February 16, 2011
We are in the throes of Girl Scout cookie season. Ordinarily, this would be when I am in Thin Mint heaven. But alas, since I switched to a vegan diet last October I can no longer partake, since they contain milk ingredients. Not that I should have them anyway, since they also contain partially hydrogenated oils. Oink. But I loooove Thin Mints! And frozen? Fuggedaboutit! Thin Mint ice cream isn’t too bad either. Ugh. Moving on…
I am all for showing people that you can follow a vegan diet, and not feel deprived. So what do I do here? Well I poked around on the internet, and found 2 solutions – one quick and easy, another requiring a bit more effort.
Newman-O’s Hint O’ Mint Cookies: These are a “cream” filled chocolate wafer cookie made by Newman’s Own Organics. They look exactly like an Oreo. I got the mint flavor, so it tasted more like I was enjoying a Thin Mint, instead of a regular Oreo. They contain no animal ingredients, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, or trans fats. These cookies are SO tasty! They totally satisfy my Thin Mint craving. Yay! LOVE when I can find a healthier version of an old favorite. Unfortunately, they aren’t sold in your regular supermarket, but rather can be found in higher-end markets. (Think Andronico’s, Henry’s, Nugget, Sprouts, Whole Foods.)
Vegan Chef Chloe Coscarelli’s Thin Mints: If you’re not familiar with vegan Chef Chloe, where have you been? haha I learned of her when she was the first vegan chef to win Cupcake Wars, on the Food Network. Not only is she a vegan whiz when it comes to cooking and baking, she is uh-dorable! So you can imagine my excitement when I learned that she has “cracked the code to the vegan thin mint”, as she says. Now admittedly, I have not attempted these yet, so cannot speak to the ease of making them, or the flavor. However, her recipes that I have tried, have all been insanely good, so I trust her judgement. So if you don’t have a store near you, where you can just hop in the car and buy some Newman-O’s Hint O’ Mint cookies, or if you prefer homemade goodies anyway (and deep down, who doesn’t?), instructions are below. Good luck!
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour)
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¾ cup vegan margarine
- 3 tbsp soy, almond, or rice milk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp pure peppermint extract
- 4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)
- 2 tbsp vegan margarine
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
To make the Cookies
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 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats. Remove dough from refrigerator. Roll a heaping teaspoon of cookie dough into a ball and place onto prepared baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between each ball. Evenly flatten the dough with your fingertips so that it is about ¼ inch thick. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Let cool completely.
To make the Chocolate Coating
Melt chocolate chips and margarine in a double broiler or microwave. 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.