‘Tis the season to bake cookies and to eat chocolate and peppermint!
Growing up, I was the kid that loved Junior Mints, York Peppermint Patties, and Andes after-dinner mints. When I grew older, I discovered the Thin Mint and fell in love! If you’re not from the United States, you may be wondering, “what is a Thin Mint?” Well it’s not a breath mint or a soft peppermint candy. A Thin Mint is a crispy mint-chocolate cookie covered in a rich, smooth, mint-chocolate coating. It’s so good! Thin Mint cookies are also sold exclusively by the Girls Scouts during their cookie season.
A few years back, while working at the Tavern in Brentwood – Los Angeles, CA with former head pastry chef, Breanne Varela, we made Thin Mint cookies. Breanne came up some of the most fun, nostalgic, and tasty sweet treats. Recently, I skimmed through five of my old notebooks that were created during my time working in professional kitchens and found, among many others, Breanne’s recipe for Thin Mint cookies. It’s amazing how much I learned from her – I will forever be grateful for all the guidance and instruction. In the process of reading through my notebooks, I was inspired to not only make the Thin Mints but to make many more sweet treats!
As you may have already figured out, my vegan and gluten-free Thin Mint recipe cookie is adapted from Breanne’s recipe. Believe me when I say this…they taste almost the same! I hope you try this recipe and love it as much as I do!
Thin Mint Cookies
Time: 40 minutes
Makes about 24 cookies
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
6 tbsp coconut palm sugar (pulverized in the blender so it’s fine… or powdered sugar)
1 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp filtered water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (no alcohol)
1 1/4 cup oat flour (gluten-free)
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
Chocolate-Mint Coating Ingredients
2 cups of vegan chocolate chips
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp cocoa butter
1/4 tsp peppermint oil (must be peppermint oil or the chocolate will seize up and be ruined)
1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
2. Place the chia seeds, room temperature water, coconut oil, vanilla extract, peppermint extract and coconut sugar in a high-powered blender for one minute or until the chia seeds are pulverized. Place the mixture in a bowl of a stand mixer, scraping out the contents of the blender completely with a silicone spatula.
3. Using a paddle attachment, add the cacao powder, scraping the side of the bowl. Add the oat flour, and mix just until combined.
4. Cut the dough in half and between two 12-inch wide pieces of parchment paper, roll one half of the dough 2/16 – 3/16th of an inch thick. Using a 2 1/2 inch in diameter circular cookie cutter or glass cup, cut circles.
4. Chill the cut circles on a cutting board in the freezer so they don’t break and are easier to handle.
2 minutes in the freezer should be fine. Once they are chilled and easier to handle, place the circles on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat. 15 should fit perfectly on the sheet pan. Repeat until all the dough is used.
5. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Once the cookies are baked, keep the cookies on the pan for at least 4 minutes so they don’t fall apart then transfer them to a cooling rack.
6. Put the chocolate chips and cocoa butter in a medium heatproof bowl. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat or set it to very very low; set the bowl of chocolate over the water to melt. Stir constantly until smooth. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate and cocoa butter in a microwave at half power, for 1 minute, stir and then heat for another minute or until melted. I, unfortunately don’t have much luck with this method.) Make sure that your silicone spatula and bowl is dry. A drop of water will seize the chocolate and you will not be able to neatly coat your cookies if your chocolate is seized.
7. Once the chocolate and cocoa butter are melted and smooth, add the peppermint oil, not to be confused with peppermint extract. If you add peppermint extract, the chocolate will seize and be unusable. Taste the mint chocolate and adjust to taste. Add more peppermint if you want it super duper minty. Mix thoroughly. Remove from the heat.
8. Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Holding the cookie on a candy dipping fork or regular fork, dip the cookie into the chocolate then hold the cookie on the fork. With your silicone spatula, pour some chocolate over the cookie and gently smoothen it out (alternatively, use a small ladle to coat the cookie with chocolate), letting any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Scrape the bottom of the cookie on the edge of the bowl so as to not drench the parchment with puddles of excess chocolate or “feet”. Repeat with the rest of the cookies.
9. Before the melted chocolate sets on the cookies, sprinkle them with sprinkles of your choice. It helps to sprinkle them at least a foot above the cookies.
10. Chill the cookies in the refrigerator and enjoy once they are set!