This year was my younger daughter’s first year in Daisies, the first-grade Girl Scouts group. She sold 48 boxes of Girl Scout cookies with enthusiastic endorsements: “They freeze well.” “They make good gifts.” “Thin Mints are the most popular.” But, because she has celiac disease and is gluten-free, she has never, ever tasted a Girl Scout cookie, nor will she.
I didn’t want her to be left out of the Girl Scout cookie feeding frenzy. So this year, I developed my own recipe for gluten-free Thin Mints, with a tender gluten-free chocolate cookie enrobed in a minty chocolate coating. It’s just the right combo of chocolate and mint, gluten-free of course.
Although it is expensive, use peppermint oil rather than mint extract, because mint extract often contains both spearmint and peppermint oils. You don’t want the spearmint taste in these cookies, just the peppermint. This recipe is a good chance to use teff flour (which I love for its high protein and fiber content), as teff works well with the chocolate flavors and the slightly dry biscuit base.
This recipe is a bit tricky, in that the batter is very soft, making it hard to form the cookies. Keep the batter chilled so it’s easier to cut out perfectly round circles. Also, chilling the cookies on the tray before baking helps them to keep their shape and reduce spread.
Gluten-Free Thin Mint Cookies
- 1 cup gluten-free flour (I used ¼ cup brown rice flour, ¼ cup teff flour, ¼ cup tapioca starch, ¼ cup sweet rice flour)
1⁄3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
1⁄8 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon peppermint oil
Mint-chocolate coating ingredients:
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon peppermint oil
- 1. Put gluten-free flours, cocoa powder, salt, xanthan gum and baking soda in a medium bowl and whisk gently with a fork until combined. Set aside.
- 2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar, just until combined. Add egg and beat until combined. Gradually, add dry ingredients to mixer, and mix well. Add vanilla extract and peppermint oil and mix again.
- 3. Remove cookie dough from mixer bowl, form into a ball, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- 4. To roll out cookies, use only half of the dough at a time. Keep the other half in the freezer, so it remains stiff. Between two pieces of parchment paper, roll out dough to a thickness of 1⁄8 inch to ¼ inch. If dough is too thin, it will be harder to work with.
- 5. Cut dough into circles using a 2-inch cookie cutter. If dough gets too soft to cut circles, put dough in the freezer until it’s stiff. Place cookie circles on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, and put the tray in the refrigerator to chill for about 15 minutes. This will help reduce cookie spread.
- 6. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until firm but not crisp. Remove from oven and cool.
- 7. When cookies have cooled, top them with mint-chocolate coating. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips for 1 to 2 minutes on half power (power level 5). Stir chocolate well. If not completely melted, heat again at half power for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each time. Add peppermint oil and stir until smooth.
- 8. To coat cookies, lower cookie gently into the bowl of chocolate. Using a fork, turn the cookie over in the bowl so it is coated with chocolate. Pick the cookie up with a fork, letting excess chocolate drip into the bowl. Gently scrape the fork against the side of the bowl to get off excess chocolate. Transfer coated cookie to parchment paper and let dry at least three hours.
Yield: About 24 cookies