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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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  • Mary W.
    March 29, 2009

    I made these as is and found them too be not quite as minty or chocolate-y as the real thing.
    So I tried again, doubling the mint and cocoa in the batter, omitting 1/4 c. of flour.
    I also to used little or no butter in the dipping chocolate (It tasted too buttery for me), adding a little bit of mint extract instead, so bump up the mint flavor.
    It turned out closer…although I think I need cook them for even less time. I only baked them for 8 min. but they still seemed too dry.

  • Wendy
    April 3, 2009

    Thanks for the recipe! I now live in Mexico – no thin mints *sniff*! – and can’t wait to try out this substitute.

  • Rebekah
    April 4, 2009

    I make these myself. I actually just use a low sodium ritz cracker, and dip them into melted Andes mint chips. Yummy and fast.

  • Grace
    April 5, 2009

    If your dough is too dry and won’t stick together, but you still want a crisp, crunchy cookie, you can add a bit of vodka into the dough to make it easier to work with and it bakes right off so you don’t need to worry about the taste. This is a trick I learned when making pie crusts.

  • Andrew
    April 18, 2009

    Just made these and they’re pretty good though a bit…austere. Some suggestions:

    – The dough is very dry. You must must must let the butter come fully to room temperature to work with it. Definitely don’t even think of melting it with heat.

    – I kneaded the dough by hand for a few seconds which helps smooth it out (because of the warmth of your hands). This totally solves the drying-out issues; it’s like working with clay.

    – Still, I wish these were a little less dense and a little crispier. I almost think they need a tiny bit of leavening, maybe pinch of baking powder. The thickness seems to be very sensitive. 1/4″ is pretty horsey, but much thinner and they might burn. Go just shy of 1/4″.

    – Like Mary W above says, these are not minty enough as is. I added an additional half teaspoon of peppermint extract to my dipping chocolate, which helped a lot. Chocolate level was ok with me though.

  • Kim
    May 1, 2009

    I have no issues with your recipe, it looks yummy, however as a Girl Scout leader I dispute your facts about the value of a box of Girl Scout cookies, purchased from real live Girl Scouts!!! Cookies in my area sell for $3.50 per box, as they have for a few years now, and although the boxes may be getting a little smaller my troop benefits greatly from the 63 cents per box we earn. The girls were able to fund an overnight trip to NASA completely on cookie sales! Additionally, the money raised that does NOT go to our troop still benefits Girl Scouts in our area. All profits greater than our share go to our local Council- LOCAL Council, not our national organization- and thus benefits the girls by supporting things like our three campsites, our two Council buildings, paid support staff, training and background checks for the leaders, and on and on and on. We also take donations from anyone who wants to buy “virtual cookies” and, instead of pocketing the money, it goes towards sending cookies to our military personnel. I would appreciate a retraction of your comments about where the money goes, please and thank you!!! 🙂

  • leemz
    May 7, 2009

    I treid out this recipe yesterday and boy they are good, Everybody loved them. Thanks a gazillion girl, thanks a gazillion.Will write about them soon, God be willing.

    And i tried your rainbow cupcakes 🙂 they’ve already been posted on my website, Your ROck!

    Keep up the good work!

  • Stacey
    May 8, 2009

    I tried making these not once, but twice and they were hard as a brick. I changed the basic recipe for my Spritz cookies (butter cookies I make at Christmas)by adding 6 tablespoons of cocoa and decreasing the flour by 1/4 cup, keeping the mint and vanilla extracts the same and they turned out perfect. Don’t bother with the original recipe. I also only coated only about 3/4 of the cookie (chocolate is better on the cookies than on my fingers).

  • Carrie
    May 13, 2009

    thanks for the recipe. i’ll definitely need to try these out as $5 a box is just too much for me.

  • Dana
    May 21, 2009

    Wow… so pretty

  • Michelle
    June 1, 2009

    Mine didn’t turn out well either. They are the texture and density of chocolate-covered dog biscuits. Was hoping for a more delicate, crispy cookie. Not a great flavor either. Followed the directions to the letter, so I’m not sure what went wrong.

  • Vanessa
    June 7, 2009

    Mine turned out rock hard, not sure why. Would they possibly turn out a bit better with less flour or corn starch, or maybe ditch the corn starch all together? I also thought that the cookie itself wasn’t minty enough, I added a little peppermint extract to the coating which made it a little better.

  • Keith Cheltenham
    June 12, 2009

    How have I not seen these cookies before on here, they look awesome! Green and Blacks dark chocolate would be a good alternative to coat them in.

  • BFalls
    July 2, 2009

    Our council sells the cookies for $3.50/box. They were $3.00 last year. Council gets 50% of the price, troop gets 55 cents and the rest goes to the baker. I know the money is intended for Girl Scout programs and the more money council makes, the lower the cost for the individual girls. I think our council is still charging way too much! The normal price to go skating at our local rink is $4.00. The council charges $4.00 for early registration, and $5.00 at the door! Just had to add my two cents worth…

  • Jingle
    July 7, 2009

    This is one of my favorites, I must try to learn this and make them myself.

  • Connie
    July 7, 2009

    thanks for the recipe, looks good and yummy!

  • beverly hills homes
    July 8, 2009

    Thin mints are so addictive to eat. you cannot just eat one. These are the best girl scout cookies.

  • jamesly
    July 21, 2009

    I made these yesterday.
    I am definitely need to try these out as $5 a box is just too much for me.

  • rargemini
    August 5, 2009

    O, it’s looks not so good, sir. hehe..

  • kalendare
    August 6, 2009

    Haha, yeah, they don’t look as good as they taste. Nonetheless I love ’em 🙂

  • $4
    August 18, 2009

    Interesting story.

  • tight snatch
    August 18, 2009

    I need you.

  • big natural breast
    August 18, 2009

    We can do it.

  • Mary
    September 7, 2009

    I would like to make a sugestion on the chocolate for all those out there. I have found with melting chocolate in the microwave it is always to thick. A way to make it thinner is to add a few drops if vegatable oil, it will thin it out. I love baking and loves those cookies and will have to try them out tonight. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Jessica
    September 7, 2009

    This recipe was great. I omitted the cocoa powder, as the cookies I sold in the 80’s were white on the inside. Dough sliced easily. I added more extract to the dough, and added extract to the melted chocolate. Served at a party last night and they disappeared within minutes.

  • Coafuri mirese
    September 15, 2009

    I just gave this a shot last night, and they turned out great! I also had a difficult time getting a thin chocolate coating, but it’s probably lack of skill on my part. I used semi-sweet chocolate as you recommended, so (thankfully) there is no overwhelming chocolate taste.

  • silk flowers
    September 27, 2009

    adding cinnamon makes it even better

  • Sharpe Books
    September 28, 2009

    I love the recipe and even better no trans fat !

  • Phones & Headsets
    September 28, 2009

    Better than the brownies version !

  • Beauty products
    October 12, 2009

    I’m trying to cut down on the old trans fats at the moment so these are perfect, thanks.

  • Pizza
    October 12, 2009

    Try slim fast Brownies! They are great!

  • Girl Scout Cookie Mom
    October 19, 2009

    While I love baking and these recipes do sound delicious, please don’t shut the girl scouts out. The cookie sale is the biggest and only one out of the two fund raisers they do. Cookies have remained $3.50 per box, and yes the portions are getting smaller, but so is everything at the grocery store. A 5 lb bag of sugar is only 4 lbs now for the same price. If you still don’t want to purchase cookies from the girls, please consider making a donation to a local troop whether money, materials for projects,or your time. Girl Scouts is a wonderful outlet for girls learn about leadership and learn things about themselves. Please don’t “stick it to the Girl Scouts”. What if it were your daughter?

  • Jason
    October 19, 2009

    Oh, this is really excellent!
    I always need a slice-and-bake recipe. This sounds really good.

  • Faye Lara Makeup
    October 20, 2009

    Going to try and make some of these – cookies my biggest weakness!

  • Rachele Jean Beck
    October 23, 2009

    I just made these and they turned out wonderful. I had no trouble with crumbling or burning or hardness in the finished cookies. However, I did run out of the coating about halfway through coating the cookies, so I reccomend doubling the coating recipe.
    I personally agree with your choice not to buy from the Girl Scouts but for reasons other than those that you mentioned. Boxes of cookies here in Colorado cost $5.25 each and the cookies are considerably smaller and fewer than they were when I was a girl scout (10 years ago). Plus it seems that the mentality of the girls selling the cookies has changed. When I was a scout we said please and thank you to each and every person that we spoke to whether they actually purchased cookies or not and now the little stinkers that come around to my door, and hang out in front of my king soopers, seem to think that they are entitled to every person they encounter buying huge amounts of cookies. They wear their ipods while selling cookies and if you decline to make a purchase they simply turn away from you to accost the next person instead of sweetly saying “thank you anyway”. Dealing with all of that attitude is simply not worth it for a box of small, stale cookies!
    PS: This could just be the girls in my area, maybe other girl scouts are still taught to be polite to people who are making a donation to their cause.

  • iPod to Computer Transfer
    October 29, 2009

    So delicious, thank you told me how to do it, but I am just worried about my weight.

  • florist
    November 14, 2009

    nice article

  • bergamot
    November 15, 2009

    I made them yesterday and it turned out pretty good. The only problem I faced was that the chocolate would keep thickening. Maybe if I microwaved it, it would have been better.

  • bergamot
    November 16, 2009

    I put a post on this on my blog today do check it out sometime.

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