Monday, March 16, 2009

Gluten Free Girl Scout Cookies - Thin Mints!


Once upon a time in a faraway land, I too was once a wee little girl scout. And like any good little girl scout, I sold my fair share of girl scout cookies.

No. Wait a minute. I sold WAY more than my fair share.

In fact, being the competitive, over-achieving fiery little red-head that I was, I sold thousands and thousands of boxes every year. I sold so many boxes of girl scout cookies that (gasp!) they gave me awards and my whole troop went to Maui for three weeks, free. (That's a true story btw. My troop really did go to Hawaii off the proceeds from our cookie sales. Twice!).

I've always loved girl scout cookies, and I bet you do too. And those little girls hawking their totally over-priced cardboard processed confections? Irresistible little salesmen. No wonder Thin Mints are the best selling cookies in America after Oreos and Chips Ahoy! It's the marketing.


The thing about girl scout cookies is, those processed factory cookie-like-substances are totally crammed with hydrogenated trans-fats, preservatives, and kooky unpronounceable ingredients. Definitely not natural. Certainly not healthy. And if you can't eat gluten like me? Well, you try explaining to an adorable 9 year old girl scout that you can't buy her cookies because the cookies will kill you. It's no fun. You can't even eat the stupid cookies as a midnight secret indulgence.

UNTIL NOW! I came home the other night to Nate, watching TV, covertly eating his way though a box of thin mints. I had a surge of the familiar "it's not fair!" feeling wash over me. Because it's NOT fair. Some people get to eat boxed $5 girl scout cookies. And some people don't.

Some people get to eat these instead.


I think these people are luckier, because these cookies are as good as the "real" thing. In fact, I think they're better. A light crunchy cookie, dipped in rich minty chocolate. They taste fantastic, and as an added bonus, better for you. So, here you go! Enjoy the recipe! I know I did.


Gluten Free Girl Scout Cookies - Thin Mints!
by me

makes 25 - 30 cookies
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 4 hours

I struggled to get a good recipe for these cookies, and I started by trying to adapt some of the other "home-made" girl-scout recipes out there (some of which call for box cake mix! Ug!). The results were.... awful. Some recipes just do not work gluten-free. Nate and I agreed the first couple of batches tasted like grainy mint flavored dog biscuits.

After enough failed batches, I finally decided to just start from scratch and make my own recipe. I wanted a cookie with the crunch and lightness of the original, but, you know, without the wheat. These cookies? Fantastic. The chocolate? Wow.

Please keep the following two rules in mind:

1. USE GOOD CHOCOLATE. My first batch, I used cheap milk chocolate. Big mistake. So yucky. Please, learn from my mistakes.

2. Mint flavoring and peppermint oil are NOT the same thing. You MUST use peppermint oil (I found some at the health food store), because mint extract/flavoring have alcohol and water in them which = seized up chocolate. And that just leads to tears and ruined chocolate. Please learn from my mistakes and get this!


2/3 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup sweet rice flour
4 tbs cocoa powder
2 tbs corn starch
1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 cup + 1/4 sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp mint extract (or peppermint oil)
1 egg

1 lb fine quality semi-sweet chocolate
1 tsp peppermint oil

First, mix together your dry ingredients - the brown and sweet rice flours, cocoa powder, corn starch, and baking powder.

In a stand mixer, beat butter on high until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in sugar, and beat on high until smooth, another 2 minutes (this aerates the dough and keeps it from getting too heavy).

Add egg, vanilla extract, and mint extract, and continue to beat until egg is incorporated, and batter is light and smooth, 2-4 minutes.

With mixer on low, fold in flour mixture until just combined. You can even stop the mixer once large crumbs form, and mix the last bit by hand with a spatula. You don't want to overmix, or the dough will become too heavy. Dough will be soft and pliable.

Remove dough from mixer bowl and place on a piece of wax paper, form into a log about 1" thick, and roll it up in the wax paper. Set in freezer for 1-2 hours, until dough is very firm (or, you know, however long you want. Make these next year if you want).

Are we back yet aleady? Ok! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Pull your dough out of the freezer, and cut it into thin slices - no more than 1/4 on an inch thick.

Line a cookie pan with parchment paper. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes. Cookies should be crunchy, but not burned.

Get out your fancy chocolate. Can you tell I really splurged?

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments, until it's smooth, stirring between sessions. Add 1 tbs peppermint oil (NOT mint extract. Mint extract bad! Will make chocolate seize and get hard).

Now place a cookie in the chocolate.

Gently turn the cookie over so it is coated with chocolate.

Pick the cookie back up with a fork, and gently tap the fork against the side of the bowl, so any excess chocolate dribbles back into the bowl.

Place cookies onto parchment paper, and let dry (you can refrigerate them or freeze them to help the chocolate faster).



  1. Oh dear're killing me here. Will make Easter Day. Can't thank you enough for this recipe...was feeling very left out at the Girl Scout feeding frenzy here...they smell soooo good, but I know they'll feel sooo bad. Torture.

  2. I know, seriously. Why are girl scout cookies invariably sold during Lent? This year I decided I have give up wine, rare meat, soft cheese, my body, etc. for like, 10 months, so I'm not giving up any more foods for Lent!

  3. Those are beautiful. Thanks for the clarification on mint flavoring vs peppermint oil. I think what I actually have on hand is peppermint extract. Hmmm. I really would like to make these.


  4. My daughter is a girls scout, but I may never buy Thin Mints again. And I didn't give sugar up for Lent, so I'm making them whenever I want! Yum!

  5. Thank you so much for this! I even passed it along to the Girl Scouts so maybe they will see that it is possible to help us Celiac's out:)
    I can't wait to make this!

  6. I love your blog, and I love this idea!
    I'm not too experienced with gluten-free recipes; could I make this with regular flour?

  7. Girl scout season 2011 brought me here... this looks great! Off to find some proper mint oil!

  8. These were my 2 little girls favorite cookies until their recent diagnosis. Would this recipe work with Earth Balance soy free spread? I would need to make them casein free also.

  9. You know, I'm not sure if earth balance would work or not, but it can't hurt to try! You could also try using coconut oil, which is a dairy-free, soy-free oil that has a lot of the same properties (ie: deliciousness) of butter. Hope that helps!

  10. I've been meaning to make these since our troop sold cookies last Spring. I finally made them tonight to add to cookie plate for the holidays, and they are so amazing. So. Amazing. Thanks for the fantastic recipe!

  11. Thanks so much for this recipe! I continue to give it out to people every year, and make them every year and point people directly to your fabulous post. I still agree that these are better than the real deal. (Although, since I'm a GS leader, it's not very PC for me to say that. Ah, well, homemade is truly always better than in-a-box, and Girl Scouts are supposed to be Honest, right?)