These were obviously inspired by the popular Girls Scout Cookie, the Thin Mint. A thin, dark chocolate cookie with a minty chocolate glaze. They’re delicious, to say the least. Since Girl Scout Cookies are not available year-round (while they do have knock-offs available, it’s just not the same), I figured I would try to recreate Girl Scout Cookies, but take them a step further by also making different desserts, utilizing the cookie as a base. It sounds confusing, but basically, think of it this way: I’m making a recipe where if you remove certain components, then you have a recipe to make a classic Girl Scout cookie, but when you re-include the components I added, then you have a completely new dessert, still inspired by the recipe. To kick off that idea, I wanted to tackle Thin Mints first, by making them into chocolate bars.
For the base of my bars, I’m doing a chocolate shortbread, then I have minted chocolate ganache, minted marshmallow, a thin chocolate coating, and fried mint leaves for garnish. Now, if you were to remove the marshmallow and fried mint leaves, you have the components and essentially, the recipe for a thin mint. But by including those, you have something completely new. Hopefully, you’re following on my logic here, because it is a bit unusual, but I embrace being different.
For the marshmallow:
2 1/2 packets gelatin powder + 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon peppermint or spearmint extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon mint leaves; spanked (yes, you need to spank the mint leaves to better extract their flavor)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Bloom gelatin in water. Combine water and sugar, bring to a simmer. Strain and whip with the gelatin until the mixture is super thick, so about 10 minutes of straight whipping. Sift the cornstarch and sugar together. Dust half of it onto a lightly oiled parchment sheet. Pour on the marshmallow mixture. Dust on the rest. Spread out as thin as possible, and set in the freezer for 1 hour.
For the shortbread:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons Ovaltine powder
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
a pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whip together ingredients. Roll out between two layers of parchment paper. Bake between two baking trays at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes, then remove the top tray and continue baking for another 6 minutes. Cool the shortbread down completely.
For the ganache:
3/4 cups dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon peppermint or spearmint extract
1/4 cup chopped mint stems
Steep the mint leaves into the milk with salt. Strain into the dark chocolate chips and combine until it is a smooth, glossy texture. Finish with the mint extract. Keep spreadable.
1 cup dark chocolate (in 3 and 1 parts)
Melt down 3 parts and bring up to 90 degrees F. Stir in the remaining 1 part off heat, mix until smooth, and keep lukewarm. Do not mix any liquid into this.
Fill a pot with oil until it is about 1 1/2 inches deep. Bring up to 350 degrees F and fry the mint leaves in the oil. It should take less than 15 seconds to fry the leaves. They will go translucent. Strain and place on a paper towel to remove as much excess oil as possible.
Spread the ganache onto the marshmallow, and then press the shortbread onto the ganache. You can cut up the shortbread to better fit the marshmallow and ganache. It will be fine, since the ganache will keep the shortbread glued together. Allow that to set for 1 more hour in the freezer. Then flip over onto a cutting board, shortbread side down, and cut into bars. Glaze with the melted chocolate, top with the fried mint leaves, and then re-freeze just to set the chocolate coating.