reading the ingredients on a box of girl scout cookies can kind of feel like a punch in the gut. i suspect i am not the only one that believes supporting the girl scouts should not also entail supporting the manufacture of ever more industrialized ingredients--from high fructose corn syrup to partially hydrogenated soybean oil. we live in a time where childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes and the rampant spread of GMOs is a critical problem and yet we teach our daughters that selling these cookies is a good thing they can do for their troop and their community. it is as if we are saying (under our breath) that money is more important than health. this, my friends, is a national eating disorder.
groove food has always been about the love of food and i have, for the most part, steered clear of politics. but the more i dig, the more i find an intimate connection between the two. sadly, i cannot love the former without, at some point, having to face the latter. this post is about the irony of girl scout cookies, but it is also an answer to it. i'd rather be a nouveau little debbie than a debbie downer. the fact is, i love thin mint cookies. as a child, i would hide in the pantry and eat entire sleeves of them in one sitting. i was also somewhat overweight. when i came across a recipe in sarma meingailis's book living raw food for chocolate mint cookies that she claimed tasted just like my beloved childhood treat, i made a trip to the grocery store with thing 1 & 2 on the spot and got to work.
these thin mint cookies have so much going for them. they are unbaked and, in my opinion, best served frozen, much like the originals. i would even branch out to say they are made from ingredients that can benefit our bodies (given being mindful about what you purchase): almond flour, extra virgin coconut oil, and raw cocoa. their sweetness comes from maple sugar in a relatively small dose. maple is not only rich in nutrients, but also deep, caramelly flavor. the other great thing about these cookies: you mix them together with your hands. i personally know two girl scouts that love to help with this. and they really do taste like thin mints, but so much better.
thin mint makeover
(makes 30-40 cookies, depending on the size you cut them)
for the chocolate glaze:
1 1/4 cups coconut oil, gently warmed to liquify
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, preferably raw
3 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
for the cookies:
2 cups fine almond flour
2 cups cocoa powder (preferably raw)
3/4 cup maple sugar
1/2 - 1 teaspoon sea salt (depending on your preference)
3/4 cup coconut oil, gently warmed to liquify
1 tablespoon peppermint extract
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
prepare the chocolate glaze: blend all of the chocolate glaze ingredients in a blender until smooth and emulsified. set aside.
prepare the cookies: combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, maple sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
in a separate bowl, combine the coconut oil with the extracts. add this mixture to the dry ingredient mixture and combine well by hand.
line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and press the dough evenly across the pan. if you are a perfectionist like me, cover the top of the dough with another sheet of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to smooth the top and evenly distribute the dough. it should be about 1/4 inch-1/2 inch thick. place the pan in the freezer for ten minutes to set.
pour 1/2 cup of the chocolate glaze over the dough, using a spatula to evenly distribute and smooth the glaze over the entire surface. return the pan to the freezer for ten minutes to set the chocolate.
flip the dough over onto another clean, parchment-lined sheet pan (invert the second pan over the cookie dough pan, then hold them together and flip again). pour another 1/2 cup of chocolate glaze over the exposed dough, using a spatula again to spread evenly. you may have a little extra chocolate glaze. enjoy it while waiting for the cookies to set, or store it in the fridge for another use. it will need to be warmed again in order to liquify. return the pan to the freezer for another ten minutes to set.
turn the dough onto a clean surface. use a cookie cutter or knife to cut the cookies into desired shapes. if the dough is too chilled, you may have a to wait a few minutes so you can cut evenly. store the cookies in a covered container in the freezer (my prefrence) or fridge. remember to save the "thin mint" shards!
* this recipe was slightly adapted from sarma meigailis in her book living raw food
* many of these ingredients will have to be purchased from a specialty or natural grocery store (such as whole foods). these ingredients can be costly--i buy them in bulk in order to save.