NOT YOUR MAMA’S KITCHEN: No more waiting for the Scouts

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First Posted: 8/13/2013

According to, there are 141 days until the most glorious season next to Christmas begins: the time when the little girls in green start peddling delicious cookies.

That, my friends, is entirely too long for me to wait to devour a whole tube of Thin Mints, so I am more than happy to let you know there’s a homemade thin mint recipe that is incredibly simple and spot-on when it comes to flavor.

The odd thing, that you will soon forget once you take your first bite, is that the base for these cookies is actually Ritz crackers. The salt on Ritz goes so well with the chocolate that it’s a wonder the Scouts don’t just change their recipe.

Grab 18 Ritz crackers (Or double that, and everything else with this recipe, because who can only eat 18 of these? That gets devoured in all of a minute. I mean, not that I would know…), semi-sweet chocolate chips, vegetable shortening, and peppermint extract.

Be aware of the type of extract you’re buying, as there are different variations of it. Mint extract is way more potent than vanilla, so don’t overdo it or it’ll feel more like you’re brushing your teeth than eating cookies. There is mint, peppermint, and spearmint extracts, but for this one, I went with plain ol’ mint, which worked out just fine.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and make sure there’s enough room in your fridge or freezer to accommodate it. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate and shortening, which helps the chocolate stay smooth during the dipping stage, and heat for one minute. Stir it and continue to heat in 10-second bursts until the chocolate is nice and smooth.

Add peppermint extract to the chocolate and get ready to dip.

Douse the cracker in chocolate and use a fork to scoop it out, allowing excess chocolate to drain off. Place the cracker on the parchment paper and keep going until all the chocolate is used up.

I had to reheat my chocolate once to keep it smooth, so don’t be afraid to do that if need be.

Throw the baking sheet in the fridge for a quick solidification of the chocolate. These can keep for weeks in an airtight container in the fridge, so if you have any self-control, you can totally do that.

Otherwise, grab a glass of milk and get to work – you can thank me as soon as you come out of your chocolate coma.

-Sara Pokorny likes to cook with wine, and sometimes she even uses it in the food. Send recipe ideas to


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Yields: 18 cookies


• 18 Ritz crackers

• 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

• 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening

• 3/4 teaspoon mint extract


• Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or wax paper; set aside. Clear out a spot in your refrigerator or freezer to accommodate baking sheet.

• In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and shortening and heat for 1 minute on high power to melt. Stir and heat in 10 second bursts until chocolate is smooth.

• To the melted chocolate add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract and stir.

• Add 1 cracker to the chocolate, coat it, and remove it by lightly scooping it up from the underside with a fork, allowing excess chocolate to drain off through fork tines. Place cracker on parchment and repeat with all remaining crackers. If necessary, re-heat the chocolate in 10-second bursts if it starts getting too firm for smooth dipping.

• After all crackers have been dipped, place baking sheet in refrigerator. Although these will solidify at room temperature, the shortening in the chocolate lengthens the amount of time that will take; the fridge or freezer helps speed it up.