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.
- 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)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat (my choice) or parchment paper.
- 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.
- Place the margarine and sugar in a mixing bowl, and beat until creamy.
- Beat in the egg or “flax egg” (the one you just made) and the peppermint.
- 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.
- 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).
- Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, no more.
- Remove, let cool on the sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- 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.
- 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?).
- 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.
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?