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Gluten Free “Thin Mints” Cookies

Gluten Free “Thin Mints” Cookies

These gluten free “Thin Mints” cookies, crisp chocolate mint cookies in a rich chocolate coating, make you forget you can’t have “real” Girl Scout Cookies.

A tall stack of gluten free thin mints cookies.

What makes these chocolate cookies special

These cookies are different from the gluten free chocolate wafer cookies. The way I think of it, those are cocoa cookies and these are chocolate cookies, since there’s also melted chocolate in the batter. Plus, this recipe doesn’t call for any eggs and has a texture more like graham crackers than wafer cookies. 

I recommend using chopped chocolate, and not chocolate chips, in the cookie dough. Chocolate chips have some wax in them without which they wouldn’t hold their shape. Don’t panic because I use chocolate chips all the time, but when you’re melting chocolate into any sort of batter, you want it to be pure chocolate. 

Baked gluten free thin mints cookies being taken off tray.

How to make these Thin Mints-style cookies

This cookie dough is made by melting chocolate and butter, and stirring to combine. Add the vanilla and peppermint extract, and mix, then set the bowl aside. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar, and add the chocolate mixture. 

The mixture seem crumbly at first, and like it won’t come together into a cohesive dough. Keep mixing, pressing the bottom of the spoon into the dough to moisten everything. With clean hands, knead and squeeze the dough together.

If you allow the cookie dough to sit before rolling it between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper, it will become dry and difficult to roll quite quickly. Just add lukewarm water by the droplet, kneading it in until the dough holds together and thick but not so stiff that it’s unworkable. 

An alternative way to create the cookie shapes

The easiest and best way to make these cookies is by rolling out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. The dough is sticky, but not wet enough that it can handle any additional flouring. 

Just roll and feel with your palms to see where it needs to be rolled thinner. It’s not hard, and definitely does not need to be perfect. 

If you simply refuse to roll anything out (!), and I cannot convince you that it is possible and even (dare I say it) easy, I have a solution. Divide the cookie dough into two equal portions, and knead and press each into a cylinder about 1 1/4-inches in diameter, rounding it as best you can, creating a blunt edge on each side of each roll.

Without chilling the dough, using a sharp knife, slice each cylinder by cross-section into slices that are a bit more than 1/4-inch thick. Place each piece flat on the baking sheet and, using your fingertips, pat each disk evenly until it’s about 1/4-inch thick. 

Your rounds will not be as perfectly round, and they will likely be of uneven thickness. But they get coated in chocolate anyway and if anyone has something to say about it, then no cookies for them. 

Gluten free thin mints cookies, some coated in chocolate, some plain.

Tips for the perfect chocolate coating

For a smoother coating of chocolate, try seeding it after melting. Simply melt most of the chopped chocolate, and then drop the rest in the hot melted chocolate. The reserved chocolate chunks will help bring down the temperature of the melted chocolate to the point where it is tempered and will make a nice, smooth coating.

Tap off some of the excess from the coated cookie by tapping the handle of the dipping fork on the side of the bowl before dragging the fork along the side of the bowl of melted chocolate to remove any final excess. That’s how you avoid that big pool of chocolate on the bottom as the chocolate sets. 

Carefully slide the coated cookie off the fork onto a piece of parchment paper. Allow the chocolate coating to set, either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. If you refrigerate the coated cookies, the chocolate may bloom on the surface, with white streaks appearing, but it won’t affect the taste at all.

A closeup image of gluten free thin mints cookies plated with one broken cookie to show inside.

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy-free: In place of the butter in this recipe, try using half (35 grams) Earth Balance buttery sticks and half (35 grams) Spectrum brand non hydrogenated vegetable shortening. If you can find it, you can also use a full 70 grams of Melt brand vegan butter, which behaves much closer to butter in baking. Of course, make sure your chocolates are dairy-free. 

Cocoa powder: You can use either Dutch-processed cocoa powder or natural cocoa powder in this recipe. I prefer to use Dutch-processed because it tends to have a deeper chocolate flavor and more richness.

I use Rodelle brand Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Hershey’s Special Dark is a nice blend of both natural and Dutch-processed cocoa powders and is widely available. 

Chocolate: I often use Baker’s brand semi-sweet chocolate bars for baking because it’s well-priced, readily available, and of course are gluten free. I just buy a ton of boxes of it whenever it’s on sale at my regular grocery store.

I often use Ghirardelli chocolate disks for melting when I plan to use chocolate as a coating, like in this recipe. For a fancier baking bar of chocolate, I’ll use Scharffen-Berger semi-sweet or dark chocolate. 

A short stack of gluten free thin mints cookies with the top one broken to show the inside.

 

Four images that show gluten free Thin Mints cookies with and without chocolate coating.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 30 cookies

Ingredients

For the cookies
5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

3/4 cup (105 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter here)

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/2 cup (40 g) Dutch-processed or natural cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

Lukewarm water by the drop, as necessary

For the glaze
1/2 pound dark chocolate, chopped

Pure peppermint extract, to taste

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 300°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper, and set them aside.

  • In a medium-size heat-safe bowl, place the butter and all of the semi-sweet chocolate except for about 3 1/2-inch-size chunks. Microwave at 50% power for 45 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Add the reserved chunks of chocolate, and stir until the chocolate has begun to thicken a bit and the chunks have melted. Add the vanilla extract and peppermint extract, and stir to combine. Set the chocolate mixture aside. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the chocolate mixture, and mix until the dough comes together and is smooth. This is a relatively dry cookie dough, and may appear crumbly at first. Using clean hands, squeeze the dough to help it form a disk. If you have allowed the dough to sit at all before rolling it out, knead in water by the drop until the dough is still thick but not tough.

  • Place the dough between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper, and roll it out until it is about 1/4 inch thick (any thinner, the cookies are more likely to burn in the oven, and will crack when you try to coat them in chocolate). Cut out rounds that are about 1 1/2-inches in diameter. To remove the rounds from the surrounding cookie dough, peel the paper away from them while pulling up gently on the rounds. Place each round on a prepared baking sheet 1-inch apart from each other. Gather and reroll any scraps, and repeat the process. Place one baking sheet at a time in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 7 minutes or until the cookies no longer glisten in the center. Remove them from the oven, and allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet.

  • Once the cookies are completely cool, make the glaze. Place all of the dark chocolate except for about 3 1/2-inch-size chunks in a medium-size, heat-safe bowl. Microwave at 50% power for 45 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Add the reserved chunks of chocolate and the peppermint extract, and stir until the chocolate has begun to thicken a bit and the chunks have melted.

  • Place the cookies, one at a time, in the glaze. Press down on the cookie with the tines of a (dipping or regular) fork, then flip it gently in the chocolate. Pull the cookie out of the chocolate by slipping the fork under it and tapping the handle of the fork on side of the bowl to remove some excess and break any air bubbles. Then, carefully drag the bottom of the fork (along with the bottom of the cookie) along the edge of the bowl to remove any drips, and carefully place the cookie on a clean sheet of parchment paper. Allow the chocolate coating to set at room temperature. Once the coating is set, you can place the cookies in a covered glass jar and store at room temperature for about a week.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2012. Recipe unchanged, but method clarified a bit. Most text, all photos, and video all new.

Love,
Nicole

Comments are closed.

  • Marilyn
    November 19, 2019 at 2:04 AM

    Can I freeze these cookies with good results ?

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 19, 2019 at 8:10 AM

      You can freeze the plain cookie for sure. If you freeze them covered in melted chocolate, the chocolate will most likely develop a white coating called bloom. It is harmless and tasteless but will affect the appearance.

  • Ruth Broch
    November 10, 2019 at 10:03 PM

    What if I leave out the peppermint entirely – will the recipe still work? Can I add either more vanilla or, say, almond extract in its place?

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 11, 2019 at 8:12 AM

      Absolutely, Ruth! It’s just for flavoring, and you can use any flavor you like—or none at all.

  • Joan Vang
    November 10, 2019 at 4:49 PM

    Would it be possible to use ghee in place of the unsalted butter?

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 11, 2019 at 8:12 AM

      Please see the Ingredients and substitutions section of the post, Joan!

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 11, 2019 at 11:27 AM

      I’m afraid I really don’t recommend that, no, Joan.

  • MaryCatherine
    July 15, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Soooooo….. this may be an incredibly stupid question, but I’m having a terrible time finding pure peppermint extract. Peppermint flavor? No problem! And the only two ingredients are typically peppermint oil and sunflower oil. Is there a huge difference?

    Can’t WAIT TO MAKE THESE!

    • July 17, 2012 at 12:03 AM

      Hi, MaryCatherine,
      There isn’t a ton of difference between peppermint extract and peppermint oil. Peppermint flavor sounds like it’s basically peppermint oil cut with sunflower oil, so it’s less pure, but as long as it’s gluten-free, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. You might just need to use a bit more of it to get that peppermint kick. Go slowly, though, since you can put more in, but you can’t take it out!
      Enjoy – and forgive me for taking a bit to get back to you!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Lynn
    July 9, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Man oh man oh man oh maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!! Do these look scrumptious, or what????? Y’all are amazing!!!!

  • July 3, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    I’m just wondering how much peppermint extract you added to chocolate coating? I never use it so I have no idea. Thanks!

    p.s. Your recipe for mock Cup4Cup is amazing! It has made me one happy girl!

    • July 3, 2012 at 8:31 PM

      Hi, Annie,
      Good question. It’s really strong, so I’d start with 1/2 teaspoon and then literally taste some with a small spoon before adding any more peppermint. I’d add more by the quarter teaspoon, and sparingly. I used about 1 teaspoon total. So glad you’re enjoying the mock Cup4Cup! I’m generally not fond of blending my own all-purpose flour, but I will confess to making that blend more often than I thought I would, since I really like the way it behaves. Thanks for letting me know!
      xoxo Nicole

  • July 3, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    The Molly Moon ice-cream book has a recipe for her seasonal Scout Mint cookie ice-cream. I thought, “Boy-o, wouldn’t this be a good time for Nicole to come out with a gee-eff Thin Mint recipe?” And lo, you delivered. As a bonus, I prefer the ingredients in this cookies to the ones in the much-praised (but highly hydrogenated) originals upon which they are based.

    xo,
    Farida

  • July 2, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    I haven’t tried them with a nondairy substitute, Heidi. You’ll have to experiment. I’d go for vegetable shortening instead of coconut oil (definitely not olive oil!). Good luck!
    xoxo Nicole

  • Mariah
    July 2, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Longtime follower, first time commenting. Hope you don’t find this too forward, but I love you and your recipes. Let’s not sweat the details. Thank you for helping me and my two gluten free girls love to eat all out favorite foods. You really are great at what you do. Thanks again.

    • July 2, 2012 at 6:49 PM

      Not too forward at all, Mariah. Matter of fact, I’ve been saving myself for you. It took you long enough! ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • July 2, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Those look good! I will have to try them! :)

    I’ve made GF mint patties before… but these look a little different. Thank you for the recipe!

  • Claire
    July 2, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    I want to make out with these cookies
    Will try them today

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