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.

236 comments

  1. I tried these for my husband’s birthday this last weekend. Instant love! Your blog has such great recipes, I just love it! Thanks!

  2. Supporting the Military Troops isn’t the only thing you’re supporting when you get the cookies, a GS troops full years expenses are made mostly out of cookie sales. You’re helping girls go to camp, do crafts, learn about culture and society. So to say “Don’t buy the cookies, make them” is unfair to the youths. You can thank the health hype for making the sizes smaller. But PLEASE support your GS Troops, it really does help keep girls from unstable homes in something they love.

  3. I made these this morning! They turned out extra tasty :) When I tried cutting them 1/4 inch thick from the log, it ruined the shape…so I ended up rolling the dough out with my rolling pin to 1/4 inch and using a small circle cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. I guess I didn’t roll the dough thin enough, because most of the cookies turned out to be thick mints instead of thin mints, but the soft center was still just as good! Also, 10 oz of dark chocolate chips was not enough chocolate to cover my cookies. I ended up using the rest of the 12 oz bag and adding some semi sweet chocolate chips and more butter. It all turned out well and everyone really liked them! They were fun to make and I’d use this recipe again.

  4. will always get my cookies every year but will use the recipe when i cant get them

  5. I am a Leader for my local Girl Scouts and would like everyone to know that without Cookie Sales our girls would not be able to do many of the things they love. Sales not only help fund these things but also teach the girls how to be “Confident,” have “Courage” and builds “Character.” My girls blossom when they step out of their comfort zone and sell cookies. We work hard to give the girls opportunities they may not have the chance to experience. Without the money they earn from Cookie Sales these chances would not be available!

    Our Mission Statement is “Girl Scouting Builds Girls of Courage, Confidence and Character who make the world a better place.” PLEASE support the Girl Scouts by purchasing cookies so that we can continue our work!

  6. I used peppermint oil instead of extract! I tasted the cookie wafer batter before coating them and ick. Anything I can do to save them? How much of the oil should I use since I don’t have extract?

  7. What a lovely little cookie :) I made these cookies today! I made the dough last night and let it harden in the logs overnight in the refrigerator. However, when I started to slice them they were a bit out of shape from where he log had laid on the shelf. Instead, I recommend forming the dough into disks to chill, rolling them out to 1/4″ and using a circle cutter to punch out the disks. This worked fabulous. I also recommend a tad bit more peppermint extract and a little in the chocolate dip also.

  8. Elaine and Izzy, relax yourselves. You think all those people who buy the cookies are going to sit down and make them? Clearly not.

  9. NEVER FEAR GS! I still buy my quota of cookies every year. But this recipe is great for the rest of the year after all my cookies have been consumed…and that usually happens quickly lolol

  10. The samoa recipe is awesome…I use a mini donut pan but when time is rushed i make them into bars…yummmy

  11. I made this with no prob at all…threw them in the freezer and had no trouble slicing them into 1/4 inch…however tiptiptip as i slice rolled cookies i rotate the log every now and then so i dont get that flat spot on the bottom of the cookie…works good. as to my personal taste next time i will add more peppermint and will try to add to chocolate for dipping…..will the extract seize up my chocolate????? yikes

  12. My cookies came out all terrible. What did I do wrong? I though I overcooked the first batch because they were so hard I could barely bite into them. So the second I cooked less and strangely I had the same problem. Then I tried to coat them anyways I used up all my dark chocolate on the first batch so I used white chocolate on the seconds. I threw it in the microwave with the butter and it seized up. I just spread it on top of the cookies. What a mess… The cookies seem too dense what am I doing wrong? Anyone have any tips?

  13. Amanda, if you want to add peppermint to chocolate use peppermint oil instead so it won’t seize the chocolate, I prefer oil over extracts as they are pure and contain no alcohol :)

  14. To all GS supporters out there:

    I am a former Cadet and completely understand the importance of GS selling cookies every year.

    I am now in the UK, however, and unable to obtain my favourite cookies each year! (The Girl Guides, while a worthy endeavour, do not produce cookies much to my chagrin.)

    Sites like this (and my own kitchen-meddling) mean that I can enjoy treats from my childhood that would otherwise be lost to me.

    Most people won’t take the time to make their own cookies and I have to confess that if I were still living in the US and knew about this recipe; I would -still- continue to purchase GS cookies each year because of what’s behind them, what’s in their future and because I can be quite lazy and wouldn’t want to make these every single time I had a “craving” ;)

    Happy selling (and baking)! :D

  15. Elaine and Izzy, Did you ladies even read the article? It was mentioned to donate directly to the troop that way they get all of the money, not just a percentage. I buy the cookies for the taste and donate to the girls directly.

  16. I know someone mentioned supporting the GS troops even though the recipes are available. The reason I will not buy GS cookies is because not only are they not allergy-friendly, but they contain GMO ingredients and high fructose corn syrup. I recommend making a monetary donation to the GS troops, and make your own cookies! :)

  17. I use to buy Girl Scout Cookies all the time, however, because of the ingredients that they use in their cookies, I no longer buy them. If they would make a “healthy” version without all the unnecessary ingredients, I would probably start buying them again. I am really excited to try these. As some of the other readers mentioned, most people will not take the time to make these when they can buy them, so relax for those who are stressing out.

  18. I have no idea what I did wrong, but these came out crumbly and rather awful. It tasted like I was eating toothpaste-flavored sand.

  19. I tried to make these cookies. The batter came out really crumbly and dry. I ended up adding another 1/2 cup of margarine to make the dough form. I’m not sure what I did wrong. I live abroad (hence real girl scout cookies are unavailable) and the sugar is coarser in country — maybe that was the problem??

  20. I can’t wait to try this recipe I’m a BIG fan of the GS cookies but due to the recession we are in and coming from a low income family… I rather make my own since the GS are expensive. I am aware that it helps the GS but for some of us who are not able to afford them each year and just want some when they are not available… it’s a better option. No offense to the GS or the leaders please don’t take it personally. I agree with those who say to donate directly to the troops and if I could do just that I would. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I can’t wait to try it. =)

  21. Just saw these on Cupcakes & Cashmere–they look divine! Thanks for sharing. :)

  22. Hmmmm! I am really really excited to try these cookies, since I, like many others, have a weakness for cookies! I’d definitely rather cook than buy cookies anyways, since I enjoy cooking, and I don’t really enjoy spending money nearly as much! ;)

  23. I had to resort to making my own b/c there seems to be some sort of Thin Mint shortage this year! I look forward to think time of year and I’ve tried the past two weekends and have had no luck finding any. These look tasty and seems fairly easy enough.

  24. I made these for my husband today – he LOVES thin mints. We bought some from our local girl scouts, but those won’t last long enough!

    I ended up adding a little extra peppermint extract to both the cookie batter, and the chocolate coating batter.

  25. loved the idea of this receipe, but i’m a little let down. The batter tasted JUST like real thin mints.. however- once I baked the cookies, the peppermint flavoring was GONE! the cookies just tasted like chocolate bricks. also, the icing is a little bit thick for my liking, i think next time i will probably double the peppermint extract & use a different chocolate icing!

  26. I realize you meant they COULD last for weeks in the freezer, but nothing that tastes like a Thin MInt makes it past a couple days…countertop or freezer ;)

  27. Thank you for the recipe! I also got the Samoas printed out as well. I’ve got some baking to do!!

    Personally, I don’t buy the “real” cookies for 2 reasons.

    1.They are expensive. We’re a single income family and while we love the cookies, hard to part with several dollars for each box.

    2.I don’t agree with the policies and organizations that Girl Scouts promote. I was a Girl Scout for years growing up, but I’ve learned more as an adult about the group as a whole.

  28. Mine tasted kind of like sawdust? I read and re-read this recipe so many times, I can’t figure out what went wrong since so many people have given pretty good reviews. Just not up to par…

  29. I am a GS, been one for 3 years! And i love Thin Mints, but these..these are great! I also agree with very many adults with the unhealthy ingredients and im trying, well my troop 60912 is trying to make a change. Some people have to realize that the changed will not happen over night, it takes time and patience. Not all of the Gs cookie bakers take us seriously and they call us a nosiness and pest, but we will not back down, we will make a change. Anways enjoy the cookies because they’re truly fantastic!

  30. Kristi Beisecker

    No no no no please. While I realize thin mints are everyone’s favorites if articles like these start popping up and people find out about them you aren’t supporting girl scouts. People buy cookies to support the troops, not to get a delicious treat. I realize they are ‘unhealthy’ and may be a bit on the expensive side, but you’re supporting a good cause. Girl Scouts aren’t funded by the Government and need your support to Keep Calm and Carry On.

  31. I am a college student, and was in girl scouts for 8 years and loved it! Personally, I was really shy about selling cookies and felt uncomfortable with asking strangers to buy stuff from me.

    Secondly, people will always support buying girl scout cookies when they are in season, but what are you supposed to do the other 10 months of the year when they are not? You make these!

    I will buy Thin Mints when they are for sale, but until then, I will try this delicious recipe :)

  32. Can’t wait to try this recipe as well as the Tagalongs recipe. I buy from the Girl Scouts every year, but I can’t help but finish the cookies by the time I get home :p This will give me my cookie fix when it’s necessary and there’s no Girl Scouts outside the grocery store selling these addictive treats!

  33. I was a girl guide (Canada) and if they want the public nowadays to buy the cookies they need to get with the times and eliminate the trans fats in them. I’d never feed them to my kids so why would I want them to sell them either? Reducing the amount isn’t good enough.

  34. I just tried this recipe last night. I think it is delicious, however, once they were baked I couldn’t taste the peppermint, so I will definately double or triple the extract in it next time. I am American, and live in the UK. UK Girl Scouts don’t sell the cookies and so it is something that I really miss, so the recipes are great for me!

  35. Just made these and I have to agree with the other comments, I did not have enough chocolate for the coating. My cookies also came out of the oven as hard as rocks, I’m not sure if I cooked them too long. The texture was not comparable at all to thin mints. I’m so disappointed that I can’t give these away as Christmas presents :(

  36. Add me to the list of people who don’t feel a smidge of discomfort making my own cheater cookies. 1) Far too little of the money goes to the girls, 2) the girls would get so much more out of planning, promoting and executing their own bake sales or other fund raising efforts; I thought leadership skills and not being exploited by large corporations and organizations was the point, 3) so often today it’s the parents who are guilting other parents into buying and, thus, meaningless to the girls who are cut out of the process entirely, 4) I completely *loathed* having to sell cookies as a Brownie; it may be a great activity for some but for a shy girl it’s h*ll worsened by the competitive nature set up by the national organization and 5) homemade from honest ingredients is ALWAYS far better and better for all of us.

    When approached going into a market I will make a direct donation but I *always* specify to the adult supervising that it is a donation to the troop and not intended to be included in cookie sales totals.

  37. Elaine and Izzy,

    In the past years, I have seen a heavy INCREASE in the price of GS cookies and an astonishing DECREASE in the size and amount of cookies. So, there is a heavy INCREASE in price and a heavy DECREASE in product. \

    I don’t buy GS cookies because of that. I feel as though I’m being ripped off. I was in 4H for years and NEVER, EVER had to do this and our club was ALWAYS doing fun things.

    I used to buy GS cookies and looked forward to them but with the state of the economy and the incredibly high price, I cannot justify spending the money, regardless of the cause. I am so thankful for recipes such as these because it gives me an opportunity to have something I love that is a little bit healthier.

  38. Hi All: I will definitely try these cookies. I was a Brownie and Girl Scout, and always enjoyed selling cookies in my neighborhood (40+ years ago). Sad, but I have called the local GS troop and no one ever comes to my house to sell me cookies now! I have lived in my house for 23 years and have never, ever seen a GS come to my door. I did, however, see GScouts selling at the local chain-grocery store in the last few years; I took one look at the ingredients and stepped away: wayyyyyyy too much bad stuff: HFCS, synthetics and not allergy-free (tree nuts, etc). I can’t even bring those in my house because of the allergy issues for my son. Plus, I have to take into consideration corn/wheat/etc quality due to “age-of-life” issues. What’s a menopausal mother to do? Donate directly and make these in the allergy-free, organic home environment. I don’t have a choice! Sorry, GSofA.

  39. There’s still plenty of people to suppor the cookie sales. I too wish that the girls would come to the door, but looking at it from the mothers’ point of view I am sure they aren keen on sending their precious little ones to strangers’ doors the way this world can be. Also dont the rest of you run out of girl scount cookies about a month after purchasing? How great that we can have both worlds!

  40. She said that she would rather go to and donate directly.. I do know that not much of the money from cookie sales goes to the troop..my sister has been a member since graduating from Brownie troop.. graduates this year!!

    If most of the money went to the girls, that would be different!!

    I buy like 10 boxes and they are gone with a few months… So this would be good to make the rest of the year….

  41. Also, for those of you who end up making Thin Mints using ANY of these great recipes… Here’s a recipe for Thin Mint Truffles!

    This recipe is actually really a great find because they’ll let anybody make thin mints or thin mint truffles year round… meaning you don’t have to wait for Girl Scout Season!!!

    Thanks! -Carly @ Createlive

  42. Hi everyone! I can’t wait to make these homemade GS cookies! I am wrapping up being cookie mom and have since decided we will not be selling, consuming, or endorsing GS cookies again until our baker’s make a change in ingredients. I would encourage everyone who reads this website and these recipes to contact your local GS Council where you live AND the baker that makes your Council’s cookies, and EMAIL THEM REGARDING WHY YOU WON’T BUY THEM! I did, and I got a response from one of the baker’s VP’s. But if EVERYONE who won’t purchase them writes in and tells them WHY (because they contain nasty ingredients!) then maybe they will make a change. After all, pure cane sugar, non-hydrogenated oil, and no food colorings in chocolate cookies really is not asking for the world! It is time to stand up for our food supply! Here is a great video I recently found on the problems with the food supply in the US (specifically as it relates to GMO foods and allergies) http://www.robynobrien.com/Default.htm. Enjoy! And thanks for coming up with these recipes!

  43. I made these over the weekend, even though I was a little skeptical from some of the reviews. I had one out of the oven and was a little disappointed, but I decided to dip them in chocolate and see what happened. I popped them in the freezer, and WOW! They are amazing! Not quite as minty as the GS version, but still pretty darn close, if not better. I didn’t run out of chocolate for dipping (there were about 5 cookies left over, but at that point I was sick of dipping anyway!), but I think some people may have run out because it’s easy to leave too much chocolate on the cookies. Make these, you will not be disappointed!

  44. Has anyone tried putting peppermint in the chocolate?

  45. I don’t know if it was me but this did not turn out at all and isn’t very good and tastes nothing like the gc cookies. Bummer

  46. I think some of the comments about girl scouts on here are nuts! But I do have to agree. Selling cookies can get ridiculously competitive. I was in girl scouts for about 7 years. This girl I know who put her daughter in girl scouts this year bought 300$ worth of cookies just so her daughter would get a badge. I couldn’t believe her behavior for a stupid badge. I used to try and sell cookies because it was part of being a Girl Scout not to get a freakin badge. And parents who act like that infuriate me. Way to set an example for your child. SMH.
    That being said, I dont think theres anything wrong with making your own knock off cookies. It’s near impossible to get cookies year round. Thin mints are my absolute favorite, and I only bought 2 boxes this year. I was saving the last of my last box for awhile. Hoping this recipe will work out, or that I will find one that does.

  47. keebler makes grasshoppers which highly resemble thin mints

  48. Love the idea of this. I will be trying with my own twist (like making them gluten free).

    I would not buy any cookies from the Girl Scouts. I would not jeopardize my health with genetically modified foods. There are other ways these girls could raise money for their troops that would be beneficial to others as well. I, too, would rather make a donation than to buy this toxic food.

    Look at the ingredients in the GS Thin Mints cookies:

    Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin,
    reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [vitamin B1],
    riboflavin [vitamin B2], folic acid), sugar, vegetable
    oil (palm, partially hydrogenated palm kernel,
    soybean and cottonseed with TBHQ for freshness),
    cocoa, caramel color, contains two percent or less
    of cocoa processed with alkali, invert sugar, whey,
    leavening (baking soda, monocalcium phosphate),
    cornstarch, salt, soy lecithin, natural and artificial
    flavor, oil of peppermint.

    There are so many things wrong with that list. A few things that stick out to me are SOY (probably GMO soy). Sugar?? Probably processed, I’d rather use RAW sugar. Vegetable oil? Yuck.. GMO! I’ll stick with coconut oil. Artificial flavor.. why?? Hydrogenated oils.. HUH!?!? I could go on and on.

  49. Jasmine – I have a Gluten Free Thin Mint recipe available, too, if you want to give it a try! http://bakingbites.com/2011/06/homemade-girl-scout-cookies-gluten-free-thin-mints/

  50. Wow! Thanks so much Nicole. :)

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