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Thin Mint Magic: Never Too Busy to Bake

by caroline

So, uh, yeah, … our weekend continued much like this:

But, of course, we did it in true Caroline and Dan style with a little of this …

… and a lot of this …

It would have been easy, of course, to just call it a weekend of packing and leave it at that, but I was already not in too good of a mood about it, so we decided to try and add a little fun.

And then, of course, there were the "urges".

Around mid-day Saturday, Dan decided to take a break from packing and make spaghetti sauce. By 6 p.m. we had five jars:

That was, naturally, around the time the second urge struck. This time on my end. Apparently, when you tell two foodies it's time to do something stressful, one of the best ways they can channel all of that energy is by, well, making food.

So, halfway through packing a box, I pushed everything aside and exclaimed, "I'm baking something!" I knew I needed something chocolate, so I cracked open my new Babycakes book and decided on Thin Mints. I literally got to work in the middle of our mess, placing the cookie sheet on top of an empty container (notice the price sticker on the side of it?) and plopping the cookie dough where it belonged. It didn't matter at this point how I went about it — all I knew was that it needed to be done.

We also pumped up the music. Thank goodness for a little Frank.

So, back to the cookies, right? For any gluten-free or vegan muncher who misses this Girl Scout classic, your prayers to the Thin Mint cookie gods have been answered. This version from Erin McKenna is seriously out of this world. I kept taking bites and saying, "These are vegan!" or "I can't believe these are GLUTEN. FREE."

You want the details? Do ya? Thought so. :D

Before we get into that, I want to mention one thing: My only gripe about this recipe was that it said to, "Drop the dough by the teaspoonful onto the prepared baking sheets." I started out that way (as you will see in the first photo), but realized it was impossible for the size to be appropriate (unless I am completely missing something) when the recipe said it would make 30 cookies. I halved it — meaning I should have 15 cookies — and there were 24 on the tray! So, going with my gut, I ignored the teaspoon reference and re-sized the cookies, making 15 (or 30 if you make the whole recipe). If you have ever had a Thin Mint before, then just know that your pre-baked cookie should be about that size on the tray.

Get the goods:

Thin Mints (from Erin McKenna's Babycakes Covers the Classics)

(Print me!)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour
  • 1 cup vegan sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup arrrowroot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup melted refined coconut oil or canola oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free chocolate chips
  • 3 Tablespoons mint extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, arrowroot, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt. Add the coconut oil (or canola), applesauce, and vanilla and mix with a rubber spatula until a thick dough forms.

Drop the dough by the teaspoonful onto the prepared baking sheets about 1-1/2 inches apart. (NOTE: Mine turned out the be more like a tablespoon for each cookie.) Gently flatten each mound of dough, smoothing the edges with your fingers. Bake for 7 minutes, rotate the baking sheets, and bake for 7 minutes more. Let stand on the baking sheets for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the chocolate chips and mint extract in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir until the chips are just melted. Do not overcook. (If chocolate becomes too thick, then add a little water to reach desired consistency.) Remove from heat. Dunk the top of each cookie into the melted chocolate and place in a single layer on a platter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until chocolate sets.

NOTES: I used Whole Foods brand vegan sugar, Bob's Red Mill arrowroot, canola oil and Enjoy Life gluten-free chocolate chips.

These cookies are a delight! I can honestly say they are a more-than-worthy substitute for the originals and maybe even better (yes, I said it)! They are a little softer on the inside than we are used to with the classic Girl Scout Thin Mints, but there is a wonderful crispiness on the outside that gives it a perfect balance. The taste is spot on!

 

Note: This recipe is gluten-free and vegan. (If you have allergies or food sensitivities, always check specific manufacturer’s products for allergens and/or cross-contamination issues.)

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Believe it or not we are moving all of our stuff this morning as opposed to having everything done yesterday as we had originally planned. You would think with all of the moving we have done we would finally remember the two most important rules: (1) Expect the unexpected and (2) you always need more time than you think you do. So, it's a smoothie in a BlenderBottle for me and as soon as I type my last sentence here, off to packing the van. This is a cup of Fage yogurt, Kaeng Raeng's Joyful mix (strawberry, raspberry, pineapple), 1 cup of filtered water and half a banana:

Happy Monday! :)