Sunday, March 14, 2010
I was a Girl Scout once. Not for very long, just a couple of years, and I didn't earn very many badges, but I was proud of my title, and I held my head high while I wore my uniform. My parents couldn't afford the "dues" that came along with the activities and meetings, and my troop leaders were constantly sending me home with notes, or calling my house asking when I was going to pay for my membership. I'm almost positive this had an impact on how I was treated at troop gatherings, but- that's not what this post is about.
This post, is about the cookies.
Those delicious seasonal treats sure don't come with a gluten free option, do they? The other day my friend Marie and I were coming out of Hastings, and a local Abilene troop was setup outside with their boxes piled on a couple of grey fold out tables. I turned my head the other way, so not to make eye contact with the girls, not to get asked if I wanted to buy any of their heavenly yet overpriced cookies, and not to see them sitting there in all of their colorful boxed up beauty. Whether I saw them or not though, they were still there, and I knew it.
The next day, I couldn't take it anymore. I had to have them. Had to. Must. Gimme. "I waaaaant them", I whined across the room to my husband, who I'm sure had blocked me out 10 minutes before I even opened my mouth. I'm pregnant. When I want something, I want it. My brain focuses in on it, and I can't think about anything else. I've tried explaining this to Christopher, but there is no way he could ever understand the power of a pregnancy craving. Mama's, you know exactly what I'm talking about, right? Even you non-mama's: all ladies, can probably relate. We've all had cravings during that time of the month. Pregnancy cravings are very similar, only, stronger, and more... brain washing. Mind controlling thoughts of food, really.
The next day, I sat down at the computer, browsed around a couple of websites and blogs, but being as impatient as I was, I couldn't just sit there when I knew I could be licking gooey batter off of my fingers, and soon be crunching down on minty bits of chocolate between my front teeth. I ran into the kitchen (no, I literally ran), put on my cupcake themed apron, and got started before I even knew what ingredients I had pulled out and set on top of the freshly cleaned kitchen counter.
I'm doing this, I demanded of myself.
Below, you will find the recipe that I used. There is always room for improvement (although I'd say that these turned out absolutely perfect, and I'm not going to change a single thing the next time I make them, which will be every year at Girl Scout cookie season), and feel free to use your own variation of ingredients. I use Earth Balance, you can use butter. I use soy milk, you can use cows. Make it yours :)
-1 cup Earth Balance, set on the counter until brought to room temperature
-1 cup powdered sugar (for this I simply blended regular table sugar up in my vita mix)
-3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
-1 egg, set on the counter and brought to room temperature before cracking
-Splash soy milk
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (this is optional in the wafer part of the cookie)
-2 cups Pamela's Baking Mix
-1 bag semisweet chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life, as always)
-1 teaspoon peppermint extract
-Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
-Cream butter and sugar together. Add vanilla and peppermint. Almost like you're making frosting.
-Add egg, and cocoa. Continue creaming. Make it fluffy.
-Add a splash of soy milk. Keep blending.
-Stir in flour with wooden spoon. You want your dough to hold together. Adjust your flour/milk as needed- you don't want it crumbly, yet you don't want it so sticky that you're unable to handle it.
-Chill dough, until nice and cool. I left mine in overnight, but I probably didn't need to.
-Use a teaspoon to scoop out little balls of dough, and place them on parchment paper.
-With your fingertips, simply smush down the balls, and round out the edges. They're going to look sloppy, but after they're covered in chocolate, it won't matter.
-Bake for 9-10 minutes, no longer. 9 minutes for a chewy cookie, 10 minutes for a sort of crisp cookie.
-When the oven timer goes off, pull these out right away, and without skipping a beat, get them off the paper using a spatula, and onto your cooling rack. They should slide right off.
-After all of your wafers have been baked and cooled, its time to make the chocolate dipping sauce.
-Clear some space in your fridge.
-Setup sheets of wax paper on cookie sheets. You're going to store your cookies in the fridge to harden after they've been dipped.
-Melt your chocolate chips and peppermint extract, either in the microwave, or in a double boiler.
-Drop one cookie at a time, into your melted chocolate. Make sure your chocolate isn't burning hot when you do this, because you're going to reach in with your fingers to flip it.
-After your cookie is fully coated in melted chocolate, pick it up carefully, so not to get chocolate everywhere, and with the edge of a fork, scrape off as much of the chocolate as possible, leaving just a thin later.
-Gently set it down on the wax paper. Do the next.
-When your cookie sheet is full of melty coated yumminess, move it to the fridge.
Whoa. You've just made some really good, thin mint style cookies, that are gluten free!
*Note: The chocolate wafers alone are super yummy, and perfect for the little ones. My 1 year old loves them. They'd probably make great animal cookies if you've got the cutters and the patience to use a rolling pin :)
I'd love to hear comments on how these turn out after being made in your kitchen. If you make these, won't you please come back and share?