Homemade Thin Mint-Inspired Cookies

By Chelsea Zwieg | The Whole Bite
January 18, 2016
14 Comments


Author Notes: 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.

Chelsea Zwieg | The Whole Bite

Makes: 2 dozen

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract

For dipping:

  • 12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons peppermint extract (or more/less depending on your taste)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. 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, then mix to combine.
  4. 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.
  5. After the dough has chilled, roll out on a well-floured surface to 1/4-inch thick. Cut 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.
  6. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets and bake 20 minutes. Allow 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.
  7. After cookies have cooled, melt chocolate in a double boiler until smooth. Stir in peppermint extract, to taste.
  8. Using a fork, dip cookies in chocolate, coating both sides and allowing excess to drip off. Place on a wire baking rack to dry. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

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Reviews (14) Questions (0)

14 Comments

Ann-Marie D. November 30, 2017
Food52, can you please ask all your contributors to give the recipes in GRAMS?! It's 2017! Almost 2018! ;)
 
Liz D. March 12, 2017
Just made these...they are fabulous--I used peppermint oil instead of extract, 10-12 drops in the cookies and about 15-16 drops in the chocolate (I used about a pound, since I had so many cookies. I rolled the dough into 9-gram balls & flattened with a glass dipped in cocoa, rather than rolling & cutting. I got just under 6 dozen 2-inch cookies. I tempered my chocolate & it was too thick to dip, I think next time I will spread on each side of the cookies with a spatula.
 
Smaug November 27, 2016
I used a 1 5/8" cutter, which produced 46 cookies- presumably the author was using something like 2 1/4"-2 1/2". These are about the most oven stable cookies I've ever encountered.
 
Mindy S. March 17, 2016
I am extremely sad to say this recipe just didn't work. The dough was never crumbly after mixing the cup of butter/sugar w/ the dry ingredients, it was moist and I rolled it in wax paper and refrigerated it 2 hrs. I sliced and baked them, they flattened out while baking and they crumbled into fine bits once cooked. I'm so bummed!!!
 
Smaug November 26, 2016
I've made this recipe twice (in fact, I think it's the only F52 recipe I've made twice) and had no problem. With no egg, the dough is pretty dry and it takes a good deal more mixing than other cookies- maybe that was your problem. Also, these aren't refrigerator cookies- the dough is meant to be rolled out and cut with cookie cutters.
 
Cate December 18, 2016
Common causes of too much spread:<br />1. Butter wrong temperature. A pet peeve is the ubiquitous instruction for using "room temperature" butter. That's problematic on so many levels. There's no standard for "room temperature". Most commonly, butter should be at a temperature so it gives under gentle pressure (but that's subjective too), but still hold its shape. If it's the consistency of mayonnaise, it's too warm. But in shortbread, butter should be consistency of mayonnaise. In other cookie applications, butter should be melted...aargh! Butter temperature is so frustrating. <br />2. Too much sugar. Sugar is hygroscopic (attracts moisture from environment); heat causes it to release the moisture it soaked up. So how could there be too much sugar! When recipes are based on volume instead of weight, it's almost a guarantee that the ratios will skewed. Volume measurements sets the baker up for failure. There's no agreement in volume. Nancy Baggett, cookie cookbook author, instructs bakers to use the dip method. Others, like Julia Childs, promoted the spoon and sweep. Metric weight is the most consistent and accurate way to measure. <br />3. Under measured flour...again volume measurements are the culprit. You can measure a zillion cups of flour, and there will be variations in volume each time. When the ratios of flour to fat and sugar are skewed, the recipe fails. <br />4. Oven temperature too high. It's a chain reaction. High heat causes the butter to melt too fast. Melting butter spreads dough before it sets.<br />5. Crumbling cookie is usually a creaming issue. Most common creaming issues are butter too cold, so too dense to incorporate air into butter; butter too warm, so collapses and releases air. But incorrect flour ratio is also another common cause. <br />
 
Smaug March 12, 2017
Spreading cookies are almost inevitably the result of too little flour/fat; if only a few spread, it's improper mixing (resulting in some cookies, or parts of them, having different ratios). Like so many others, I've cooked a million cookies by volume measurement, and had no problems- you just have to be consistent in how you measure it. Weight isn't infallible either- the moisture content, and thus the weight, will vary with the climate. I usually use butter straight from the refrigerator- again no problems with a good stand mixer. At any rate, these cookies barely budged in the oven- they even come out with sharp edges.
 
Annie February 12, 2016
I love Girl Scout thin mints, and this recipe is a solid imitation! I used whole wheat flour and couldn't taste any difference. The only issue I had was with the dipping chocolate - it was never thin enough to drip off and distribute itself evenly without some scraping and spreading. And 12 oz of chocolate was only enough for about half of the cookies! Otherwise, I love this recipe.
 
palyn H. March 11, 2016
You can add a bit of mild-flavored vegetable oil to the chocolate to thin it a bit for a better dipping/coating consistency. You can find tips on the web for melting chocolate and dipping cookies. Wishing you better results next time!
 
Smaug November 27, 2016
This step sounded like trouble to me, but it went without a hitch. I used Lindt 70% chocolate; I melted it in a double boiler, and left it over the hot water (but off the heat) while working with it. You might have to flip the last few cookies as the pool of chocolate gets shallow, but I had about 2oz. left over, which made a nice little chocolate bar. You might want to temper it if you're feeling fancy, but really not necessary.
 
Morgan February 8, 2016
Thin Mints are my favorite! This is going on my to-do-soon list. I also am in love with the almond-chocolate flavor combo, any imaginable issues for subbing almond extract for the mint extract?
 
Smaug November 26, 2016
Well, they wouldn't be thin mints then. I think this amount of almond extract would be pretty overpowering, it's a very strong flavor. You'd probably do better to start with an almond cookie recipe (with ground almonds)- you can dip anything in chocolate.
 
Cate December 18, 2016
You can easily substitute one extract for another. Almond and chocolate is a classic combination. Since the peppermint and almond both strong flavors, you use a 1:1 substitution. And too, extracts are essential oils suspended in an alcohol base. Alcohol is volatile. When exposed to heat, the alcohol evaporates long with the flavor and aroma molecules. Two teaspoons may seem like a lot of extract, but evaporation and other balancing flavors will come into play here. <br /><br />To be conservative, you can add half the amount, then taste the dough. Add more if you like. Since there's no egg, it's safe to taste the dough. Remember, some flavor and aroma will be lost in baking. <br /><br />
 
Bec January 28, 2016
These are my favourite - I'd love to try making these with a gluten free flour!!<br /><br />www.cultivatebeauty.com.au