All-Natural Homemade Thin Mints

This week was very exciting for two reasons: (1) I got my 50 mm Canon lens and (2) I found out that all BYU campus computers have Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 installed for unlimited student use.
Age is a funny thing; when I was in high school my mom desperately attempted to get me interested in photography, and I had no interest. Now that I'm an adult I am realizing that my mom won't be here to take pictures of my life. Ah poop, I really wish I had taken her up on all those offers. Better late than never :)
Aaron and I had a crazy, yet rewarding week. We both had two tests each, but I got my camera lens and Aaron--with the help of my coworker--got set up for Star Wars Old Republic. He is really pumped :) I love seeing him get all excited, like a child on Christmas Eve.

 One more thing, you are probably wondering why I put so many recipes on our blog. Well, I find so many recipes on the internet and in my cookbooks and I want to save them in the best way possible. I figured that this is the best way to save them so that they are accessible wherever I am. Also, there is this cool thing called "blog2book" that creates a book out of your blog posts. So I also have the choice of compiling all my favorite recipes into a book.

All-natural Thin Mints
Slightly adapted from 101 Cookbooks

Chocolate wafers:
8 ounces organic butter, room temperature
1 cup organic powdered sugar
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder (I use raw cacao powder)
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

Chocolate Peppermint Coating:
1 pound good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
natural peppermint oil to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and set racks to middle. 
Make the cookie dough: In a mixer cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and cream some more, scraping the sides of the bowl a couple times if necessary. Stir in the vanilla extract and then the salt and cocoa powder. Mix until the cocoa powder is integrated and the batter is smooth and creamy, sort of like a thick frosting. Add the whole wheat pastry flour and mix just until the batter is no longer dusty looking, it might still be a bit crumbly, and that's o.k. You don't want to over mix and end up with tough cookies.
Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and kneed it just once or twice to bring it together into once nice, smooth mass. Place the ball of dough into a large plastic bag and flatten it into a disk roughly 3/4-inch thick. Place the dough in the freezer for 20 minutes to chill.

Rollout and bake: Remove the dough from the freezer and roll it out really thin, remember how thin Thin Mints are? That's how thin you need your dough, about 1/8-inch. You can either roll it out between two sheets of plastic, or dust your counter and rolling pin with a bit of flour and do it that way. Stamp out cookies using a 1 1/2-inch cutter. Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely on a baking rack.

Make the peppermint coating:

While the cookies are in the oven you can get the coating ready. I use a makeshift double boiler to melt chocolate (a metal pan over a saucepan of gently simmering water), but you can use the microwave. Slowly melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until it is glossy and smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract. If you think the chocolate needs a bit more peppermint kick, add more extract a drop or two at a time - but don't go overboard. My chocolate threw a curve ball and curdled a little when I added the mint. I just added a little coconut oil and it smoothed out fine.

Finishing the cookies:
I could not get the fragile cookies to dip in the chocolate without breaking into a messy glob of nasty. And forget about even trying to get them evenly covered with a beautiful covering of silken chocolate. I ended up waving the white flag and simply spreading them melted chocolate/mint mixture on top of the cookies. In my opinion, the outcome was much better because it was faster and a made the cookies a lot less rich. 
Make 3 or 4 dozen cookies.

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