Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Ultimate Thin Mint Brownies!

It's mid-March and that can mean only two things - Girl Scout cookie season is upon us and St. Patrick's Day is fast approaching! What better way to combine and celebrate the two than to bake up some festive-looking, minty fresh and indulgent Thin Mint Brownies.


I was an adult before I tasted these mystical, magical, once-a-year cookies (Girl Scouts are called Girl Guides in England, and they don't have cookie sales - their loss, in my opinion) and it was love at first bite.  I have a weakness for chocolate so I don't usually buy them, but somehow a box appeared in our apartment when I was gone just over a week ago.  The Girl Scout recipe is tried and tested - these sweet little girls have been selling cookies since 1917 and an early version of Thin Mints appeared in 1951- but I decided to steal a couple from the sleeve and try one of my own.


There's a simple version of the Thin Mint Brownie on the Little Brownie Bakers website (just add crushed Thin Mints to your favorite boxed mix), but this is not that brownie.  I have to confess that I did use a boxed mix (my excuse being that we're out of flour) but you could, and should, substitute your favorite basic brownie recipe and just make the modifications suggested below.  I would recommend a dark/bittersweet recipe to contrast with the bright, sweetness of the mint.  I used a milk chocolate box, which was all we had on hand, and it ended up much too sweet.

Check out that crackly top!
These brownies are studded with crushed Thin Mints and swirled with peppermint icing before baking.  Under heat, the icing creates a crackly mint toping and a sweet, very fudgy center.  I baked mine in muffin cups (I like bite-size brownies) but I'm sure you could use a regular 9x9-inch pan or whatever your normal recipe calls for.  In the interests of saving Matt's cookies and my waistline, I made only a mini batch but there's no reason the recipe shouldn't work with a whole batch.  Here's what you need:

The Ultimate Thin Mint Brownies
Brownies:
1 whole batch of your favorite brownie recipe, unbaked
1 sleeve Thin Mints cookies

Mint Icing Swirl:
8 Tablespoons butter, softened
2 Cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3-4 drops green food coloring (as desired)

Blend brownie batter and crushed cookies.  Stir until just combined.  Pour into greased baking pan.  To prepare icing, combine butter, sugar, 1 Tablespoon milk and peppermint extract.  Add additional milk as needed to achieve the proper texture.  The icing should be spreadable but not too thick.  Spoon strips of icing across brownie batter and use a warm knife to marble.  Bake at 350 ° F for slightly less than the length of time directed on your recipe.  Watch closely near the end of baking since the icing sugar may overflow (and nobody wants burnt sugar on the bottom of their oven!).  Brownies are done when the edges begin to pull away from the side of the pan and the center no longer appears liquid - it will still be dark and fudgy from the melted sugar.  Remove brownies from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.  Run knife around the edges of the pan to loosen.  Allow to cool in pan.  Use any remaining icing to decorate and garnish with crushed Thin Mints.  Enjoy while you can - at least you know they'll be back next year!


Matt and I have a funny little Thin Mint story from our pre-marriage days when he was living overseas and had no access to his favorite, crispy mint wafers.  Unfortunately, Girl Scout cookie season had already passed in my area and I scoured the web for black market Thin Mints or a suitable substitute.  I whipped up a batch from Heidi Swanson's recipe at 101 Cookbooks with the intent of packing them up and sending them overseas.  In the process, I burned almost every one of my fingers on the molten chocolate and discovered that the coating I used wasn't temperature-stable enough to survive the trip.  I ended up bringing a few to work and eating all the rest - and, boy, were they delicious.  I used to think Girl Scout cookies were a little pricey, but Thin Mints are worth every penny.  Thankfully, this brownie recipe is a lot less work!

In the off season, rather than resorting to similar desperate measures, you can get your Girl Scout cookie fix on their website.  There's lot of history to explore, FAQs and even a recipe from the early days Girl Scout of cookies when these tasty treats were still homemade.  You can also find other recipes on the manufacturers' websites (Little Brownie Bakers and ABC Bakers) or dream up some of your own.  Happy Baking!

This post is linked at:
33 Shades of Green: Tasty Tuesdays
Mom's Crazy Cooking: This Week's Cravings
Sweet as Sugar Cookies: Sweets for a Saturday
Alli N' Son: Sweet Tooth Friday

8 comments:

  1. Besides looking great, I'm sure these taste fantastic! I love brownies better than cupcakes, and thin mints are my favorite G.S. cookies!

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  2. We are hosting a linky party THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS with "Everything GREEN for St. Patrick's Day". We would LOVE for you to link up this amazing recipe!

    http://momscrazycooking.blogspot.com/2011/03/this-weeks-cravings-linky-party-20-go.html

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  3. Thin mints are some of my favorites. I bet these cupcakes are delicious.

    Katie
    ps- Tomorrow I'm featuring lots of recipes from other blogs. I'd love for you to stop by if you get a chance. Have a good one!

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  4. i love those thin mint cookies!! these brownies look fun!

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  5. I made a Thin Mint Cupcake yesterday!

    Thanks for coming by and linking up to THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS "everything green"! Each Monday is a new theme and on this Monday it will be CHOCOLATE... CHOCOLATE... and MORE CHOCOLATE. I hope you have a recipe to come link-up (or maybe this will inspire you to make something new this weekend). Hope to see ya Monday at THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!

    http://momscrazycooking.blogspot.com/search/label/THIS%20WEEKS%20CRAVINGS

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  6. Wow! These look really good too!

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  7. Awesome recipe & photos! Thanks for sharing your creativity. You rock!

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  8. I have some Thin Mints that are waiting for this recipe. Yum!

    I'd like to invite you to link up with my Sweet Tooth linky. I hope to see you there. http://alli-n-son.com/2011/03/17/soft-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies/

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