Dairy-Free, Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies

Posted by on February 16, 2011 | 72 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, my husband emailed me this article with a simple message, “make these.” So I did. And though I was tempted to healthify them, I stayed [mostly] true to the Girl Scout Cookie way. Just for him.

You see, the whole Girl Scout Cookie empire is an interesting thing. There are actually two Girl Scout Cookie manufacturers – a divided monopoly, if you will. One of the manufacturers produces some dairy-free and egg-free options (Peanut Butter Patties, Thanks-a-Lot, Lemonades, Reduced Fat Daisy Go Rounds), while the other produces not a single dairy-free cookie. This is why you may hear the argument (if you are perusing dairy-free or vegan boards – no? just me?), “There are NO dairy-free girl scout cookies.” combatted with “Yes there are, we just bought some.” It all comes down to the supplier. You can read the whole sorted Dairy-Free / Girl Scout Cookie story here. Yes, I actually wrote a news story on Girl Scout Cookies. Yes, I do have a life.

Fortunately, the girl scout troups in my local area, and the one that my nieces belong to, go with the manufacturer that is not dairy-free. Otherwise, I might be tempted to buy and consume every dairy-free variety … except for the Lemonades (sorry, not a big lemon dessert fan) … all in the name of product reviews for Go Dairy Free. Reviews that might not even make it online because it was too darn easy to just open the box and inhale all of the cookies before I had the chance to photograph them or take notes. I digress.

But, I still felt the need to help out the troops, so I donated. And my husband still felt the need to have some girl scout cookies, so I baked them …

 

Recipe: Dairy-Free Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies

Summary: My husband is allergic to eggs, so I made them egg-free too. That would make these vegan if you use vegan sugar (non-bone char processed). If you are okay with eggs, this is one case where I think using that one egg would be best, but if not, then the flax egg results are good too.

Ingredients

  • 1 Egg or Flax Egg (2 Teaspoons Flaxseeds + 2 Tablespoons Water (plus additional as needed))
  • 1/2 Cup Dairy-Free Margarine, softened or room temperature (I used Earth Balance – Soy-Free – either stick or tub will work)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 to 3/4 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract (the original recipe uses less, but I like more)
  • 1-1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Baking Powder (if using “flax egg,” can omit if using an egg)
  • 2 Cups Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil or Palm Oil / Shortening, melted (can sub melted margarine, but I think the oil works better)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat (my choice) or parchment paper.
  2. If using a flax egg, grind the flaxseeds in your spice grinder until you get a powder (this will be about 1 tablespoon of lightly packed flax meal, just in case you are using pre-ground stuff). Combine the flax meal and water in a dish, and set aside to gel while you get the rest on the go.
  3. Place the margarine and sugar in a mixing bowl, and beat until creamy.
  4. Beat in the egg or “flax egg” (the one you just made) and the peppermint.
  5. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder, if using. The mixture will become very, very thick. Bring it together into a ball. If it is too dry, add a little water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it comes together. It shouldn’t be sticky though. If it is, wrap the dough and place it in the fridge for about an hour to firm up.
  6. Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness, and cut with a cookie cutter (I used a 1-1/4″ mini round biscuit cutter). Place the cut cookie dough on your prepared cookie sheet. Roll out scraps and cut again. Continue doing this until no dough remains (or your happy to eat the leftover scraps).
  7. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, no more.
  8. Remove, let cool on the sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. For the chocolate coating, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together. You can do this in a double broiler, or the lazy way like me – I place them in a microwave-safe dish, nuke on high for 1 minute, remove, and stir vigorously until smooth. If any lumps still remain, I do another 10 to 15 seconds in the microwave and stir again.
  10. Drop the cookies in the chocolate to coat. I remove them with two forks, letting the excess drip off. Place them on that wire rack with a mat underneath to catch dripping chocolate, or simply place them on parchment (you will get a ring of excess chocolate around the cookies if you do this, but is that such a bad thing?).
  11. Place in a cool spot to let the chocolate firm up. I was impatient, so I put them in the fridge for 20 minutes, but they probably would be best left at room temperature.

Variations

If you feel like experimenting, I think there is a lot of room to make this recipe healthier. Some steps I might take, would be to replace the margarine with olive or coconut oil, reducing the amount in half. I would use milk alternative to make up the moisture difference. I think whole wheat pastry flour would work in place of the all-purpose flour, and if you’re feeling adventurous, coconut / palm sugar or evaporated cane juice could sub for the ordinary sugar.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 12 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegan, Dairy free, Egg free, Nut free, Soy free

Number of servings (yield): 3 dozen cookies

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.

 

I think what I loved most about these cookies is how dunkable they are. They go with vanilla almond milk even better than Oreos!

 

What are your favorite Girl Scout Cookies? Are there any others I should try baking?

 

Filed Under: Alisa's Recipes

Comments (72)

 

  1. Nowheymama says:

    YEESSSS! These are my favorites, and I would love for Katherine to try them.

    Glad you share my Stephanie O’Dea love; I just mentioned her first book the other day. :)

  2. Sarah S. says:

    Quite a tempting treat, Alisa!

  3. Evan Thomas says:

    These look great! Thin mints are my favorite girl scout cookies. I’ll have to see if these will work with gluten-free flour.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alisa Fleming, Alisa Fleming. Alisa Fleming said: Dairy-Free, Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies http://bit.ly/e0UPkT […]

  5. Claire says:

    How about Isa Chandra’s Lazy Samoas from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar? Haven’t tried them yet but really want to!

  6. From what I remember of being a girl scout many years ago, cookie sales are actually a pretty poor fund raiser — we got something like $0.35 out of every $3.50 box of cookies we sold (if we got our forms in on time, otherwise it was even less). I much prefer the idea of donating money to a troop and making your own cookies!

  7. Wow I seriously used to be in love with those girl scout cookies. Good job remaking them :)

  8. lindsay says:

    now can we sell these in boxes instead of the real deal? hehe. Great recipe!

  9. Kara says:

    Oh my. Just thought I would let you know you’ve made my whole day. Possibly my whole week. I LOVE thin mints, but saw on the sign-up sheet this year that they are not very healthy. This looks like an awesome healthier alternative!

  10. Fiona says:

    mmm I LOVE choc mint.

  11. Marta says:

    I Love You! :) These are my favorite GS cookies, and I will be making them. Yum!

  12. Megan says:

    Holy Cookie Goodness! I love these! I actually started to type my name as “cookie” because I was so excited. Yum!

  13. GAH! I need these. I love mint. I love chocolate. I won’t buy G.S. cookies if I have these… oh the possibilities! :)

    My favorite G.S. cookies are definitely the samosas. So so soooooo good. I remember (when I ate dairy ice cream) they came out with a samosa ice cream- I can tell you I definitely went to town on that stuff.

    I challenge you to make a healthy samosa! (for me!) ;)

    • alisa says:

      These samoas seem to be so popular and I admit, I’ve never tried them! I may have to put that on the list.

      Knowing you, and the potential of this recipe, I know you can healthify them further!

  14. Hannah says:

    Thin mints are the best, but these easily have them beat. I can imagine how much better the would taste with quality ingredients!

  15. Oh, Alisa, I think you are Steph are both the bomb with your GS cookie makeovers! This one looks fab. I bet it could easily be made gluten free. Not planning on doing that immediately for self-preservation reasons as you cited, but one day!

    My favorites were Samoas, with the thin mints second on the list. My gf magic oat bars have a Samoa thing going on so I’ve relived the experience since going gf. ;-) BTW, I had no idea that there dairy-free GS cookies. That’s the kind of thing that just doesn’t make sense. If they can make them df, they should make them all df, and make them gf while they’re at it, too. That would probably not be a good thing for many of us though. LOL

    Shirley

  16. Sybil says:

    YUMM!! How about the shortbread ones?

    • alisa says:

      Shortbread seems to be tricky without eggs and dairy (needs in our house), but I get requests for it often – I’ll have to give it a go. Libby at the Allergic Kid just posted an awesome looking shortbread recipe.

      • Beth S. says:

        True shortbread doesn’t ever call for an egg, and dairy-free margarine works just fine. I’ll have to post my MIL’s recipe here.

        • alisa says:

          Oops, sorry, I mis-worded! I was talking about roll-out sugar cookies, those are way better with eggs unfortunately, otherwise they dry out like shortbread. I’m not a shortbread fan myself :)

  17. Hannah says:

    Living in a Girl Scout Cookie-less country, I must admit to never feeling the same jolt of “finally!” when bloggers post about homemade version. However, these still look mighty, mighty tasty, and might just encourage me to break out the peppermint extract again after my horrific rice pudding experiment months ago :P

  18. Michelle says:

    FINALLY! YESSS! I’ve been CRAVING chocolate and mint for a LOOOONG time (MISS peppermint patties and Jr. Mints like CRAZY)

    And NOW you’ve gone and figured a recipe for my FAVORITE GC cookie (that I also miss eating!).

    I’m soooo making these SOON, HUGS :)

    • alisa says:

      Michelle, if you love peppermint as much as me, I would up the extract even more (and maybe even put some in the chocolate coating). You can give the dough a taste-test to see if it is pepperminty enough.

  19. Danielle says:

    YAY! I love these cookies (and am shocked to learn that one of the GS manufacturers actually offers something dairy-free). I would love to have a recipe for the Samoas (I know they are called something different now but I can’t think of the name). They were my favorite. Mmm…coconut AND caramel. Heaven.

  20. Katie says:

    I made somethng like this a while ago, they were called chocolate icebox cookies, but I didn’t roll them out. I just put the dough in wax paper and formed into a long and then froze it and sliced them. Much easier.

    I didn’t coat them in chocolate either, so I think I have to make them again. You know, for the sake of experimenting. And the GF aspect too. :)

    • alisa says:

      mmhhh, yep, you need to make those again. I noticed you did not vote for samoas has so many people did. I really didn’t know what samoas were per say, so I looked them up … yeah, not a Katie cookie!

  21. Stefanie says:

    I need to make these for my mom. She likes the thin mint girl scout cookies.

  22. These thin mints were my favorite GS cookies. Just loved them. And, yours look like the real deal. I had no idea there were two factories with different formulas for some of the cookies. You are quite a sleuth, Alisa!

  23. Those sound terrific, great that they are dairy free! Yum!

  24. Katie says:

    i can’t wait to try this!!

  25. Beth S. says:

    I attempted to replicate a dairy-/egg-free version of Samoas, but they didn’t turn out right. Maybe that could be your next venture! :)

    I will definitely try to make these. Up until now, I’ve been getting my Thin Mint fix by tricking my mouth/mind with a Junior Mint eaten with an animal cracker. LOL

    I knew about the 2 bakeries for GS cookies. I even tried contacting them both several times to get them to consider cutting out the dairy (in many cookies it’s listed as a last ingredient, and therefore probably not needed, but only used as a filler, like whey). I never got a response! They’d have so many more customers if they were even a bit more allergy-friendly, in any way. Why don’t companies realize this?!

    • alisa says:

      Yes, I agree. It wouldn’t hurt them one bit to make the cookies allergy-friendly – especially considering their audience and the rise in food allergies among little ones!

  26. Beth S. says:

    BTW, I have a recipe for sweetened condensed “milk” which I think is needed for the samoas and/or magic cookie bars.

  27. This is weird, I was just talking to Tony about these the other day. Thin mints are the only Girl Scout Cookie he likes. I have made a dairy free version of the chocolate peanut butter flavor. These look perfect!

  28. Kristina says:

    I’m actually not a fan of thin mints…was a girl scout when I was younger. However, my favorite cookie is the Tag-a-longs. Any chance you could whip up a nice recipe for the best Girl Scout cookies ever???

  29. Shannon says:

    i am totally making these. my favorite were always the samoas (caramel delights), but i loved the pb patties too :)

  30. Zoe says:

    I just landed on this recipe from Shirley’s (glutenfreeeasily.com) and I must say, oh! I’d love to make these gluten-free. They’d be perfect for St. Patrick’s day because of the mint, wouldn’t they?

    • alisa says:

      I think they would convert very easily to gluten-free actually – especially since it is meant to be a crispier cookie. If I have time, I’m going to test it out GF and with some healthier alterations, but let me know if you give it a go!

  31. I couldn’t wait for you. I made a gf, healthier version. I haven’t been able to dip them in chocolate yet because Sam and Max are eating them up. I just need to do a couple more tweaks, and they should be perfect. I will probably do it tonight, they way I am going.

  32. Wow! Am I ever late to this party!! Just catching up on my blog reading! These look amazing. I bet that if I added an egg an swapped out the flour for GF, the gfree version would be just as unbelievable!!
    WIll be making these for Kurt. The HARDEST HARDEST thing for him when he went gluten free was giving up his THin mints each year.
    He may be giving you a big kiss in Chicago if I make these for him!
    xoxo
    k

  33. Cayti Burch says:

    I REALLY REALLY miss SAMOAS and whipped cream. Samoas are those candy-bar-esque ones with the coconut, nuts, caramel, and chocolate. There were some recipes on Yahoo a few weeks back and I intend to try de-dairy-fying them, but I would much rather use one of your *wonderful* recipes! Please, please, please consider giving them a try!

  34. kitchenetta says:

    Outstanding. Love the photo of the cookie dipping in almond milk, too! Must try, for sure.

  35. Joy says:

    DairyFree…YES!!! my kids and husband love Thin Mint Cookies, but my only son we just found out he is lactose so no dairy for him..

  36. Maggie says:

    My husband is a Thin Mint fan as well and I made them for Christmas one year but man the dipping gets so messy! I used love Samoas and I’m headed over to see the oat bars mentioned above now.

  37. Sophie says:

    Waw!! Your chocolate cookies look delightful & ooh so tasty too!

    MMMMMMMM,…! :)

  38. […] Cooks’ Dairy-Free Thin Mints (NOT GF, but you could sub in my Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour in this […]

  39. Alta says:

    Yum! I bet these were addictive. I’d have to hide them from myself.

  40. […] You asked, and I am here to deliver. Truth be told, I was really hoping there would be more votes for the Tagalongs or Peanut Butter Patties. But when I posted my Dairy-Free Thin Mint recipe, and asked what other Girl Scout cookies you would like to see a recipe for, the response for Samoas (or Caramel deLites) was overwhelming. […]

  41. […] and then WOWS us with what she has created. She saw Alisa’s (Go Dairy Free and Alisa Cooks) gluten-full Thin Mint Cookies and had to respond to Alisa’s suggestion/challenge on making these gluten free. Did she just make […]

  42. Joe K says:

    Just made these today and they came out great, and really easy to make! I had some trouble removing them from the baking rack after dunking in chocolate, maybe because I only had shortening on hand?

    • alisa says:

      This is a tricky one as they can stick to the rack, but if you lay them on parchment, you will get a “ring” of thin chocolate around as they settle. To try to prevent the sticking, I often spray the rack with non-stick spray when I have a piece of parchment paper underneath.

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