Thin Mint Cookies (Homemade and All-Natural!)
The original recipe for these cookies is on the 101 Cookbooks blog. They are absolutely wonderful – a great alternative to the (definitely not all-natural) Girl Scout version. I use bittersweet chocolate for the coating, but semisweet would be equally good if you don’t want to go so dark.
Many thanks to Heidi from 101 Cookbooks for coming up with this recipe!
8 ounces butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder (I use Green and Black’s Organic Cocoa Powder, or Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (Arrowhead Mills makes a good brand)
Chocolate Peppermint Coating:
1 pound good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped (Ghirardelli bars are good)
1/4 teaspoon natural peppermint extract
Preheat your oven to 350.
Make the cookie dough:
In a mixer cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and cream some more, scraping the sides of the bowl down if you need to. Stir in the vanilla, salt and cocoa powder. Mix until the cocoa powder is incorporated and the batter is smooth and creamy. Add the flour and mix just until the batter is no longer dusty looking (it might still be a bit crumbly, which is fine.)
Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and knead it just once or twice to bring it together into once nice, smooth mass. Place the ball of dough into a large plastic bag and flatten it into a disk roughly 3/4-inch thick. Place the dough in the freezer for 20 minutes to chill.
Rollout and bake:
Remove the dough from the freezer and roll it out really thin, about 1/8-inch. I usually just flour a baking mat or parchment, and flour the rolling pin, and roll them out that way. Stamp out cookies using a 1 1/2-inch cutter (you can use a fluted cutter or any other shape you like.) Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Make the peppermint coating:
While the cookies are in the oven, make the coating. Using a bowl set over simmering water (double-boiler method) or the microwave (30-second bursts on 50-70% power), melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until it is glossy and smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract. If you think the chocolate needs a bit more peppermint kick, add more extract a drop or two at a time – but don’t go overboard.
Finishing the cookies:
You are going to coat the cookies one at a time and then gently set them on a parchment-lined baking sheet to set. Drop one cookie into the chocolate and (using a fork) carefully make sure it gets fully coated. Lift the cookie out of the chocolate with the fork and bang the fork on the side of the pan to drain any extra chocolate off the cookie. You are after a thin, even coating of chocolate. Place on the prepared baking sheet, and repeat for the rest of the cookies. Place the cookies in the refrigerator or freezer to set. They will set at room temperature, it just takes much longer. You can store them in the refrigerator or freezer.
Make 3 or 4 dozen cookies.