Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies

 My whole search started about a month ago when i attended a party and there were these Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies on the dessert table…I adored them and was totally motivated to do whatever i could to replicate the recipe – but then i realized that finding the exact recipe might be more of a chore than i first though. I tried a few different recipes, my hopes rising with each one, but then tuning out disappointed… to dry, to cakey, to cracker like…etc.etc So finally, after a bunch of failures, i found this recipe and it has been the closest to that of the original – I was so excited (still am actually! lol)  I made a few modifications, but i think that they made the cookies better…i mean come-on! Who would want a whole-wheat thin mint??!  They just don’t sound that appealing….do they?  😉

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cups Butter, Room Temperature
  • ½ cups Powdered Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cups Cocoa Powder
  • ¾ cup Pastry Flour (or substitute with sifted flour and 1 &1/2 Tsp cornstarch)
  • 2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1-¼ teaspoon Mint Extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Cream butter until light and fluffy, then add the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Stir in the salt, vanilla and cocoa powder. Mix until the cocoa powder is integrated and the batter resembles a thick frosting. Add the flour and mix just until the flour is combined, making sure to not over mix.

Form dough into a ball. Knead a few times to bring together, then flatten into a disk between half an inch and one inch thick, cover in plastic wrap then place in freezer for 15 minutes. Remove dough from the freezer and roll it out really thin on a floured surface, about 1/8-inch. Cut cookies using 1 1/2-inch cutter (any shape or design you like, I used the lid to my spice jar which was a perfect size).

Place cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. This is to place chocolate coated cookies on to dry.

To make chocolate topping: In a microwave safe bowl; add chocolate and microwave in short 15-20 second bursts; stirring between bursts. Mine took about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in the peppermint extract.

Gently drop the cookies, one at a time, into the coating. Turn to coat entirely, then lift the cookie out of the chocolate with the fork and bang the fork on the side of the pan until the extra coating drips off. (I banged mine against the spoon I used to stir the chocolate, that way the cookie wouldn’t fall back into the chocolate) Place on prepared baking rack. Repeat for the rest of the cookies. Place the cookies in the refrigerator or freezer to set.

These will be best eaten from either the freezer or fridge, since they start to get a bit melty when outside.  Yield: 37 Cookies

Recipe slightly adapted from Jen @ Peanut Butter and Peppers & Chicagoist.
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The Search for the Perfect Brownie (Part 1)

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At our house, brownies are always in high demand… I guess i should also add to that by saying that the search for the perfect brownie recipe is always being hunted forbut never found. All these years we have been guilty of buying & making the oh-so-yummy- store-bought boxed brownies. It’s just that it is such a comfort to know that you have a box sitting in the cupboard all ready to be thrown together if you have an unexpected guest or sudden craving stop by for a visit!  So on that note, i cannot explain to you how excited we were when we found this recipe! 🙂 It was like we had just found a gold-mine or something! These brownies are chewy, chocolaty, and just like the boxed kind!  Now the only caveat to this story is that i cannot promise you that this will be our favorite recipe forever (we might find something better – who knows?! i mean we are on a hunt for the perfect recipe, right?! ) but anyways, as of this moment, it is our favorite. And so, the story about our search for the perfect brownie recipe has only just begone!   I assure you that this is not the last time you will hear about perfect brownies! 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Butter
  • ⅔ cups Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1-½ teaspoon Vanilla
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 4 whole Large Eggs
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • ½ cups Chocolate Chips

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick spray and line the bottom and two sides with parchment paper, leaving some paper overhang. Spray the parchment with non-stick spray as well. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium low heat. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, salt, and baking powder. Mixture will be grainy. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, working quickly so they don’t scramble. After all four eggs are added the mixture should be smooth.

Toss the chocolate chips and flour together in a small bowl. Add this to the chocolate mixture and mix just until combined. Some lumps and/or streaks of flour are OK. Do not over-mix.

Pour brownie batter into the lined 8×8 baking dish and bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes, or until a wooden skewer comes out with no raw batter. Do not over-bake either. Let the brownies cool in the pan at least 15 minutes then use the parchment paper to lift them out of the pan. Slice into squares and serve.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container.  Or cool completely and individually wrap in plastic wrap and store. Eat within 2-3 days.

Tip: We like to double the batch when we make these, but if you double it, keep a close eye on the baking time – it differs slightly from the original, and it depends on what pan you use and how deep it is. 🙂  Oh, and one last thing! When you add the eggs to the mixture….don’t scramble them… Please?!  lol

Happy Baking & Bon Appétit!

Picture & Recipe Credit: http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/desserts/double-chocolate-brownies-4/

Peppermint Patties

I have now found my go-to recipe for homemade Peppermint Patties!

The first time we made them, we didn’t have any Peppermint oil (unknown to us at the start of the recipe though) so they were part-way made before it ever occurred to one of us to go get the peppermint, and when we did…well,  it wasn’t there! So anyways, we decided to use an orange flavoring instead…They did come out really good with the orange, but i guess it’s all about what you decide you like best! – and i adore mint!  Anyways, they so amazing (Oh, and did i mention screaming simple?!) Go make them you guys, you won’t regret it (well, maybe you will, – but that would only be if you eat almost all one batch in a single night, but who in the world would ever do that?! Right?! hahaha! 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar, Plus More For Rolling
  • 2 teaspoons Water
  • 2 teaspoons Light Corn Syrup
  • ¼ teaspoons Peppermint Extract
  • 4 ounces, weight Dark Chocolate, Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Shortening (or Coconut Oil)

Directions: In a medium bowl, add the powdered sugar. Sprinkle the water, corn syrup and extract over the top of the sugar. Slowly beat the mixture with an electric mixer. At first, it will seem like the mixture won’t come together, but stay with it. When it begins to clump, gather the mixture in your hands and knead it together. You should have a soft white dough that holds together well.  Next, take two pieces of parchment paper of equal size and dust them with powdered sugar. Place the dough on one piece, dust with more powdered sugar and cover with the other piece of parchment paper. Roll out the mixture to 1/4″ thickness. Keep the dough between the two sheets of parchment paper, place it on a small baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.

Once 30 minutes has elapsed, peel off the top layer of parchment and cut out as many circles as you can with a 1.5″ cookie cutter. When you run out of space, gather up the dough and roll it out again. You should get about 12 circles. Place the circles back on the cookie sheet lined with parchment and freeze solid for at least 1 hour.

When ready to dunk, melt the chocolate and shortening in the top of a double boiler until smooth. Remove from heat and let the melted chocolate cool for a few minutes.

Now, take the patties out of the freezer and dunk them QUICKLY in the chocolate. Place them back on the parchment-lined sheet and freeze to set. Store in the freezer.

Bon Appètit!

Picture & Recipe credit: http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/desserts/homemade-peppermint-patties-3/