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.
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.
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.
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.
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.