Monday, December 19, 2011

Cooling Down

This year it looks like Christmas is going to arrive in a flurry of... mist. Personally, I'm not complaining - you don't have to shovel rain - but the lack of chill in the air and snow on the ground has been causing a little bit of apathy in my social circle. Rather than break into the chilled New Year's Eve champagne early, I brought out the good old "Thin Mint" cookie to cool everyone down a bit  at the salon I go to.

Of course, I wanted to bring something that all the stylists and their clients could enjoy. I know from experience that getting through any holiday when you can't share in the same gastronomic delights as everyone else is more than a little difficult, and when it's ChrismaHanuKwanzaa the treats abound in all the buttery, creamy, nutty, eggy cookie and sweets sense. So rather than bring in my standard (and delicious on their own) Thin Mints, I re-tooled the recipe to make it gluten free, nut free and vegan. While these aren't beacons of health (they're cookies!) they were the perfect decadent touch to the day. I enjoyed making and sharing them (both the chocolate-coated and naked ones) as much as the recipients enjoyed eating them!

GF Vegan Thin Mints
Makes 60
1 cup rice flour
½ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup millet flour
¼ cup sweet rice flour
¼ cup arrowroot starch
7 tbsp unsweetened dark cocoa powder, sifted (Hershey's is GF, most brands are)
½ tsp salt
½ cup vegan margarine, room temperature
2 tbsp shortening
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
3 tbsp soy or rice milk
5 tbsp vodka
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp peppermint extract

Chocolate Coating
10 oz (GF, vegan) bittersweet chocolate (I used Scharffen Berger 70% Cacao)
1 tbsp shortening
½ tsp peppermint extract

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flours, starch, cocoa powder and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together margarine, shortening and sugars.
  3. Add soymilk, vodka and extracts. The mixture will look curdled. 
  4. Gradually, add in the flour mixture until fully incorporated.
  5. Shape dough into two logs, about 1 ½” in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1-2 hours, until dough is very firm. (Note: You can also shape into a disc and refrigerate 2 hours for rolled cookies)
  6. Preheat oven to 375F, line baking sheets with parchment or silicone.
  7. Slice dough into rounds not more than ¼” thick – otherwise they will not be crisp. 
  8. Place on the sheets fairly close together – they don’t spread that much.
  9. Bake 14 – 15 minutes. 
  10. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack before dipping in chocolate.
Coating:

  1. Combine chocolate and shortening in a double boiler over simmering water.
  2. Melt until chocolate is smooth. Stir in the extract.
  3. Dip each cookie in melted chocolate and transfer to a wire rack set over a piece of wax paper to set up for at least 30 minutes – 1 hour.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 80.7
Total Fat: 4.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 16.9 mg
Total Carbs: 11.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Protein: 0.9 g