I’m a total sucker for my nieces and nephews (proudly so!). As an aunt, I understand that my job is involves (but is not limited to): boring people with stories, showing photos, marveling at their intelligence, and gushing over anything that any of them has drawn. Of course, part of my sucker-ness includes buying anything they’re selling.
The kids are all still pretty young (ranging in age from 4 through 8), so my oldest niece, Maddie, is the first to start in her retail career. I got the Phone Call the other day, with Maddie hocking 2011 Girl Scout Cookies. Obviously, I bought 4 boxes.
Certainly, I have a lot of affection for the nostalgic and slightly plastic taste of the GSC (I swear, Hoedowns are really covered in chocolate-colored saran). That being said, GSCs are not where I go for an authentic cookie experience. Brandon loves himself the mint and chocolate combo, and despite ordering enough Thin Mints to last us through a 2019, I decided to see what I could make happen, plastic-free, in my own kitchen.
True to form, these cookies do have a nice chocolate/mint flavor, and the coarse sugar on the outside adds a really lovely and satisfying crunch. The authors are right when they say the cookies can overbake quickly; despite following the directions exactly as written, I wish I’d taken them out of the over about 1 minute earlier. I kept them in the fridge overnight, and thought their flavor improved considerably the next day.
If mint and chocolate is your thing, I’d definitely suggest giving these a try.
Once you’ve mixed up your batter (flours, chocolates, etc… not the most interesting of photo essays), it should look like this
After it sits in the fridge for about a 1/2 hour, you’ll roll it into balls and roll the balls in coarse sugar
then poke holes in them with your thumb or with a dowel (I used the end of a wooden spoon)
and put them into the oven to bake. About 2/3 of the way through the baking, you’ll take them out and reaffirm their centers, by re-doweling them
Once they’ve finished baking, you fill the centers with your melted white chocolate. You’ll feel great about being the non-plastic eating adult that you are!
Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies
From “Baked Explorations, Classic American Desserts Reinvented” by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
for the chocolate mint thumbprints
2 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72%)
2 ounces mint chocolate (or Andes mint chocolate candies)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large egg yokes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coarse sugar for rolling
for the white chocolate filling
3 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
for the chocolate mint thumbprints
Melt the dark chocolate and mint chocolate together in a microwave or over a double boiler. Whisk until smooth, then set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat on the medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat again until combined. Scrape the chocolate into the mixer and beat just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the flour mixture all at once. Beat on low speed, scraping the side of the bowl occasionally, until the dough is smooth. Transfer it to a sheet of plastic wrap and pat it into a disk; wrap and refrigerate until it is chilled and firm, at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Pour the coarse sugar into a shallow bowl.
With clean hands, form tablespoon-size dough balls, taking care that they have no lumps or cracks. Roll each ball in the coarse sugar and place it on a prepared baking sheet. Use your thumb or a small dowel to make an indentation in the center of the cookie. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the sheet from the over, and use your thumb or the dowel to make the indentation more visible. Return the sheets to the oven and bake for another 4 to 5 minutes. (These are the type of cookie that can overbake very quickly–pull them out at the first signs of cracking). Set the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely before filling them.
make the white chocolate filling
Place the white chocolate in a glass measuring cup with a pour spout. Put the cream in a microwave-safe bowl or cup and microwave it on high power until it boils, about 30 seconds. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate and let is stand for 30 seconds, then whisk until smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract. Fill the thumbprint cookies with the white chocolate ganache and refrigerate them until set, about 30 minutes.
These cookies taste great at room temperature or directly from the refrigerator. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.