Sometimes being vegan isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Especially in a world filled with nostalgic foods, like your grandma’s chicken and noodles, or maybe even worse, Girl Scout Cookies. I spent darn near a decade happily enlisted as a scout which makes it all the much harder to pass by without lending some support. And truth be told, those Thin Mints are the tastiest. I could easily mow through a sleeve in under ten minutes. That’s why this weekend, after spotting the first scouts of the season selling their delectable treats on the street, I set out to make my own vegan version of those chocolate covered mint perfections. I found several recipes online and finally settled on this version from Chef Chloe, mostly for its simplicity and I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand. If you happen to be gluten-free though, I recommend hopping over to the Babycakes site to check out their recipe, which I’m sure is exquisite, but required a few specialty ingredients I just wasn’t in the mood for schlepping around town to get.
The recipe below is simple and yields some impressive results—definitely worth the effort and sure to get you through the Girl Scout cookie season contented. The only tricky bit is that it does suggest using a food processor. If you don’t own one, you could use a pastry knife or just your plain ‘ol hands to mix the wet and dry ingredients. Gluttony and a little too much excitement pressed me to make my cookies larger than the suggested size. The original recipe suggests 1 teaspoon of dough and I pushed it to a tablespoon and got cookies roughly double the size of true thin mint. No one here complained! I’ll either eat five small ones or two larger—either works for me. I also skipped the whole dipping part and just generously topped my cookies with the melted chocolate. I did attempt the dip, but it was beyond messy.
And just like the originals, they’re awesome frozen. After the chocolate set, I threw them in a big freezer bag and now have some comfort knowing that I have 40 vegan thin mints chilling in my freezer. I think I feel a vanilla-thin mint ice cream shake coming on… yum.
If you still want to support the girls, buy a few boxes to give to friends or make a donation online. And who knows, they’re a progressive group of girls, maybe next year they’ll have a vegan cookie we can all go bonkers for.
Vegan Thin Mints
Adapted from Chef Chloe
Makes 65 cookies
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 cup vegan margarine
- 3 tbsp. nondairy milk
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. pure peppermint extract
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)
- 1 tbsp. vegan margarine
- 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
- In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda until combined. Add margarine, milk, vanilla, and mint extract. Pulse a few more times until the mixture comes together. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and knead it with your hands until it comes together and all the flour is incorporated. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough from refrigerator. Roll a heaping teaspoon (or tablespoon in my case) of cookie dough into a ball and place onto prepared baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches in between each ball. Evenly flatten the dough with your fingertips so that it is about 1/4 inch thick and bake for 12-14 minutes. Let cool completely.
- To make the Chocolate Coating:
- Melt chocolate chips and margarine in the microwave, stopping to stir often. Stir in the mint extract and mix until smooth. Dip completely cooled cookies into the chocolate and remove with a fork, gently scrapping off excess chocolate using the side of the bowl. Or, spread a thin layer of the chocolate on top of the cookies. Place cookies on a parchment-lined plate or tray and refrigerate until chocolate coating sets. Store in the refrigerator until serving.