powder, set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and salt on low until creamy; about 2 minutes.
  3. Add sugar and ground Altoids and beat thoroughly until incorporated; about 2 minutes.
  4. Add in egg yolk and combine.
  5. Turn off mixer.  Add all flour.  If you are concerned about flying flour, cover mixer with tea towel and mix on low (skip the towel if you are flying particle carefree) until just combined.  The dough will be soft and crumbly.  That’s good.
  6. Divide dough in half and roll out each half to a bout 1/4 inch thickness in-between two pieces of parchment.  Freeze for at least an hour, better over night.
  7. After dough has frozen, preheat oven to 350 degrees. You’ll cycle through about 4 sheet pans but can do 2 and 2 or even 1 at a time, depending on your supplies.  Line what you have with parchment.
  8. With a 1 1/2 inch cookie cutter (I obviously used round but use what toots your horn), cut out cookies and place about a dozen on eat sheet.  Once you cut out all you can, form scraps into a ball and re-roll between parchment.  Put back in freezer for at least 10 minutes and then repeat until you’ve used all the dough (note, you can start baking–no need to wait until all dough is rolled).
  9. Bake, two sheets at a time for about 14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.  You’ll know the cookies are done when they feel slightly firm to the tough (and they’ll spring back a little when touched).  Allow to sit on sheet pan for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely.
  10. If you are short on time like me, you can stop here, wrap the baked cookies well in a freezer ziplock and freeze for up to a month.  Or, just wait for the cookies to completely cool before dipping in chocolate.
  11. Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a simmering pot of water (or use a double boiler if you have one).  Have a couple of sheet pans lined with parchment ready.
  12. Once chocolate is melted, dip cookies one at a time, flipping them in the chocolate and then gently set to Harden directly on parchment.  I find using a fork works well here: set cookie flat on fork, dip and then allow excess chocolate to drip into pot of chocolate before sitting on parchment.
  13. Allow chocolate to set until hard.

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