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Homemade Girl Scout Cookies: Thin Mints

Homemade Thin Mints

Thin Mints are the Girl Scouts’ best selling cookies – although Samoas, Do-si-dos and Tagalongs have their fans, too – when they have their annual cookie sale. Even though they’re a wonderfully tasty combination of mint, chocolate and crispiness, there are a couple of good reasons not to buy them no matter how tempting they seem. First, only a small portion of the cookie sales go to the troops, and as the prices rise, the cookies themselves shrink. I’d rather donate to my local chapter and know where the money is going. Second, the cookies are still made with partially hydrogenated oils, which means that they contain trans fats despite the fact that the boxes proudly proclaim “zero trans fats per serving!” Eat two servings, and those trans fats will start to add up.

I’d much rather make my own. These crispy cookies are easy to make at home and taste even better than the “real” thing. The dough is made in advance, rolled into a log and chilled. This allows the cookies to be sliced off easily into rounds so there is no need to fiddle with a cookie cutter.

Once baked, they are dipped into a dark chocolate coating. I used Guittard chocolate for this batch and would definitely recommend getting a good quality dark chocolate to work with, starting with a bar and chopping it up. Semisweet chocolate – by which I mean chocolate chips – will work pretty well, too, although you might need to add an extra tablespoon of butter if your chocolate doesn’t get thin enough to ensure a thin cookie coating.

The cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for several days, but like “real” Girl Scout cookies, they taste great when frozen and will last for weeks – if not longer – in the freezer.

Homemade Thin Mints

Homemade Thin Mints
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup milk (any kind)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint extract

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. With the mixer on low speed, add in the milk and the extracts. Mixture will look curdled. Gradually, add in the flour mixture until fully incorporated.
Shape dough into two logs, about 1 1/2 inches (or about 4 cm) in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1-2 hours, until dough is very firm.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Slice dough into rounds not more than 1/4 inch thick – if they are too thick, they will not be as crisp – and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cookies will not spread very much, so you can put them quite close together.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, until cookies are firm at the edges. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack before dipping in chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Coating
10-oz dark or semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter, room temperature

In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter. Melt on high power in the microwave, stirring every 45-60 seconds, until chocolate is smooth. Chocolate should have a consistency somewhere between chocolate syrup and fudge for a thin coating.
Dip each cookie in melted chocolate, turn with a fork to coat, then transfer to a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to set up for at least 30 minutes, or until chocolate is cool and firm.
Reheat chocolate as needed to keep it smooth and easy to dip into.

Makes 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies.

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  • Anne
    October 10, 2005

    Oh, excellent. I need a slice-and-bake recipe for this weekend, and this sounds really nice. Now, if I can only find a REALLY good cut-out-cookie recipe, too… 🙂

  • Cathy
    October 10, 2005

    Ha! Guess today’s theme is chocolate and mint! 🙂 Well, I know I’d like these and I love the idea of having cookie dough ready and waiting in the freezer.

  • Stephanie
    October 10, 2005

    Ooooohhooooo….Matt is going to love this! Thanks so much! I may give them a try soon. You know, in my copious free time…

  • J
    October 10, 2005

    hi nic, sounds delectable…also, lovely picture – i really like the choice of primary green as your background colour!

  • Nic
    October 10, 2005

    Anne – I think I know where you can find one…

    Cathy – I didn’t even know that the mint brownies would be up today! If you want to have some really minty cookies, add a bit of extract to the chocolate drizzle, too.

    Stephanie – The beauty of the slice and bake cookie is that they’ll be ready any time – even o nbusy days.

    J – Thanks! The Girl Scout cookies traditionally come in green boxes, so I was inspired by that.

  • Mika
    October 10, 2005

    Love your mint-chocolate slice and bake cookie. Great photo as usual! It will also probably make a great sandwich cookie with ganache.

  • Nic
    October 12, 2005

    Mika – Great idea. These would make a terrific sandwich cookie.

  • Bad Hippie
    March 7, 2007

    Do you have an alternative for the 1/4 cup of cornstarch in this recipe? Weird as it may sound, I am allergic to corn, corn startch, corn syrup, etc… I’d love to make thin minties, but don’t want to be sick after eating a few!

  • jenadele
    June 23, 2007

    Bad Hippie- I am also allergic to all corn products, and soy and dairy. You can use arrowroot or potato starch instead of corn starch. I also used hemp milk instead of cow. And evaporated cane juice instead of white sugar. Yum! Thanks for another awesome recipe!

  • Sam Greene
    February 12, 2008

    I think these work reallywell, and great to keep handy in the freezer, i think next time i will add some more peppermint.

    Thanks for this one

  • Natalie
    October 14, 2008

    This is amazing, I’ve found myself eating the dough while doing it! Loved it.

  • Jeryyms
    October 22, 2008

    Nice site you have

  • Jenn's Baking Chamber
    January 4, 2009

    I LOVE those girl scout cookies, I never thought of making them myself instead of buying them! wow, yum, thanks for the recipe

  • miriam
    January 5, 2009

    these are my favorite of all the girl scout cookies. a few years back i found a recipe which turned out to produce very disappointing cookies. i’ll have to try these and see if they pass muster.

  • Sunshine
    January 5, 2009

    Oh no you didn’t! I am so going home to bake these tonight! Thanks!

  • Kristen
    January 20, 2009

    Uh oh – this could be serious trouble for me! I love Thin Mints and like the thought of fewer trans fats.

  • Sarah
    January 26, 2009

    An easier recipe that tastes exactly like Thin Mints is to use Ritz Crackers and dip them in a pound of melted Bakers Chocolate (double boiled) with 1 tsp. of peppermint extract mixed in the chocolate. set on wax paper and let dry and they are AMAZING.

  • Laurie
    January 28, 2009

    Bad Hippie, yes you can use Potato Flour sometimes called Potato starch, as a substitute for cornflour/cornstarch.
    It’s almost identical in its thickening; i’ts every bit as sticky and it’s pure white so makes a very good alternative.

  • jenn
    January 31, 2009

    Made these cookies tonight. They were horrible. Way too dry.

  • Nicole
    January 31, 2009

    Laurie – I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t like the cookies, but I’m confused by your comment. The cookies are supposed to be dry and fairly crispy/crumbly, like the cookies that GS uses. Were you hoping that they would be soft/moist? If they were burnt or tasted overdone, perhaps you baked them a bit too long.

  • Hannah
    February 6, 2009

    I was really disapointed with the Samoas I made last night. I have these ready to bake in the morning and I’m hoping they will turn out better than the other, they were horrible!-and VERY time consuming!

  • Gridlock
    February 8, 2009

    One baking tip to prevent burning.
    Use two oven racks. Place your cooking tray (as set up in the recipe) on the topmost rack and an identical-sized (or slightly larger) empty cooking tray on the rack beneath the tray you are making cookies with. This will shield the cooking tray from the direct rising heat and prevent the bottoms of your cookies from burning so easily.

    It’s an old baking trick from long ago.

  • Deib
    February 10, 2009

    I made these last night and I am enjoying them (from the fridge because the chocolate is a little melty when they get too warm). I read quite a few recipes on the internet before choosing this one. It isn’t a perfect replica, but it is definitely good enough for me. The only change I made was using 1/2 tsp peppermint oil instead of the extract because it has a stronger flavor and I read on other sites that the flavor would be closer to the real thing.

  • kawai
    February 10, 2009

    wow this is fantastic. i’ll try this later..look so yummy, my nieces would love this…thanks

  • Rachel
    February 12, 2009

    I’ve read a similar recipe calling for a box of Fudge Cake mix..But this essentially seems to be the same recipe! I LOVE Thin Mints. I hope they don’t increase the prices due to the economy!

  • Courtney
    February 13, 2009

    I made these last night and they’re delicious! Gridlock, thanks for the tip to keep cookies from burning on the bottom, some of mine were a bit thin and would probably have been stuck if it weren’t for you!

  • Rebecca
    February 19, 2009

    I tried to make these last weekend. I made the dough as directed – it was very dry and did not hold together well as I was shaping into logs, but I thought the dryness would work itself out during chilling & baking and be just fine. The logs stayed in the freezer for maybe 3-4 hours (a but longer than directed, but I did not think that would make a difference), but when I tried to cut the slices, the dough would just shatter into pieces. I was not able to get a single slice, it just crumbled. My husband is allergic to some of the ingrediants in the Girl Scout brand cookies, but he *loves* the cookies and misses them dearly, so I am going to try again and hope they work out better. Do you think it was the longer freezer time that caused them to shatter, or should I have used more milk to make the dough come together better pre-freezing?

  • Anonymous
    February 22, 2009

    These were awesome. But the chocolate was hard to coat the entire cookie well, without burning your hands off!

  • Amber
    March 2, 2009

    I just made these, and have a few suggestions:
    1. Make sure your butter is room temperature before you mix it with the sugar. If the butter is too cold the dough will come out crumbly.
    2. Slice the cookies very thin, more like 1/8″ than 1/4″. The cookies are crisp this way, rather than too hard to bite into.
    3. Cook them until the edges are just set. They will still be soft in the middle, but they firm up as they cool. Overcook, and they will be rock hard, even if they don’t look burnt on the bottom.
    4. Choose a high quality chocolate, and use a double-boiler to melt it. Some of the cheaper varieties become grainy, especially if melted in the microwave.
    5. Store in the fridge or freezer so the chocolate doesn’t get melty.

    Hope this helps some!

  • Tammy
    March 4, 2009

    Your recipe is nice, but I have to comment on your statement “only a small portion goes to the troop”. From a $3.50 box, only 63 cents goes to the bakery. All of the rest of the money goes to the girl scouts with troops receiving 50 cents. The Girl Scout council receives the rest and the funds are used to support awards for girls, and fund programs for girls.

    So out of $3.50, only 63 cents goes to the bakery and the rest goes to the Girl Scouts.

    Now, I agree homemade is better, but part of the purpose is to support the girls and encourage learning about speaking with the public, working with product, and handling money.

    My 3rd grade brownie troop ran a cookie booth this year and the girls ran the whole booth with only oversight by myself.

  • Nicole
    March 4, 2009

    Tammy – You’re right about how much money goes to the bakers (about 30%), but only 10-15% of the cost of each box goes to the troop. The Girl Scout Council gets about 50%. The GS council does use the rest of the money for GS programs, but that isn’t necessarily going to directly benefit any individual troop. The individual troops don’t necessarily make that much money from the sales (40ish cents per box, depending on the price in that area).

  • Sarah
    March 8, 2009

    Ahh! I have always wanted to make these myself! It seems like forever waiting the year for the girl guides to sell them again! I can’t wait to try them!

  • Celeste
    March 12, 2009

    Mine turned out hard as rocks. I used room temperature butter and sliced them less than 1/4 inch, and they’re not burned. Maybe I should use less cornstarch? The flavor is good!

  • BentSpork
    March 13, 2009

    Wow. A great cookie and a great clone. And really easy. I can’t imagine getting a better clone than this from a home kitchen. Directions are right on. A couple of notes: I used softened butter and resulting chilled dough was very workable. After 13 minutes, my cookies were dry and firm across the top (not just edges), and had a great texture once cooled. I melted cheap chocolate in the microwave with the butter until just melted; the first several cookies became too thickly coated so I heated it and reheated as necessary to get a thinner coat. Got beautiful results from turning cookie in the chocolate with a fork and carefully setting it on parchment paper. The mint flavor was somehow more pronounced after dipping in chocolate but I could consider adding more peppermint. Last comment, the thinner the better; 1/4 inch is a good maximum but I think the official cookies are a little more delicate. Thanks!!

  • Anon.
    March 19, 2009

    Just FYI- Keebler’s makes a cookie that tastes exactly like Thin Mints. They’re called grasshoppers and are usually $2.50 per box. So if you’re looking for the taste without all the work, they are a great alternative and are available all year long.

  • Risa
    March 22, 2009

    I made these and they turned out great. I posted them on my blog and linked back here. http://www.bakedperfection.com

  • joieizme
    March 25, 2009

    Would love to make these for my granddaughter who is gluten intolerant. Does anyone have any suggestions for alternate flours to use instead of the wheat that would make a reasonably good chocolate mint girl scout cookie?

  • midwestmom
    March 27, 2009

    I made these yesterday. The chocolate did not coat well at all. It was too thick and I only had enough chocolate to dip half of my cookies. But they are delicious. I would like to make them again but need more help with the chocolate.

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