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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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  • Cheryl P.
    January 24, 2011

    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! 🙂

  • Sariah
    January 26, 2011

    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.

  • Nicole
    January 30, 2011

    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.

  • Nechama
    February 9, 2011

    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??

  • Sarah
    February 22, 2011

    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. =)

  • Sophie
    February 23, 2011

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

  • Sarai
    February 23, 2011

    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! 😉

  • Brandy
    February 23, 2011

    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.

  • tessa
    February 23, 2011

    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.

  • Teressa
    February 27, 2011

    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!

  • Judy
    April 8, 2011

    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 😉

  • Katrina
    April 21, 2011

    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.

  • Jordan
    May 7, 2011

    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…

  • 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!

  • Kristi Beisecker
    July 2, 2011

    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.

  • J.M.
    August 18, 2011

    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 🙂

  • Duckie
    September 10, 2011

    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!

  • Dana
    October 18, 2011

    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.

  • Rachael
    November 14, 2011

    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!

  • Alex
    December 24, 2011

    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 🙁

  • rainey
    January 11, 2012

    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.

  • Amber
    January 11, 2012

    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.

  • Sue
    January 15, 2012

    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.

  • Cindy
    February 20, 2012

    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!

  • Ronda
    February 22, 2012

    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….

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