Test Kitchen - Homemade Thin Mints

Having once been a Girl Scout for about 7 years, I have a love hate relationship with Girl Scout cookies that runs pretty deep.  I hated them because I swear they picked the wettest, coldest, most miserable time of the year for us to go door to door to sell them (we lived in Pittsburgh).  But as one can guess, I loved them because they tasted so so good.  Samoas are by far my favorite and I don't even like coconut (which gives you an idea of how kickass they are).  Nothing hits the spot quite like a frozen Thin Mint and you'll never see me turning down a Trefoil shortbread cookie with a cold glass of milk.

Sadly Girl Scouts and their cookies are rather scarce in Kenya, so when I saw this recipe for homemade Thin Mints, I thought I'd do what any good Girl Scout would do and take matters into my own hands.  The recipe seemed pretty involved though so I called for some back up and arranged a 'bake date' last Friday with a friend who happens to be a consummate baker.  

The recipe called for mint extract but none could be found at any of our local grocery stores.  So I did what I thought was the next best thing and bought a chocolate bar filled with mint cream which we melted down and used in place of the cocoa powder and half of the sugar.  Despite our best efforts, the dough ended up looking and tasting more like toffee rather than chocolate or mint.  To make up for the lack of chocolatey menthol flavor, I melted down the rest of the mint chocolate bar with about half the butter into which I dunked the cookie wafers.  The end result, a respectable homemade Thin Mint with adequate mint flavor.  Though if I had to do it all over again, I'd still add powdered cocoa to the cookie dough in hopes of gaining a more chocolately flavor and color.  At the suggestion of my friend, I went ahead and also made some homemade mint extract.  Tune in next time when we try this again in a month, hopefully with mint extract to boot.   


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