Thin Mint Cookies, Gluten-Free

by Jeanne on February 20, 2011

Girlfriend joined Girl Scouts this year.  And she loves it!   I was a bit worried that it would entail even more running around than we already do (we are way too busy).  But, her new troop is very laid back.  And small.  It’s run by two women who aren’t parents but who love being around kids and who have been running this troop since all of the girls were in kindergarten.  I really love them and their dedication to the girls.  And Girlfriend is in heaven. It’s really fun to see how much she likes her troop.

Of course, this means that Girlfriend has to sell Girl Scout cookies.  When I was in Girl Scouts, I hated the selling thing.  It was just painful for me.  I was too shy. And I have carried that hatred of selling into my adulthood.  So, I was dreading this time of year.  But you know what?  Girlfriend loves selling the cookies!  She has no fear of approaching everyone she knows and asking if they want to buy cookies from her.  I was convinced that the teachers at her school would automatically say no, but they all said yes.  Even the school secretary.  Woot!  So, she sold a zillion boxes during the pre-sale time (the time before they sell cookies in front of the grocery store).

Of course, Girlfriend and I can’t eat the cookies that she’s been so good about selling.  The irony of all of this is not lost on me.  I’m gluten-intolerant, so can’t eat them.  Daughter is peanut and soy allergic, and they all contain soy oil and soy lecithin, and of course many of them contain peanuts, so she can’t eat them.  Even dAhub doesn’t eat them because he feels like he gets enough yummy sweets at home, so why bother eating commercially made cookies? (awwwww)

This doesn’t stop me from remembering what the cookies tasted like.  Of course, my favorites were the Thin Mints.  I so remember how much I liked those.   And having a living room full of the suckers isn’t super fun when you can’t eat them (they are the most popular girl scout cookie order Girlfriend got).  So, I decided enough was enough and I would make my own.

It turns out that these are so easy to make.  And you know what?  They are beyond delicious!  Wow!  I could single handedly eat all of them.   Mint and chocolate are one of my favorite combinations.  The great thing about the cookies is that you decided how much mint flavor you want in the coating.  And, you can use any leftover chocolate coating to make little mint-chocolate candies.  Win-win.  I love it!

These cookies use the cookie recipe I developed for the gluten-free Oreo cookies.  You make the wafers and then dip them in semi-sweet chocolate that has been mixed with some peppermint extract.  Voila!  Thin Mints!

Thin Mint Cookies, Gluten-Free
-makes about 50 cookies

Ingredients
For the cookies:
1 1/2 cups (210 g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
3/4 cup (65 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (not the Dutch process kind)
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks; 7oz; 200 g) unsalted butter (or butter substitute), slightly softened, cut into 14 pieces
3 tablespoons milk or milk substitute
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the coating
2 cups (12 oz; 340 g) semisweet chocolate chips
pure peppermint extract to taste

Make the cookie dough
Method 1 In the bowl of a food processor, place flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Pulse a few times to mix.  Add butter pieces, pulse until the mixture looks like sand mixed with pebbles.  Add the milk and the vanilla.  Run until everything is combined and the mixture looks like clumpy, wet sand (a few seconds).

Method 2 If not using a food processor, do this by hand.  Place dry ingredients in a bowl, mix to combine.  Add butter pieces and rub/squish into the dry mixture until the mixture looks like sand mixed with pebbles.  Add the milk and the vanilla and mix by hand until everything is combined and looks like clumpy wet, sand.

With either method, now gather the dough together in your hands and knead until it holds together.  This should only take a few kneads.  Don’t work with it so long that the butter in the dough begins to melt and gets super-soft.  You want the dough to stay cool.   If you’re using the food processor method, you may want to dump your dough into a large bowl for this part of the process.

To shape your cookies
Method A In this method you will be making two cylinders of cookie dough that you later cut into disks.  Once the dough is together, divide the dough into two similarly-sized pieces.  With your hands, shape the first blob of dough into a rough cyliner shape.  Press on the ends to make the ends flat.  Place on a piece of plastic and wrap dough completely.  Now roll your cylinder of dough (in the plastic wrap) like you would Play Doh until it is a uniformly shaped cylinder and is about 2″ in diameter.  Wrap the ends of the plastic wrap over themselves so they are sealed and place in the refrigerator to chill.  Repeat with the second blob of dough.

Method B In this method you will roll out the dough like you would for cut-out cookies.  Divide the dough into two similarly sized blobs.  Shape that blob into a roughly round ball and place between two large pieces of waxed paper. With a rolling pin, roll the dough until it is about 1/4″ in thickness.  Place the rolled dough into the refrigerator to chill.  Repeat with second piece of dough.

Both methods: Chill the dough for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

Cutting and Baking the Cookies
For both methods, line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Method A Remove one of the cylinders from the refrigerator and remove it from the plastic wrap.  Using a ruler or a measuring tape, carefully measure and mark the cylinder into 1/4″ sections.  Using a sharp knife, cut the cylinder along these lines and place the 1/4″ thick disks on your prepared cookie sheets, leaving 1/2″-1″ in between each cookie.  Bake at 350 for 13-15 minutes.  I have been routinely baking mine for 15 minutes to make the cookies crisp.  Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes before removing a wire rack to cool completely.

Method B Remove one of your rolled portions of dough from the refrigerator.  With a 2″ round cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can and place them on prepared cookie sheets, with 1/2″-1″ between each disk.  I use a fluted-edge cookie cutter, but the cookies don’t really retain that amount of detail during the baking process.  You can see from the photo that the edges are faintly fluted.  Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes–I have routinely been baking mine for 15 minutes to make the cookies crisp.  Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cook completely.

Coating the cookies
Once the cookies are cool, they are ready to coat with the mint-flavored chocolate.  In a heavy saucepan, melt the semi-sweet chocolate over very low heat (watch carefully so it doesn’t burn).  Once the chocolate is melted, remove from heat and add a few drops of peppermint extract to taste.  I use about 1/2-1 tsp.  Whisk to combine.

Cover two cookie sheets with waxed paper.  Carefully place each cookie in the melted chocolate and turn over to coat completely.  Remove with a fork.  Tap the fork once or twice on the side of the pan to make sure that any extra coating goes back into the pan.  Don’t tap too hard, though–the cookies are delicate and will break.  Carefully place the coated cookie on the waxed paper to harden.   Repeat with the remainder of the cookies. You may place the cookie sheets in the fridge or the freezer to speed up the hardening process (and cold Thin Mints are really good!).

Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in fridge.

Enjoy!
PRINT FRIENDLY RECIPE

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