Homemade Thin Mints and Mind Mints

Hi everyone. How could anyone give hydrogenated oil thin mints to a sweet girl like mine in the picture? How fortuitous that when I was about to post a recipe about healthier thin mints that I saw on 101 cookbooks www.101cookbooks.com, my friend Gary Forman sent me his Mind Mint post. His post rings true for cooking so I had to share it with you:

Preparing for your “Olympic” moment.

Admit it: you watched more of the Olympics than you had planned, and you actually got into it. Okay, maybe I’m projecting. The truth is that I watched quite a bit, and in spite of the excesses of NBC’s coverage (described by The New York Times as “up close and way too personal,”) I found much of what I watched to be compelling.

Once you get past the commercialism and the hype, what’s left are great athletes performing under intense pressure. More often than not, the performances are at the highest level. And inevitably, a handful of moments are truly inspiring.

It’s thrilling to watch individuals rise to the occasion when the stakes are highest. And it’s worth remembering how they do it: through a combination of talent, coaching, practice, practice and practice. The next time you’re preparing for a high stakes event, consider following that formula to maximize your chances for success.

Gary is a speechwriter, creative director, communications consultant, and all-around creative go-to guy. You can sign up for a free subscription to Mind Mints (which Gary describes as “refreshing, bite-sized tips on communications, creativity and leadership delivered fresh to your inbox twice a month”) at garyforman.com/mind_mints

Now, for the moment you have all been waiting for….Thin Mints you can make yourself WITHOUT hydrogentated oils like the Girl Scout’s ones. these are shockingly close and made with Whole Wheat flour. Enjoy!

Homemade and healthier Thin Mints:

Chocolate Wafers:
8 ounces butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetenedcocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

Chocolate Peppermint Coating:
1 pound good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
natural peppermint oil to taste
I added about 1/4 cup heavy cream and 2 TBS butter to thin out the chocolate

Preheat your oven to 350. Racks in the middle zone.

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 a couple times if necessary. Stir in the vanilla extract and then the salt and cocoa powder. Mix until the cocoa powder is integrated and the batter is smooth and creamy, sort of like a thick frosting. Add the whole wheat pastry flour and mix just until the batter is no longer dusty looking, it might still be a bit crumbly, and that’s o.k. You don’t want to over mix and end up with tough cookies.

Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and kneed 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, remember how thin Thin Mints are? That’s how thin you need your dough, about 1/8-inch. You can either roll it out between two sheets of plastic, or dust your counter and rolling pin with a bit of flour and do it that way. Stamp out cookies using a 1 1/2-inch cutter (this time I used one with a fluted edge, I’ve done hearts and other shapes in the past). 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 baking rack if you’ve got one.

Make the peppermint coating:
While the cookies are in the oven you can get the coating ready. I use a makeshift double boiler to melt chocolate (a metal pan over a saucepan of gently simmering water), but I know many people who swear by melting chocolate in the microwave. Slowly 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 aforementioned 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, and I prefer them straight out of the freezer anyways 😉

Make 3 or 4 dozen cookies.

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