I am not now nor have I ever been a Girl Scout...mostly for the simple reason that I grew up on the upper west side of Manhattan and it just wasn’t a thing that we did. It wasn’t ever a viable option. I also felt that there would be only one reason to join and that that reason would designate me a traitor. I would not have joined to perform tasks to learn life skills or help humanity, I would have joined to have access to the greatest cookie in the world: The Thin Mint.
About 6 months ago, my boyfriend and I were meeting some friends of his for dinner and drinks at a local restaurant. We were laughing and drinking and having a great night out when he leaned over and apologized for being a bit delayed (he’d been working in Long Island on a restaurant mural and missed an earlier train). He said, “But I brought something to make it up to you.” and opened his bag to reveal the trademark green box.
Without missing a beat- barely even taking a breath- I grabbed my coat, threw money on the table and announced our immediate departure. I did it unconsciously. I could think of nothing but tearing open the plastic sleeve, eating everything inside and basking in the chocolate mint haze that I’m always left in, post cookie feast. I’m a simple girl.
I wrestle with the power of being a creative and inquisitive chef. I would love to credit my explorative nature with fearlessness but, of course, most of the time it’s just my belly begging to be filled yet again. We’re lucky to live in a world where so many cooks can share notes from their expeditions. One man’s craving is another man’s paunch. I have found a few recipes online for Thin Mints and had fun experimenting with them. Lepetitbrioche.com had the recipe I liked the best, though I’ve increased the amount of salt and peppermint oil. The final result made me feel that the only thing wrong with the cookie was the name.
Now, without further ado, I bring you… The Fat Mint, because… let’s call a spade a spade, you know? I don’t think the word “thin” has any business hanging around this cookie. I would call them “Eat so many that you wake up the next day in a daze of delirious self loathing cookies” but it’s a bit wordy and hard to remember. I always throw mine into the freezer after they have cooled but they never last more than a day or two (truthfully, often they’re gone in hours). Listen, you’ve gotta give yourself permission to go off the deep end once in a while. These make a big happy splash.
The Fat Mint Cookie
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1¼ cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces (1½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large egg yolks
2½ teaspoon peppermint oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ pounds bittersweet chocolate
Place the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse a few times to combine the ingredients. Add the butter and pulse to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Add the egg yolks, peppermint oil, and vanilla and pulse until a dough forms on the blades of the food processor.
Remove the dough from the food processor and shape into a 2-inch-thick log. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Place racks in the middle and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick disks and arrange 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes. Switch the baking sheets from top to bottom and rotate from front to back and continue to bake for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the cookies are light brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on racks. Make sure to let the baking sheets cool between batches. Do not handle the cookies until they are cool, or they’ll break; they’re very delicate.
Melt and temper the bittersweet chocolate. Keep the chocolate warm while you dip the cookies. Place a sheet pan upside down on your work surface, next to the melted chocolate. Cover with parchment paper. Dip the cookies one by one in the chocolate, using a fork to turn them over and then lift them out of the chocolate. It helps to tilt the bowl forward by leaning it on a folded kitchen towel. Set the dipped cookies on the parchment, beginning at the far end so you don’t drip chocolate on other cookies when you set them down.
Alison Wonderland Tucker is a chef and caterer who lives and works in New York City. She writes about her love of food and life as a chef on her blog A Wonderland of Words.
by Nancy Ellison