Homemade Thin Mints

I was never a Girl Scout. Most likely because I'm pretty sure my mother didn't want to pick me up late after school.  But even though I never officially earned any badges, I probably should've given my love and devotion for their cookies. I may have been known to consider a sleeve of frozen Thin Mints or a couple rows of Caramel de Lites a well-balanced dinner. (P.S. They call Caramel de Lites "Samoas" out here- weird.....)
And guess what?! Its Girl Scout Cookie Season!!! (also known as the fifth season, snuggled in between Winter and Spring.  And you thought there were only four seasons a year.....)  But I'm sorry- I don't care how cute you look in your little sash and beret- $6 a box is flippin' insane! Solution: Convince yourself that "I could totally make these myself!"
I mean, there's a reason why those little chocolate and mint crunchy morsels are the Girl Scout's best selling cookie.  They're sheer perfection.  And the thought of having then at my disposal at all times of the year? Consider me a happy girl :)
Now it wasn't easy- took THREE tries and A LOT of patience but I got there.  There were a couple of recipes floating out there on the interwebs, but after two attempts of one's I found, I learned that if you want cookies done right, you gotta do it yourself.

The result- Pure chocolate and mint heaven....

How Long Is This Gonna Take:
About an hour active time, but also requires 1-2 hours freezing time prior to baking plus 20 minutes baking time per batch

What You'll Need:
For Cookies:
1 cup AP Flour
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
3 1/2 tbsp Shortening
1 egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla
2-3 tbsp Milk

For Chocolate Coating:
16 oz Semi Sweet Chocolate
2 tbsp Shortening
1/2-3/4 tsp Peppermint Extract
(Could also substitute Andes Creme de Menthe baking chips for chocolate and extract, but keep the shortening)

What To Do:
1.  Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Add shortening and beat until completely combined (we don't want any shortening chunks) ((gross!)).  Mix in the egg and vanilla.  Then the milk a little bit at a time until the dough forms.
 2. Cover dough and refrigerate for 2 hours.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Once cooled, form dough into small balls with hands (may want to dust hands with flour or powdered sugar.) Lay cookies on wax paper lined cookie sheet and flatten thin. (You can use your hands, the bottom of a jar/can, whatever)  Keep them thin (about 1/16-1/8 of an inch) because you want them to get nice and crispy when they bake.  Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the edges are crisp.
3.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  In a microwave safe bowl, melt chips and shortening until smooth, stirring every 20-30 seconds.  Add extract and microwave again for about 20 seconds to keep the chocolate from cooling down because of the mint (chocolate is weird and doesn't like it when you add room temp things to it....what a diva...) Use a fork to completely dip each cookie and allow to cool on wax paper for at least 30 minutes.   You may need to reheat the chocolate periodically if it starts to firm up.

4. Optional: Place cookies in freezer and jump for joy at how awesome they are.

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