Monthly Archives: August 2012

Homemade Thin Mints

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One of the things I’ve been doing aside from not blogging is cooking!! I’ve made lots of yummy things, and I hope to make more yummy things and actually take pictures. But, I did take pictures for these.

Thin Mints. The #1 bestselling girl scout cookie. Well, I have a confession. Up until about a year ago, I hated thin mints. Something about the mint and the chocolate just didn’t float my boat.

One day, Andres convinced me to try another, “just for kicks”. I took one, skeptically, and took a teeny bite. And my tastebuds exploded with chocolate minty deliciousness. And now I understand what makes these so dang delicious.

I accidentally stumbled upon the recipe from Hearty Appletite.  Try it. Just once. It’s amazing. The only thing I changed was that I added an extra 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract. They were quite pepperminty, but that works for me.

Here’s the recipe!

Homemade Thin Mints:   ~~~ from Chicagoist.com  (The View from the Great Island’s comments are in red)

For the cookies:
8 ounces butter
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used dutched dark cocoa powder which worked well)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
For the coating:
10 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream butter until light and fluffy, then add the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Stir in the salt, vanilla and cocoa powder. Mix until the cocoa powder is integrated and the batter resembles a thick frosting. Add the flour and mix just until the flour is combined, making sure to not over mix.
  • Roll the dough out really thin on a floured surface, about 1/8-inch. Cut cookies using 1 1/2-inch cutter (I used a small cordial glass that measured almost 2″ and it was the perfect size).
  • Place cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack. While the cookies bake, make the peppermint coating. Chop the baking chocolate into very small, thin pieces. Place in a glass measuring cup or similar container and microwave in short 15-20 second bursts. Stir in the peppermint extract. Feel free to add more peppermint as you see fit. (Don’t add any more, the amount is perfect)
  • Gently drop the cookies, one at a time, into the coating. Turn to coat entirely, then lift the cookie out of the chocolate with the fork and bang the fork on the side of the pan until the extra coating drips off. Place on a parchment or plastic wrap-lined baking sheet, and repeat for the rest of the cookies. Place the cookies in the refrigerator or freezer to set.

 

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Foodie Penpals: Finally!

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Hi. I’m so so so so sorry for almost month-long delay in posting. I don’t really have a good excuse, just that I got caught up in life. Lame, I know. I owe a huge apology to the wonderful Elaine over at Hungry Brownie, she was my Foodie Penpal for the month of July and I am so late in posting about her lovely package. If you haven’t visited her blog before, I strongly recommend that you hop on over. She posts awesome recipes and it’s really cool.

Honestly, I didn’t even realize what day it was. I’m on summer time – I thought yesterday was Friday, and I thought it was still July. But, it is in fact August third, and I should’ve posted this four days ago.

Elaine sent me an awesome package of delicious goodies. I’m not sure how, but it’s like she read my mind. Seriously. On everything. All I told her was that I love cherries and sweets, am trying to eat healthier, and I don’t like mushrooms or olives.

What did I get? First, a gorgeous card.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say that was typed. Isn’t her handwriting gorgeous??

 

And behind the card, you can see these!!

Cherry chocolate? Delicious!! Also, fair trade and organic? yes!!

 

I immediately tried the cherry chocolate one, and I wasn’t sure what to think at first. The cherries were very tart and it was fantastic chocolate, but since it was so dark, it was a bit bitter. The combination took me off guard and I had a hard time deciding if I liked it. I ate the half the bar before I finished opening the box, so I’m going to say that it was yummy!

Do you see this gorgeous paper sack?

Well, it contained this.

Puget Sounds (made in Washington, where Elaine is from!!) Strawberry Jam. Toast with butter and jam is pretty much one of my most favorite treats, so I’m really excited for this! Also, the ingredient list is strawberries, pure cane sugar, pectin, and lemon juice. It doesn’t get much more natural than that.

The other thing is, since I moved out and no longer had to eat the “strawberry spread” my parents bought, I’ve been on the search for a great jam. Many of the store-bought varieties are too sweet with little flavor. This jam is definitely not that! It is sooooo yummy.

Fun fact. Ever wondered the difference between jam, jelly and preserves? Well, I learned here that jelly is made with fruit juice, jam is made with the actual fruit, crushed, and preserves are chunks of the fruit. Interesting, huh? I also learned that I kind of hate jelly (doesn’t spread) and I haven’t decided if I like jam or preserves better.

The other weird (but awesome!) thing about Elaine’s box. The night before I got the box in the mail, I had a huge brownie craving. Can you guess what else was in her box?

Brownie mix!!!!! I’m telling you, this girl has mind-reading powers.

And, last, but certainly not least, oatmeal!

Yay for quick and easy breakfasts! That’s what I’m looking for!

If you’d like to see what I sent out, check out Sandra’s blog, Hearty Appletite

And, if you’d like to get an awesome box in the mail from your very own Foodie Penpal, visit Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean.

Here’s the details, I strongly encourage you to join! It’s great fun!

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
– Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!