March 4, 2011

Vegan Thin Mints

Last weekend as we were gathered around the kitchen table for dinner, there was a knock at the door.  Because we aren't used to getting visitors (especially in the evening) and because we're a family of curious creatures, we all rushed to the door to see who it was.  It turned out to be a Girl Scout who was going door-to-door to peddle her treats.  In past years I would have happily shelled out $3 (I know, I know, the price has gone up...) for a box of those annual bites from heaven.  But with two kids with a dairy allergy, one of which also has nut allergies, I've added buying Girl Scout Cookies to my retiree list right under Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and delivery pizza.

After politely declining and saying goodbye to our local Scout, Ryken wishfully said almost under his breath, "Mom...I've never had a Girl Scout Cookie."  For some reason the particular way he said that affected me.  It saddened me as if I could feel the burden that he carried due to his food allergies.  Without a moment's hesitation I promised him I would make him some safe Thin Mints just like the real thing.

After a bit of online hunting and three test batches, I think I have a winner!  The recipe is dairy-free and egg-free.  I believe you can also make the cookies soy-free, too, by using Spectrum Organic Shortening and Enjoy Life semisweet chocolate chips.  Enjoy Life also has a printable coupon right on its main page.

Also, remember to use "peppermint", not "mint" which is a pleasant but it's not quite the Thin Mint flavor.  (Can you guess I made this mistake in Batch #1?)

Vegan Thin Mints (dairy-free, egg-free)

Adapted from a recipe posted on Alien's Day Out blog

2/3 cup flour (I use whole wheat)
1/3 cup cocoa (I used Rodelle Dark Dutch Cocoa)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp sugar (I use organic sugar.  You could use refined white sugar but it won't be vegan.)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract or 2-4 drops peppermint oil

1 bag dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips (I use Trader Joe's)
2 Tbsp vegetable shortening
1/3 tsp peppermint extract or 3-5 drops of peppermint oil (more or less to your taste)
  1. Combine, maple, vanilla extract, and peppermint oil. 
  2. Sprinkle flour and cocoa over wet mixture.  Mix thoroughly being careful to break up any clumps of cocoa.
  3. When dough has been combined, hand-roll the dough into a log, about 1 1/2-inch in diameter.  Freeze for at least 1 hour.
  4. Preheat over 350 degrees. 
  5. Take hardened dough from freezer.  Unwrap it and, if needed, wait for it to warm up enough so that a sharp knife can cut through it.
  6. Cut log into circles 1/4-inch thick.  Reshape to round out the edges if needed.
  7. Bake circles for about 10-12 minutes.  (I baked mine for 12 minutes because I wanted a more crunchy cookie like real Thin Mints.)  Cool completely on rack.
  8. When the cookies are cooled, melt chocolate chips: start with 90 seconds, stir, and heat in additional 30-second chunks until you can stir it smoothly.  Stir in vegetable shortening until smooth, then add a extract or a couple of drops of peppermint oil.  Add more extract or drops of peppermint oil if needed. (Yes, taste away!!)
  9. Using a fork and your fingers, dip cookies one at a time into the melted chocolate, using the fork to scrape off any excess.  Place finished cookies on pan lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate or freeze cookies to set chocolate.  (They set quickly!  Less than 10 minutes should be fine.) Your fingers will get messy, but it's so worth it!  Makes about 2-3 dozen cookies. 
The Thin Mints are delicious room temperature or straight out of your refrigerator.  Just remember to store them in an airtight container to retain their texture and to prevent any nearby foods from adopting that minty fresh taste.  Oh, and remember to have a camera and plenty of napkins on hand.  Chocolate-covered treats plus kids spells g-i-g-a-n-t-i-c  m-e-s-s.


  1. Love your attitude, Irene! Sounds delish! I'm sure your boys loved those.

  2. Thanks for posting this recipe! My younger daughter is in her 1st year of girl scouts and we just started selling today. She's has multiple food allergies and I promised her I'd make some safe Thin Mints today after an afternoon of knocking on doors selling a bunch of cookies she can't eat.

  3. Hi Sarah! I'm glad you found us. I hope the recipe works out for you. Believe it or not, I was just digging into some frozen Thin Mints two weeks ago. Just like the real thing, they are great frozen!

    I'll be fiddling with some other Girl Scout cookie favorites in the coming weeks. What are your daughter's food allergies?

  4. I'm going to add your recipe to need to try list. I tried several other knockoffs last year, but wasn't thrilled with the results of my various egg replacers. We're also egg free due to allergies. BTW - I encourage you to check out Kids With Food Allergies Foundation ( An AMAZING place for those of us living the FA journey.

  5. I agree with you, Kandi. Kids with Food Allergies is terrific! If you are on Facebook, KFA's page is always brimming with tips, good discussion, and support from allergy parents around the world!