How to Make Thin Mint-Inspired Cookies at Home

If I had to name one shining bright spot in the dreary, face-numbing, negative temperature marathon that is January it would be the fact that the Girl Scouts start to come around selling cookies (okay, that and watching "The Bachelor." But don’t tell).

The only trouble is, that's when the real wait begins. Those cookies aren’t arriving until March and I am left with visions of Thin Mints and Samoas dancing around in my head, giving me yet another reason to believe that the second half of winter exists solely to mock me.

Photo by Chelsea Zwieg | The Whole Bite

So what better way to pass the time and hide from the cold than to figure out how to make them on my own?

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Considering the arrival of my few precious boxes each spring normally brings out my most squirrel-like tendencies—hiding them in the freezer, parcelling them out so that they last as long as possible, getting inordinately territorial when anyone goes near them—it might benefit everyone involved if they were a little more accessible.

Photo by Chelsea Zwieg | The Whole Bite

Very much like Oreos, the best part about Thin Mints is their perfectly engineered capacity to soak up milk. They are made to be dunked, and I knew that was exactly what I was looking for in my homemade version.

I played around with my favorite shortbread recipe until it was mega chocolatey and pepperminty, with the exact crisp and slightly crumbly texture that I remember from years of Girl Scout cookie eating research.

Then, they get dipped in chocolate, which is where the real magic happens. Often, the chocolate on Thin Mints tends to be a little waxy and not all that flavorful. By making them at home, you can use as dark or high-quality chocolate as you want, making them a slightly more grown-up version of the classic. Plus, you can control the amount of peppermint—which, in my case, is no control at all. Just add the whole bottle, please and thank you.

Preheat the oven to 350° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

Photo by Photo by Chelsea Zwieg | The Whole Bite

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the peppermint extract, mixing to combine. In two additions, add the flour-cocoa mixture to the butter, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Beat until just combined and still slightly crumbly. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten slightly, and wrap in plastic wrap.

Chill for 30 minutes.

Photo by Photo by Chelsea Zwieg | The Whole Bite

After the dough has chilled, roll it out on a well-floured surface to 1/4-inch thick.

Cut the dough using a small round cutter (if you want to go true Thin Mint, go for one with fluted edges). Gather scraps and reroll, adding more flour if necessary. You should get about two dozen small cookies.

Photo by Photo by Chelsea Zwieg | The Whole Bite

Transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes.

Allow them to cool completely on pans. They will seem very crumbly when you pull them out of the oven but will firm up as they cool.

Photo by Chelsea Zwieg | The Whole Bite
Photo by Photo by Chelsea Zwieg | The Whole Bite

After cookies have cooled, melt chocolate in a double boiler (or in the microwave, or under a hair-dryer!) until smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract, to taste.

Using a fork, dip cookies in chocolate, coating both sides and allowing excess to drip off.

Photo by Chelsea Zwieg | The Whole Bite

Place on a wire baking rack to dry and then store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Photo by Chelsea Zwieg | The Whole Bite

What's your favorite Girl Scout cookie? Let us know in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • judy
  • Cate
  • kate martin
    kate martin
  • Smaug
  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
Blogger/Baker/Picture Taker @The Whole Bite


judy July 23, 2017
Looking for a cookie recipe, but not particularly these.. Had to STOP! Love thin mints, but lately have not been getting them. Sure don't taste like the ones I sold as a kid....I have tried a few at home. None are minty enough. So I tried these. I am not as particular about my cocoa as I don't know enough. but I have regular process and dutch process. So I used half and half. And 2 tsp of mint extract in the dough. The only other thing I did differently was that I did not roll out the dough. I don't like the fuss of rolling and cutting dough--my kids got very little Christmas cookie making beyond gingerbread men! What I did was make a log of the dough, then refrigerate. Easy slice and bake and no re-rolling and over-handling the dough. Mine is ALWAYS too tough when I do that. for the chocolate coating. I get a pretty nice 62% cocoa patty in the bulk section of my market. I melted that down, added about 1 tsp oil. And some peppermint oil. The cookies dipped beautifully. And I had the most delicious "thin mints". I'll still donate to the Girl Scouts every year. But now I have a cooke to go with my donation. Thanks for a great recipe.
Cate December 19, 2016
Cocoa powder type needs clarification in this recipe. Dutch or Natural?
My guess is Natural.
Natural cocoa powder is acidic.
Dutch-process is alkalized.
Baking soda is the leavening agent in the recipe.

Baking soda needs a acid.

Baking powder (double acting) only requires moisture and heat.

So I'm thinking this recipe is for Natural cocoa powder.

Dutch could be used, but it means replacing the baking soda with twice the amount of baking powder.
kate M. January 27, 2016
Tagalongs!! Please make a recipe for the peanut butter patties.
Smaug January 27, 2016
Notes after the dust had cleared: 1/4" seemed pretty thick; at that thickness, half the recipe made 16 2" cookies (plus one weird little chef's cookie". The dough needed some work to get it to stick together, but don't give up. The cookies, for reasons mysterious to me, developed a small lump in the middle when baking. I melted (and tempered) 7 oz. chocolate for the coating. Best I could measure it, about half ended up sticking to the cookies- for half the recipe, I needed this much just to get enough depth to work with, but I think if you were making a larger quantity you could use less chocolate than the recipe calls for. Or you could let them cool and double dip. Messy, but a fun recipe.
LeBec F. January 26, 2016
cz, nice job and exc photos! two questions: 100% chocolate seems like an awful lot; why not cut with some butter? That would still make a solid glaze (ime) but make for easier and thinner coating. Also, what is the small roller-thingy in the photo w/ the red edged silpat? thx much.
Chelsea Z. January 26, 2016
Thank you! Yes, you can definitely add in a little butter if you want a thinner coating of chocolate. The little roller in the photos is just a small rolling pin that I use. It's much easier to store than a big rolling pin. Similar to this:
Amanda January 26, 2016
Hi Chelsea. Instead of peppermint extract could you use a peppermint oil? If so, what's an approximate quantity you would recommend to start off with? Cheers, Amanda.
Chelsea Z. January 26, 2016
Hi Amanda, you could definitely use peppermint oil in place of extract! Because the flavor is so much stronger than in extract, I would start out with just a few (3-4) drops in the cookies. And maybe 1 or 2 in the chocolate. The good thing is, if you feel like the peppermint flavor isn't strong enough in the cookies, you can always add more to the chocolate. I hope it works well :)
Gina Z. January 26, 2016
No way am I waiting for those Girl Scout cookies to come in! I'm making these. Thanks, Chelsea!