'Peanut Allergy Princess' is the story of one mom, one Princess with food allergies (to peanuts and brazil nuts) and our journey through the stress of life with food allergies. Here you will find many recipes, tips on living (and enjoying life) with food allergies, thoughts from a mother of 3 kids (The Brothers and The Princess) and insights into our life. Welcome!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thin Mints

I'm sure most of you noticed the Girl Scouts out selling their cookies last month. Every year, I would go out in search of some cookies (since they never came to me)... until this year. We have decided we don't want to buy their cookies anymore - for 2 reasons, really.

One, they are expensive. Yes, you can argue that it is for a good cause, but they are still expensive.  We are trying very hard to stay within budget (which is a bit more work when buying "clean" foods) and I hate spending money on junk, especially expensive junk.

Which brings us to my second reason... they are just not healthy (as if you couldn't already guess). Now, I am a firm believer in having some sweets (moderation in all things) and don't advocate and all-out-ban on treats, but I also believe that we can still be smart when picking our "treats".  We can still have treats without preservatives and artificial ingredients. There are no redeeming qualities to girl scout cookies (health wise). Here is the nutrition label for Thin Mints.

Notice that they contain enriched flour, partially hydrogenated oils, soy lecithin and other ingredients I would never use at home. Now, don't freak out on me. I realized that some of you will think I am being ridiculous here and that they only come around once a year, so is it really a big deal? If that is how you feel, just skip this post and wait for the next one... I won't feel bad. For those of you who may be thinking that you don't want to eat that stuff... keep reading.

Brother #1 was a bit bummed when his friends were eating their cookies at school for lunch and we didn't have any.  I decided to surprise him one day and make my own. Needless to say, he was very excited and happy to take my cookies in his lunch the next day. Just thought you might like to know... I count 8 ingredients in my cookies compared to 21 in the Girl scout version. 

Since I used coconut oil, my were a bit crumbly and some broke in two when I was coating them. 
They may not look as pretty, but they sure tasted equally as yummy!

Thin Mints

For the cookies:
8 ounces butter (or 6 oz coconut oil - which will make them a bit crumblier, but a great option for a dairy allergy)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar*
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

For the coating:
10 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 1/2 tsp pure peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter (or coconut oil, which is what I used) until light and fluffy, then add the powdered sugar and mix until combined. *If you want to be even healthier, place 1 cup raw sugar in a high-powered blender and blend until a fine powder forms. Stir in the salt, vanilla and cocoa powder. Mix until the cocoa powder is integrated and the batter resembles a thick frosting. If you opt for coconut oil, you may want to soften (not melt) it a bit before using. It makes this step work a bit better - otherwise you might find yourself with chunks of coconut oil that won't mix in and your batter won't resemble frosting at all. I know this from personal experience. Add the flour and mix until just combined, making sure not to over mix.

Form the dough into a ball. Knead a few times to bring together, then flatten into a disk (between 1/2 inch and an inch thick) and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in freezer for 5 minutes.

Remove dough from freezer and roll out really thin (about 1/8 inch thick) on a floured surface. Cut cookies using a 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch cookie cutter.

Place cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

While cookies are baking, make the mint coating. Chop the baking chocolate into small pieces (or if you are lazy, just throw the bricks into your bowl) into a glass bowl. Place in microwave in short 15-20 seconds, stirring in between until melted. Stir in peppermint extract.

When cookies are cool, gently drop cookies, one at a time, into the coating. Turn to coat entirely, then lift the cookie out with a fork. Tap the fork gently on the side of the bowl to allow extra coating to drip off. Place on parchment paper or wax paper lined baking pan. Repeat the process with the rest of the cookies.

Place the cookies in the refrigerator or freezer to set. I stored my cookies in the freezer to keep them from melting (or getting soft).

Recipe adapted from The View From Great Island


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