Dark Chocolate Thin Mints–A Scharffen Berger Entry
Today was a great day. My husband has a job and we are so excited about the opportunity it will bring our family. Since I will be spending two weeks alone with the kids while he is off at various training conferences, Saturday became baking day.
These thin mints are gluten free and naturally sweetened. But you wouldn’t know it–at all. If you want to jazz them up, you can sprinkle a little bit of ancho chili powder and sea salt on top. It makes it a little bit fancier looking and helps enhance the flavor of the chocolate. If you like a little bit of heat to your chocolate, it provides a very light hint of it. These cookies WILL not disappoint. They are incredible and are one of my favorite naturally sweetened desserts.
For now, I’m off to take a ski lesson with the kids and husband. I’ve only been snowboarding before (my thought was, one board is easier than two ski’s. See: how my brain works above). I have two goals. To make it back alive and learn to fall gracefully. Last time I went my tailbone and I had a major disagreement.
Dark Chocolate Thin Mints
For the Cookies:
1 1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 tsp xanthum gum or baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup coconut sugar*
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 1/2 cups Scharffen Berger semisweet dark chocolate baking chunks
2 tsp pure peppermint extract
1/4 cup coconut cream (see directions)
1 cup Scharffen Berger semisweet dark chocolate baking chunks
1 tsp pure peppermint extract
Ancho Chili powder (optional)
Sea salt (optional)
To prep: Place a can of full fat (not light) coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight.
To make the cookies:
In a medium bowl, mix together the brown rice flour, xanthum or baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar for several minutes until fluffy on medium speed. Add the vanilla, milk, and cocoa to the mixing bowl and continue mixing on medium speed until the batter becomes creamy in appearance. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl until the flour mixture is fully incorporated.
Turn the mixer off, and scoop the dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer for fifteen minutes or in the refrigerator for up to one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the chilled dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 (but no more than 1/4 inch) thickness. Using a two inch round cookie cutter, cut out shapes and place on a lightly greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Continue rolling and cutting dough. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 8-9 minutes. Remove from oven and place cookies on cooling rack to cool and harden.
While cookies are cooling, melt the chocolate for the coating in a double boiler, on the stove at lowest setting, or in the microwave. Once chocolate is melted, add the peppermint extract and stir until combined. With a fork, dip each cookie into the chocolate and coat entirely. Allow excess chocolate to drip off before placing cookies on parchment or waxed paper. Sprinkle the tops (or approximately half) of the dipped cookies with a light dusting of chili powder and sea salt. Allow the chocolate to set completely before assembling into sandwiches.
To make the filling: Open the can of coconut milk and place 1/4 cup of the coconut cream (this is the top part of the coconut milk that separates and floats to the top of the can when refrigerated) in a saucepan and heat to boiling. Once the coconut cream is boiling, remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Continue stirring until chocolate is melted. If milk cools too quickly, you can continue to melt the chocolate for 10 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each session until completely melted. Stir in the peppermint extract. Allow the mixture to cool completely to room temperature. The mixture should be spreadable. If the mixture hardens too much, place in the microwave for 10 seconds then stir to allow mixture to soften. Place approximately 1 teaspoon of ganache in between two cookies, making sure the top of the cookie is one that is topped with the chili powder and sea salt. Lightly press together and allow to set for at least one hour before eating.
These cookies are naturally sweet and gluten free. They always get rave reviews for being such a rich and elegant dessert. For best results, use ancho chili powder, but regular chili powder is fine. The chili powder will only enhance the flavor of the chocolate and provide a slight heat. You can also omit the sea salt and chili powder altogether if desired.
*For the Sugar: You can easily substitute powdered honey to make the cookie less coarse. Powdered honey can be found at health food stores, or by ordering online. If you are in a bind and don’t have coconut sugar or powdered honey, in a pinch you can use powdered sugar.
This recipe was for the Scharffen Berger contest entry. I was not compensated in any way for my entry.
White Chocolate and Strawberry Cookies with Coconut Sugar by Burnt Apple
Vegan Thin Mints by Chef Chloe
GF Thin Mints by Baking Bites