Cookies That Freshens Your Breath

In a previous post, I talked about how I love girl scout cookies. Another one of my favorites are the Thin Mints. That’s because I’m a chocoholic and this cookie screams chocolate. I once again went back to Baking Bites to see the rest of their girl scout cookie recipes.

Amazing! This recipe is so much simpler than the Samoas cookie bar I made. I quickly went to work on this.

Ingredients for the cookie part:

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
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint extract

Interestingly enough, I was taken back by the ingredient of cornstarch. I don’t normally see this in a baking recipe, at least not in the ones I’ve been making. So I looked up the purpose of this ingredient. Ah, it removes moisture and is used as a thickener. I conclude this is what makes the cookies extra crispy. I just learned something. Yay! 🙂

I got all my dry ingredients out. And I just showed what kind of chocolate I’ll be using for the coating. I tend to stick to Ghirardelli chocolates for my baked goods. Even the cocoa powder I used was Ghirardelli.

I put my dry ingredients together and whisked until well mixed. It should look something like this:

Then I got all my wet ingredients together and measured them out.

I should point out why my stick of butter is in little cubes. I took my butter out from the fridge and it’s super rock hard. To properly cream butter, the butter must be soften. So why not put it in the microwave to “defrost” it like meat? Well, because it will melt a little, even at lowered power. So cutting it this way will soften faster than the whole stick. Warm air will get to much of the butter’s surface area.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. It should look a little something like this:

Then add the milk and extracts and beat until incorporated. The texture should be somewhat like loose mashed potatoes.

While beating the butter mixture on low speed, gently pour in the dry mixture. Pour in batches so that the flour doesn’t fly all over the place. Once the flour is mixed into the butter mixture, pour in the next batch of flour and continue until all the dry mixture is totally mixed in.

Remember when you are mixing, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to grab all the sticking butter and/or flour.

Now we have made a dough. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a board and make two logs out of them.

Make sure that the diameter of the logs are about 1 1/2 inches, or about 4 cm.

Wrap up the logs in plastic wrap and place them in the freezer until it’s pretty hard. About an hour or 2. This makes it easier to slice.

After the time has elapsed, remove from freezer, remove the plastic and place back on cutting board.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Slice the log into 1/4 inch chips.

Place on a baking sheet aligned with parchment paper. Place in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes.

Remove from oven and let the cookies cool down completely. I slid the parchment paper off the sheet and onto a cooling rack and turned on my ceiling fan to cool it down faster. It works!

Ugh, as you can see from the photo above that I burned some of them. That’s because I sliced some unevenly.

While the cookies are cooling, we can start to make the coating.
We need:

10-oz milk chocolate
1/2 cup butter

I opted to use milk chocolate here because of the lesson I learned from making the Samoas. Dark chocolate, to me, and to some of my tasters, said that the Samoas tasted a little strange. I can understand that since dark chocolate is a bit bitter, it added an unnecessary complexity to the overall taste.

So put the butter and the chocolate together and microwave the bowl in 45 second increments. After every 45 seconds, take the bowl out and mix together before starting over again.

The consistency should be smooth flowing chocolate. Now this is where you have to work quickly because it’s best that the chocolate coating is warm. Dip the cooled cookies into the chocolate to make a thin coating. I used a fork to help me dip and remove the cookie from the chocolate.

Lay them out on parchment paper and let sit until the chocolate coating sets. The coating should be shiny and glistening.

I brought this to work today and my coworkers said that it tasted better than the actual girl scout cookie. It might have been because I used milk chocolate instead? Or maybe it was because it was Gharadelli? But someone else said it was actually too sweet. But ah, you can’t please them all. When I tasted it, I think it could have used a little more peppermint extract as the mint was very subtle. The coolness of the mint comes to the palette after the taste of the chocolate is gone. Success! Thank you Baking Bites! 🙂

– Max

Original recipe is at http://bakingbites.com/2005/10/thin-minties/

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