During the fall of 5th grade, Mom signed me up for Girl Scouts. I loved the first two meetings! In November, we painted rectangular wooden boards with an undersea scene, complete with waving kelp and a pair of goldfish, and in December, we made little snowman figurines by painting miniature terra cotta pots white, gluing Styrofoam balls on top, and pressing on googley eyes and felt for their faces and clothing.
At my third meeting in January, the troop leader handed out Girl Scout cookie sales sheets. Each sheet unfolded multiple times, until it stood half as tall as me, and contained over a hundred lines for names, addresses, and boxes ordered. Before sending us on our way, the troop leader mentioned she had extra order forms for when we completed that first one.
When I walked out the door, I felt a growing pit in my stomach, and by the time I reached Mom’s car, I was nearly in tears. As an incredibly shy child, I completely dreaded what our troop leader instructed us to do: go door-to-door through our neighborhood to ask every family, friend or stranger, to buy boxes of Girl Scout cookies.
Mom immediately reassured me the world wouldn’t end if I didn’t walk door-to-door or fill up the entire form. When I handed it back at our troop meeting the following month, I had four orders: one for each set of grandparents, one for the sweet lady across the street who loved us like her own children, and one for my family.
For our own order, Mom inked in one of every flavor, plus an extra box of Tagalongs and Samoas (my brother and my favorites!) and multiple extras of Thin Mints. She and Dad loved those the most, and my brother and I still enjoyed them too!
Every time Girl Scout cookie season comes around, I remember what Mom did and how she reassured me that she and Dad would still love me, regardless of how many boxes I sold… And how she bought enough boxes to make it look like I sold some to every family on our cul-de-sac to the other girls in my troop. Thank you Mom! ♡
Since I haven’t had any Girl Scouts knock on my door yet this year, I decided to try baking my own… And these Ultimate Healthy Homemade Thin Mints taste just as good—if not even better!—than the ones in those green cardboard boxes! They’re perfectly chocolaty and crunchy, with lots of bright peppermint flavor, and they’re just 43 calories!
If you’ve never had a Thin Mint, then… I hope that changes ASAP with these homemade ones! The Girl Scout originals were first introduced in 1951. They’re thin, round cookies, about 1 ½ inches in diameter, that are extremely chocolaty, crunchy, and full of peppermint flavor. After baking, they’re coated in a thin layer of chocolate. Many people swear that freezing Thin Mints and then eating them cold is the best way but… My boxes always seem to disappear before I remember to try that! ?
Nerd alert! Because I want to make sure you can make the best homemade Thin Mints, I’m going to share lots of tips and information about the ingredients and instructions with you!
Before I started recipe testing, I researched what makes cookies crunchy… But I found very little information. Instead, I found lots of tips about how to make cookies chewy. It seems like many people, myself included, tend to gravitate towards those soft and chewy varieties! So instead, I made notes on how to make chewy cookies… And then tried to do the opposite to make these crunchy homemade Thin Mints!
Nearly every source agreed that eggs contribute to soft and chewy cookies, especially the yolks, so… I omitted them. Yup—no eggs in these cookies! (Plus they aren’t an ingredient in Thin Mints either!) Instead, I added a touch of milk to give the cookie dough the correct texture.
I also came across multiple articles stating that melted butter contributes to chewier cookies (that’s one reason why I use melted butter in nearly all of my cookie recipes… and because it’s easier!), so I decided to beat softened butter with coconut sugar (like this!) to aim for a crunchy texture.
Coconut sugar is exactly what it sounds like: an unrefined sweetener that comes from coconuts! However, it does not actually taste like coconuts. It has a rich caramel-like flavor, similar to brown sugar, but it has the same dry texture as granulated sugar. If you can’t find coconut sugar, then use granulated instead!
Before we continue with crunchy tips, we can’t forget the rest of the ingredients! You’ll need peppermint extract (like this!) to get that true Thin Mint flavor. It’s pretty strong, so you only need a little bit!
Then to make these cookies taste just as chocolaty as the originals, you’ll use one part unsweetened cocoa powder (like this!) to two parts white whole wheat flour (like this!) Do not use Dutched or special dark cocoa! Their flavors are faint and dull compared to the robust chocolatyness of regular unsweetened cocoa powder. (I think Webster’s should add chocolatyness to their next dictionary edition, don’t you??)
As for white whole wheat flour, such a thing actually exists—and it’s not a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and whole wheat flour! Regular whole wheat flour comes from a coarse and hearty variety of red wheat, whereas white whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat (hence the name!). This gives white whole wheat flour a lighter taste and texture, which is perfect for these healthy homemade Thin Mint cookies!
Tip: Whole wheat pastry flour is a perfect substitute!
Okay, back to crunchiness! You’ll sift those dry ingredients into the creamed butter and coconut sugar, along with a pinch of salt and tiny bit of baking soda. I checked the Thin Mint ingredient labels, and one manufacturer includes baking soda, but the other does not! So I tried both versions, and I preferred the ones with baking soda. It provides just enough lift and tiny air pockets that the cookies aren’t as dense as rocks—and those air pockets also help with the crunchiness!
Once you’ve mixed up the cookie dough, you’ll put the cookie dough in the fridge to chill. Remember how melted butter = chewier cookies? We want that butter to be nice and cold to help with that crunchy texture!
Then you’ll roll it out to be 1/8” thick. I tried 3/16” to start, and that was a bit too thick compared to the original Thin Mints. To cut out the cookies, use a cookie cutter with a 1 ½” diameter. It’s sometimes hard to find that size individually, but you can usually get that size in a set like this! If you can’t find one, then use a glass spice jar’s metal lid! Those tend to be a good size, too. ?
Time to bake! To get chewy cookies, you typically remove the baking sheet from the oven after about 7-9 minutes… But to get crunchy cookies, you leave them in the oven longer—closer to 14 minutes! There’s a sweet spot between chewy cookies and burnt cookies, and that’s exactly what we’re aiming for. Crunchy, chocolaty, minty cookie bliss!
Still with me?? I know this is a lot of info… I want to make sure you bake the BEST homemade Thin Mint cookies!
Once your cookies are at room temperature, it’s time to dip them in melted chocolate! I originally used 72% chocolate (like this from Ghirardelli or this from Lindt!), and while I absolutely loved those cookies… They tasted much darker in flavor than the Girl Scouts’ Thin Mints. Therefore, something like Hershey’s special dark chocolate or Cadbury dark chocolate tastes much closer. (Both of those are milkier in flavor than 72% dark chocolate!) My taste testers slightly preferred the flavor of Cadbury dark chocolate.
Tip: Do NOT use chocolate chips! Those contain a stabilizer, which prevents them from melting properly.
I recommend using a small shallow bowl. This is the exact one I used! It means you’ll need to melt your chocolate in batches because it won’t all fit, but that smaller bowl size makes it much easier to dip and coat all sides.
My friend Dorothy shared an incredible tutorial on how to coat treats in melted chocolate here! She suggests putting the bowl on top of an electric griddle set to its lowest temperature, with a washcloth or dishtowel in between. I don’t own a griddle so… I used the metal top of my panini press instead! It gets hot while plugged in, so with a folded washcloth set on top, that kept my bowl of melted chocolate warm—so the chocolate wouldn’t harden and reset!
I used one fork to dip each cookie into the melted chocolate. Then I lifted out the fork, turned the fork + cookie at a 45° angle, and held another fork against the cookie’s side (so it wouldn’t slip back into the bowl!). This allows the excess chocolate to drip off. Then put your chocolate-dipped cookie onto a baking sheet covered with a sheet of wax paper and continue with the rest! Once all cookies have been dipped, slide that baking sheet into the fridge for a few minutes so the chocolate sets.
Tip: Once melted, bars of Hershey’s special dark chocolate and Cadbury dark chocolate tend to be thicker compared to bars of 72% dark chocolate, which results in a clumpy or uneven layer. I recommend adding a bit of oil to the melted chocolate so it coats the cookies in a more even layer!
Then it’s time to eat! I shared these with family and friends, and they all unanimously agreed… These truly are the BEST homemade Thin Mints—and they don’t taste healthy at all! ?? And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! ?) I’d love to see your cookies!
- ⅔ cup (80g) [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/King-Arthur-Flour-White-Wheat/dp/B004T34EFQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1462507477&sr=1-2&keywords=white+whole+wheat+flour&linkCode=ll1&tag=amysheabak-20&linkId=2016115d4a9170d653d9e1602f2e1cf1″ target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]white whole wheat flour[/url] or gluten-free* flour (measured [url href=”https://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2013/09/17/baking-basics-101/” target=”_blank”]like this[/url])
- ⅓ cup (27g) [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/Hersheys-Natural-Unsweetened-Cocoa-8-Ounces/dp/B0014CSDT8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1463170452&sr=1-4&keywords=cocoa+powder&refinements=p_89%3AHershey%27s&linkCode=ll1&tag=amysheabak-20&linkId=4dfc004be961405c3a0566478af4792e” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]unsweetened cocoa powder[/url] (measured [url href=”https://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2013/09/17/baking-basics-101/” target=”_blank”]like this[/url])
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp (28g) softened butter
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp (120g) [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/Madhava-Organic-Coconut-Sugar-16-Ounce/dp/B005HGOIQ4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1463460493&sr=1-10&keywords=coconut+sugar&linkCode=ll1&tag=amysheabak-20&linkId=658bd138d8a68e6ac99a570241eda026″ target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]coconut sugar[/url]
- 2 tbsp [url href=”https://www.amazon.com/Silk-Cashewmilk-Unsweetened-64-oz/dp/B00TZFTCPK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1506645779&sr=1-4&ppw=fresh&keywords=cashew+milk&linkCode=ll1&tag=amysheabak-20&linkId=28fbc758fa0c2ef9d6f494b33e1a7314″ target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]unsweetened cashew milk[/url]
- 1 tsp [url href=”https://www.amazon.com/Watkins-Pure-Extract-Mint-Ounce/dp/B01GS0X9EY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1519016098&sr=1-13&keywords=peppermint+extract&refinements=p_85:2470955011&linkCode=ll1&tag=amysheabak-20&linkId=af8fa281233104ee4a5a95bde5b05a93″ target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]peppermint extract[/url]
- ¾ cup (168g) chopped chocolate (see Notes!)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift them at least once to ensure no clumps of flour or cocoa powder remain. In a large bowl, beat the softened butter and coconut sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in the milk and peppermint extract. Gradually beat in the flour mixture.
- Transfer the cookie dough to the center of a large sheet of plastic wrap. Using a spatula, shape the cookie dough into a ½”-tall rectangle. Top with another large sheet of plastic wrap. Fold up the excess plastic wrap, and chill the cookie dough for at least 3 hours. (The cookie dough may be chilled for up to 2 days.)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line two large baking sheets with [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/Silpat-AE420295-07-Premium-Non-Stick-Silicone/dp/B00008T960/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1462586067&sr=1-11&keywords=silicone+baking+mat&linkCode=ll1&tag=amysheabak-20&linkId=e0fe843e5fc667ac9b4d6a378ae5df4d” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]silicone baking mats[/url] or [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/Kirkland-Signature-Stick-Parchment-Paper/dp/B006JCWGIC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1462586076&sr=1-3&keywords=parchment+paper&linkCode=ll1&tag=amysheabak-20&linkId=11665b9b8ae9a8faac5267554aa7debe” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]parchment paper[/url].
- Leaving the cookie dough between the sheets of plastic wrap, roll it out to ⅛” thick. Using a [url href=”https://www.amazon.com/Zicome-Cookie-Cutters-Stainless-Assorted/dp/B06XDMSCXW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1519011628&sr=8-1&keywords=1.25+inch+round+cookie+cutter&linkCode=ll1&tag=amysheabak-20&linkId=70cdeca01ceb4b156cf8ad1c51a3f7a4″ target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]1 ½”-wide round cookie cutter[/url], cut out circles of cookie dough, leaving as little unused dough as possible. Pull the unused dough away from the cut-out shapes, and transfer the cookie dough circles onto the prepared baking sheets. Gather the unused dough, squish it into a ball between your palms, and roll it out between the sheets of plastic wrap again. Continue to cut out circles until all of the dough has been used.
- Bake the cookies at 350°F for 13-16 minutes. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Line two large baking sheets with wax paper. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl. ([url href=”https://www.amazon.com/Greenbrier-Mini-Pinch-Prep-Bowls/dp/B00M6GBK0K/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=home-garden&rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1519016480&sr=1-11&keywords=glass+ramekins&refinements=p_85:2470955011&linkCode=ll1&tag=amysheabak-20&linkId=030d4375e0db01dd797a4136cb9a3f7d” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]This size[/url] is perfect!) Carefully dip each cooled cookie in the melted chocolate using two forks, and let the excess drip off. Place onto the prepared baking sheets. Let the chocolate harden completely before serving or storing.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
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♡ Healthy Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cookies