It's that time of year again, when those pesky little creatures called Girl Scouts sell us crack in a box. Oh your daughter is one of them? Fine I'll take elevent-y boxes of Tagalongs.
So far this year I have avoided the little green-skirted salesmen. However, yesterday at Trader Joe's I could not avoid THESE:
What do those have to do with Girl Scout cookies and why are they called Mint UFO's, you're wondering? I will tell you what they have to do with Girl Scout cookies and I have no idea why they're called that. Um, they're so good they're out of this world? I should work in advertising. Anyway I bought them, because I was intrigued. I got home and instantly tasted one (in the car) and thought, THIN MINTS! So I decided to take this animated thought one step further and try to create a Thin Mint inspired cookie.
I had very little direction other than CHOCOLATE, and MINT, and somewhere along the way these turned into shortbread cookies. Buttery, rich in chocolate flavor, minty, yum.
Mint Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
(Makes approx. 20 cookies)
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Mint chocolate chips
Roughly chop the unsweetened chocolate. Melt over a double boiler. If you're like me, you do not own a double boiler, so you use a pot of water and a metal bowl, like so. (Make sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl, 1 inch or so of water should suffice.) Once melted, remove from heat and let cool.
In a bowl with an electric mixer, combine butter and both sugars until smooth.
Add egg yolk...
...and vanilla. Combine.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. I hate sifting, and I don't even know why. It takes very little time and yet I don't have the patience for it. I'm the type of person whose patience runs up when something has 5 seconds left in the microwave. Anyway, if you're not familiar with sifting, here's what it is:
That's my sifter. Other sifters look like this. Cocoa powder tends to be lumpy and sifting diminishes lumps. As you can see here:
Once the melted chocolate has cooled, pour into butter/sugar mixture and combine.
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. I did this in 3 parts, mixing in between. The dough will be somewhat crumbly.
Divide dough into two parts, and roll each part into a 5-inch log. Wrap in plastic wrap. You can continue to form into logs once in plastic wrap, it's actually easier this way due to the crumbly nature of the dough.
Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours. In the meantime, roughly chop mint chocolate chips. That is if you have Mint UFO's from Trader Joe's, because they are massive. When you are close to baking, preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Remove dough logs from fridge and slice into 1/2 inch thick cookies.
Place cookies on parchment lined baking sheet. Top each cookie with some mint chocolate chips. The chips will sort of lay on top of the hard dough. In the oven they melt slightly which gives the cookie the sense that it's frosted, when it's not. Neat!
Bake for 10-12 minutes (my oven took 10). The cookies will look slightly underdone, but they're not. Just trust me.
They literally melt in your mouth. Do Thin Mints melt in your mouth?! No! How could they when you put 13 in your mouth at a time!?
p.s. If you're sensing some resentment towards the Girl Scouts in this blog, you're on to something. It's because my mom made me order the uniform with the pants, and not the skirt. Long, ugly, stiff, warm pants. I should bring this up to my therapist...