Monday, February 25, 2013

Fake-it-till-you-make-it Thin Mint Wannabes

I'd like to clear the air right now. These are not Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Girl Scout. I am however, a complete and total Thin Mint addict. I remember many many moons ago when you could make a small-ish donation of $2.50 to the cause and get a box of really, really good cookies in return.

As to be expected, I have watched the price creep up little by little over the years. But I still got excited the other day when I saw the group of smiling, uniformed girls hanging out at my local grocery store pushing their lovely treats on innocent passersby. As I walked towards them, I was trying to decide how many boxes I was going to get. And then the girl on the end said, "Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies? They're only $4 a box." Only $4 a box? Only?? Don't get me wrong, I understand inflation and all that, but that's ridiculous. No way, it wasn't happening. There had to be another way.

Now, I'm going to level with you. Are these Thin Mints? No. Do they taste exactly like the ones in the beloved green box? No. Will you read the ingredients and make a batch of 5 cookies just to test it out because there is no way they will sufficiently satisfy your craving? Yes. And then you will make the full batch. Twice. In less than 24 hours. True story.

Thin Mint Wannabes
Makes about 30

What I use:
  • 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp. vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
  • One sleeve of round butter crackers, like Ritz

How I do it:

1. Put the chocolate chips and vegetable shortening in a small bowl.

2. Melt them together in the microwave for one minute. Stir until smooth. If needed, heat for 15 more seconds.

3. Add the peppermint extract and stir until it is completely worked into the chocolate. Now, I know what you're thinking... "Mmmm, a nice big bowl of liquid Andes chocolate, no one will notice if I steal a spoonful." I know because I thought the same thing. Don't do it! Even though this magical mixture is going to transform these crackers into something heavenly, the mint-chocolate alone tastes like garbage. I don't understand it either; you'll just have to trust me on this one. But you'll probably do it anyway, just remember, you've been warned.

4. Set up a cookie sheet with some waxed paper.

5. Place the crackers in the chocolate one at a time and use a fork to flip them. Ignore the picture and put the crackers in face down first, then flip. Do as I say, not as I do.

6. Tap the cracker/cookie against the side repeatedly until the excess chocolate falls off.

7. Lay them down onto the waxed paper. As you work, you may need to reheat the chocolate in 10-second intervals if it gets too stiff. I did this every 10 crackers or so.

8. Here's where you need to make a choice. You should let the cookies sit in a cool, dry place until the chocolate sets. This will ensure that the chocolate doesn't melt in your hands later. But if you're anything like me, just toss them in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. I don't like to wait for things. Just call me Veruca Salt.

Now all I need to do is crack their Samoa recipe and I'll be an even happier mama.

The family says:

  • K is not a die-hard Thin Mints fan like we are, so he doesn't really care either way. But he is still a kid, and chocolate is chocolate, so that was a good thing by his standards.
  • Andrew asked me to make a double batch and I did. Three days in a row.
  • I have had to find new hiding places in the freezer. Shhh....

What's your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

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