Homemade Thin Mints

Thin Mints are those Girl Scout Cookies that I can eat an entire tube of in a sitting.

Oh, you too?

Homemade Thin Mints (no-bake, vegan) - Only 3 ingredients in this spot on copycat version of real Thin Mints! Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

Since my cravings for mint in the middle of the summer continued, I decided to try my hand at a homemade, no-bake, vegan version of Thin Mints.

They should be called Thin Mints Cheater’s Mints. No-bake and so easy.

What’s the catch you’re wondering?

Ritz Crackers

I promise these cookies don’t taste like crackers.

The crackers provide a neutral base layer, nice crunch, and are a dead-ringer in size and shape for what will become cookies.

When they’re drenched in mint-flavored chocolate, you won’t know it’s a cracker or care that it started out as a cracker.

These Thin Mints taste incredibly close to the real thing and take all of 15 minutes to make.

Gather your long list of 3 (or 4)ingredients:

Ritz crackers, which are accidentally vegan

Semi-sweet chocolate chips (and vegetable shortening)

Peppermint extract

Melt the chocolate and shortening. I highly recommend a tablespoon of shortening for any chocolate dipping projects because it keeps the chocolate smooth, viscous, and much less likely to get that hard-before-you-want-it-to and clumpy consistency.

Add peppermint extract to the melted chocolate and get ready to dippity do. As with my last recipe and caveat about peppermint extract, make sure you read my disclaimer in the recipe box below.

Place dipped crackers, which I now think of as cookies, on parchment paper.

Food goes from cracker status to cookie status the minute chocolate is involved.

Wait for the chocolate to solidify and firm up before digging in.

Homemade Thin Mints (no-bake, vegan) - Only 3 ingredients in this spot on copycat version of real Thin Mints! Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

Because of the shortening, it could take a half hour or more at room temperature for the chocolate to solidify, especially if you decide to do this project on an 80 degree day in the middle of summer without running your air.

Pop the tray in the refrigerator or freezer to speed things up. I like them better chilled anyway and store them in the freezer.

Homemade Thin Mints (no-bake, vegan) - Only 3 ingredients in this spot on copycat version of real Thin Mints! Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

The minute I took these out of the freezer, the condensation on the chocolate began. It reminded me of Christmas Crack in Aruba. Nothing you can do when it starts.

It was a hot day in San Diego the day I made these and as the 3pm sun was shining in on my photography table, both me and the cookies began to sweat.

The cool mint was perfect.

Homemade Thin Mints (no-bake, vegan) - Only 3 ingredients in this spot-on copycat version of real Thin Mints!  Ridiculously easy recipe at averiecooks.com

Print Print Recipe

Homemade Thin Mints (no-bake, vegan)

Just 3 ingredients in these Homemade Thin Mints that taste like the real thing, and no one ever guesses what the 'secret ingredient' is. Incredibly easy to make, always a hit at parties, and now you can make your own Thin Mints any time of year and don't have to wait for cookie season!

Yield: about 18 cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: about 1 hour, for cooling

Ingredients:

18 Ritz Crackers ( Ritz are accidentally vegan)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening, optional but recommended
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract* (see notes below)

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. In a shallow microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and shortening (the shortening helps the chocolate stay smooth when using it for dipping; it prevents that thick and gloppy, chocolate getting hard before you want it to phenomenon) and heat for 1 minute on high power to melt. Stir and heat in 10 to 15 second bursts until chocolate can be stirred very smooth.
  3. To the melted chocolate add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract* and stir. If you prefer it mintier, add another 1/4 teaspoon. I used 3/4 teaspoon in total, but because all brands and taste preferences differ, taste your chocolate and add peppermint to taste. *Note: Mint extract is much, much more potent than vanilla extract; 1 teaspoon of mint extract has an extreme amount of potency compared with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. You cannot un-do mint once added so be very, very careful to not over-do it and end up with a bottle of Listerine-tasting food. There are different kinds of mint extracts available and are labeled as “mint, “peppermint”, “spearmint” and more. For this recipe I used store-brand (Kroger/Ralph’s) “peppermint extract” sold in a small 1 ounce bottle. Select the version of “mint” you think sounds best as not all types are available in all areas.
  4.  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 to 15 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. Store extra Thin Mints in an airtight container in the refrigerator for many weeks. In the freezer, I estimate that these could be kept for 3 to 6 months successfully.

Recipe inspiration from Kraft

Related Recipes (and dusting off a few antiques I had forgotten about)

Mint Recipes:

Creme de Menthe Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF)

Thin Mint Fudge (no-bake, vegan, GF)

Mint Chocolate Coconut Snowballs (no-bake, vegan, GF)

Old-Fashioned Butter Mints (no-bake, GF)

Ritz Recipes:

Ritz-Cracker Stuffed Peanut Butter Cups (no-bake, vegan)

Pink Lemonade Freezer Bars with a Ritz cracker crust and crumble topping (no-bake)

Do you like Thin Mints?

Do you like mint or have any favorite mint recipes?

I am a huge Thin Mints fan and I could eat a tube in a sitting if I let myself, and for that reason, I don’t buy them. Now I have homemade Thin Mints which are maybe a little too easy, if you know what I mean.

Samoas are another weaknesses and I came up with a Samoas Bars recipe, which is reminiscent of those beloved cookies.

Even though many people tend use mint in their holiday baking, I think cool mint is perfect for a hot summer day.

Feel free to link up any mint recipes or recipes with some time-saving or clever shortcuts (like the Ritz cracker trick). I’m all about other recipe shortcuts.

Thanks for the Capresso Espresso and Cappuccino Machine Giveaway entries & have a great week!

   

303 Responses to “Homemade Thin Mints”

  1. #
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    j3nn — July 29, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Creative! I love thin mints, I could eat the whole box. I love putting them in the freezer and eating them frozen. So good.

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    Kearsten — July 29, 2012 at 2:12 am

    Yum! Living in England means no GSCs, so I’ll be giving these a try….but I think I’ll sub the unhealthy shortening with organic coconut oil!

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      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 29, 2012 at 2:28 am

      it’s 1 tablespoon in an entire batch, and not all of the chocolate is used, there is some waste, so I wasn’t concerned.

      Not sure if mint + cocoonut will give you an authentic taste, but hey, if you like it, that’s all that matters!

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    Liz (formerly VeggieGirl) — July 29, 2012 at 4:10 am

    I do like Thin Mints, but I’m more partial to Tagalongs. Can you make those too please? :D

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      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 29, 2012 at 10:48 am

      Lol

      The PB cups I linked in the post, with Ritz crackers + PB + all dipped in chocolate is my closest rendition of those, so far :)

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    Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free — July 29, 2012 at 5:08 am

    ohmygoodness, Averie! What a brilliant way to make an easy homemade thin mint. I’ve seen homemade thin mint recipes that require a lot of steps like making a chocolate cookie, making a mint filling, and then dipping in chocolate. This just looks, well, easy!

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 29, 2012 at 10:49 am

      yes for the work/reward and ease/taste this version is the CLEAR winner. I’ve tried a few types and rolling out all those shortbread cookies, making, baking them, etc…not worth the massive extra steps & hassle!

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    katie @ KatieDid — July 29, 2012 at 6:01 am

    wow they look identical!! thin mints are the classic favorite girl scout cookie but I was always a samoas girl- could easilyyyyy put back a tube of those at once, and honestly I probably did once or twice in my childhood.

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    Heather (Where's the Beach) — July 29, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Thin mints are one of my favorites. I could put down an entire sleeve of those suckers. Love the idea of this one and the simplicity.

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    sally @ sallys baking addiction — July 29, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Who can honestly resist the entire packaged roll of thin mint cookies? IU swear, I get excited each late winter/early spring because it’s GIRL SCOUT COOKIE SEASON! ;)

    What an interesting recipe, Averie! Such simple ingredients to make such a delicious, nostalgic treat. I may have to pay homage to you and remake this sometime in the fall when girl scout thin mints seem SO far away. And I would’ve NEVER EVER guessed that ritz crackers are vegan! Weird b/c they are buttery! I love your photos too. They look like 3D cookies. :)

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 29, 2012 at 10:46 am

      thanks for the photo compliments, appreciated :)

      Oreos are vegan and so is one of the “Buttercream” frostings, either by Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker. And Betty Crocker Bac-o’s Bacon Flavor Bits are, too. Always interesting.

      Why eat mint only when it’s cold out? Eat it in the summer to cool you down is my logic!

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    Angela / Canned Time — July 29, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Another wonderful surprise recipe Averie, thanks! The PETA site was so informative too. I was amazed to see list of Vegan grocery store staples that I never would have considered before. Betty Crocker Bac-o’s Bacon Flavor Bits? Too funny, I may have to use them in something just for the irony :) I LOVE mints and these look so easy and healthy. Great idea as usual.

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 29, 2012 at 10:45 am

      Oreos are vegan and so is one of the “Buttercream” frostings, either by Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker. Always interesting, the bacon too!

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    Erica — July 29, 2012 at 6:39 am

    Girlfriend- this is totally brilliant! I want! The ritz in the middle was such a fun and easy idea!

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    Katie — July 29, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I had these at Christmas time last year and I loved them! They really do taste like thin mints, and I’ve tried several “copycat” recipes. Some were a little closer to the real deal holyfield, but you know what? These are WAY WAY easier and for the time and energy savings AND not having to bake? I’d make these before any other version.

    Now, to find me some gluten free Ritz. Man, I love Ritz. With peanut butter. Or chocolate.

    Ritz will always remind me of a midwestern cheese platter too. WIth sliced cheddar and summer sausage. Not a family gathering goes by without that tray. And it is a neverending tray too – full for the whole gathering – it’s an appetizer, a side dish, and a late-night, after-dinner snack.

    Random comment….sorry. ;)

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 29, 2012 at 10:42 am

      love the random comment and yes ritz is such a midwestern snack – as I was looking thru my recipes, I realized I have more than my share or use them as condiments/garnishes in lots! Tricuits and Ritz and Wheat Thins. That’s my childhood!

      And yes, for the time/effort/hassle/ vs. taste/end result…this version trumps all. Yes, you could make & roll out choc shortbread-style cookies and maybe they’re a tiny bit better but for the work/reward factor…Ritz wins.

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    Kelley {mountain mama cooks} — July 29, 2012 at 7:34 am

    OMG! What a great idea. I love thin mints and never would have thought to use crackers! So easy and fun to make. I bet the ritz provide just a hint of salt too. Mmmmm!

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 29, 2012 at 10:40 am

      Just a smidge and if you want less, they sell the low salt Ritz, too!

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    Laura Dembowski — July 29, 2012 at 8:12 am

    This looks like such a cool recipe! I always love recipes that are replicas of store bought ones. I’m just wondering how you make it in 80 degree heat without air.

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 29, 2012 at 10:40 am

      For like 1 hour it’s warm; the rest of the time, coastal breeze is nice & cool!

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    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — July 29, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Love thin mints. I too could eat a whole package in one sitting. This is such a clever recipe Averie! I am compelled to go out and get some ritz crackers today!!

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    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel — July 29, 2012 at 8:29 am

    I love mint anytime of year, even though it’s my favorite (for good reason) during the holidays. But it just makes sense now since mint is so refreshing when the temps rise. Love how easy this recipe is–Ritz crackers seriously rock, especially when dipped in chocolate!

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 29, 2012 at 10:39 am

      this is your kinda recipe – shortcuts, easy, no fuss! love all your stuff like that!

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    Kelli@kellird.com — July 29, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Genius! These look so amazing, I have to make them asap! I LOVE your creme de menthe bars, they are one of my favorite recipes of yours. Ok, off to the store! ;)

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      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 29, 2012 at 10:37 am

      awww, thanks, kelli! between those bars and the peanut flour cookies, you dusted off some antiques :)

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    dassana — July 29, 2012 at 9:38 am

    awesome thin mints. drooling over here… simply fab… first time on your space… amazing blog you have :-)

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    Stefania @ Revitalize with Stefania — July 29, 2012 at 9:53 am

    yum! I will leave out the shortening or sub in something else, but this sounds perfect!

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 29, 2012 at 10:36 am

      as I told the very first commenter on the post, it’s 1 tbsp for an entire batch and does make life much easier (coconut oil + mint isn’t going to do the same thing I don’t think) – but do whatever works and happy thin mint eating!

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    CourtStar @ Star Systemz — July 29, 2012 at 10:48 am

    You are making me miss my girl scout thin mints! But this recipe is totally up my alley! I love all of your recipes that are simple! You are so creative! I love mine in the freezer so i can suck on them and make the most out of the flavor!! Love and Shine CourtStar

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    Holly W — July 29, 2012 at 11:08 am

    oh my goodness, this has definitely become a way too easy way for me to enjoy thin mints. I’m so intrigued by this recipe that I must try it. I am a fan of minty desserts, but when it comes to Girl Scout cookies, Samoas also have my heart. This is why I don’t buy them, because it is a fact that I’ll eat the entire box in one sitting. It’s bad… but oh so good!

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    Sue/the view from great island — July 29, 2012 at 11:21 am

    I think Ritz are amazingly versatile—I use them as a secret ingredient in so many things, and now…Thin Mints? Crazy good.

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      I’d love to see more of your Ritz/secret ingredient recipes – I am all about a good Ritz recipe :)

    • #
      Jenn — October 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      I love using ritz crackers too. I put them in my food processor and make them them super fine and use them in place of bread crumbs for meatballs & hamburgers.

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      Averie @ Averie Cooks — October 13, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      If you like Ritz, these are sooo good! The salty cuts the sweet and they are just creamy and wonderful. Not really a ‘fall’ dessert but they’re easy & fast!

      http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2012/04/pink-lemonade-freezer-bars.html

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    Melissa (Better Fit) — July 29, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Those look amazing! I bet the slight saltiness of the Ritz add a good flavour to the mix!

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm

      It does – just a hint, and you can also use the low salt version if you want to reduce it.

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    Lindsay — July 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I love this recipe, I always make them when I go to cookie exchanges and people are amazed at how much the do taste like GSC.

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      Ok good! You’ve made them – and can vouch that yes, they are authentic tasting AND that others agree. Thanks for the ‘field report’ :)

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    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — July 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I’ve made my own thin mints (baked) but this is a great no-bake option!

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    Erin Motz — July 29, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    What a creative idea! I would think the crackers might spoil the “desserty” flavor, but hey – I trust you ;)

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 30, 2012 at 12:50 am

      No, they are so flavor neutral and mint is such a prominent flavor, it totally takes over and they become perfect as the base!

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    Patricia @ thecastironvegan — July 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Oh my. These are beautiful! They came out perfectly. I will have to try them. I noticed you used chips instead of theTJ’s pound-plus chocolate – any particular reason for that? I tried the pound-plus stuff after seeing it and reading about it on your blog; I love how it melts so easily and smoothly, and stays melted, but sometimes it provides TOO thin a layer of chocolate, and doesn’t firm up as well as chocolate chips.
    I LOVE your creme de menthe bars. I have made them more times, and for more people, than I could count!

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 30, 2012 at 12:50 am

      for all the reasons you mentioned, I didnt use the pound plus – first, real thin mints are not a “dark” chocolate in their flavor, in color, yes, but they are sold to the masses who prefer something in between dark and milk, and err on the side of sweeter. So I wanted a sweeter chocolate and also the too thin nature and prone to cracking sometimes, is why I used choc chips rather than the 72 p.p. bar. For certain things, very specific goals, I do prefer chips to that bar and this was one of them. You’ve now made me creme de menthe bars more than I have I think :)

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    Jenny — July 29, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks! I’m going to try the thin mints recipe!

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    Paula — July 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Oooh–you are truly a genius!! I love thin mints (especially chilled). These look so easy and I never thought about using Ritz crackers. Great recipe!

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    luv what you do — July 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Those look just as good as the girl scout cookies! What a great way to get your mint chocolate fix during the off season!

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    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust — July 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    How awesome are these?? Ritz crackers? So easy!!

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    Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily — July 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I think I just loved you and hated you 27 times while reading this and drooling over the pictures. My soul thanks you, my tummy will get over it .

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    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — July 29, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Super cool that you use Ritz crackers in these! I have heard of apple pie recipes that use Ritz crackers instead of apples but people would NEVER know the difference. Don’t know how it is possible, but people who have tried these apple-less apple pies rave about them.

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    Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy — July 29, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    those look delicious Averie! i love thin mints too! or at least I did in my gluten-filled days:) haha fabulous recipe – love the no bake!

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    Cathy @ Noble Pig — July 29, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Everything is better on a Ritz! I usually smear on peanut butter to the ritz, top it with another Ritz and dip in chocolate. But I love this mint idea, can’t wait to try it!

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 30, 2012 at 12:45 am

      Everything is better on a Ritz! = you’ve got that right. I make the Pb-stuffed ritz pb cups that I linked..same concept. Ritz, pb, chocolate. Perfect :)

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    Marina@ Picnic at Marina — July 29, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Averie, those plates looks awesome with mints! Color and texture are so vibrant, love those photos! as well as all others too…:)

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 30, 2012 at 12:44 am

      thanks for noticing – I picked them specifically to try to conjure up a minty vibe :)

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    Baker Street — July 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Oh it would be so dangerous to have these lying around in my house! They look absolutely irresistible! :)

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    marla — July 30, 2012 at 4:35 am

    These are AMAZING!!! I saw they all over Pinterest yesterday. Well done miss Averie :)

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    Tweal — July 30, 2012 at 4:42 am

    What a clever recipe. I never would have thought to chocolatify ritz crackers, but now that I’ve seen the photos, I really want to!

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    Priya Sreeram — July 30, 2012 at 5:08 am

    this is a great idea- loved the kick of mint in it – yum !

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    Christine (The Raw Project) — July 30, 2012 at 6:06 am

    These look amazing, awesome job! I’m a huge fan of anything mint and like the simple use of crackers here.

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    Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} — July 30, 2012 at 6:22 am

    I never would have guessed that Ritz crackers were vegan! Know of any GF vegan crackers I could use for these?? ;-) (I can’t eat wheat right now because I am breastfeeding my son, who has sensitivities to dairy, soy, wheat, and nuts…)

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 30, 2012 at 10:44 am

      I would say pick the most basic, flavor-netural GF cracker you can find, i.e.not a Mary’s Cracker – lol and dip that. Chocolate + mint is quite a dominant combo and can cover a multitude of issues; it’s going to come down to texture largely I imagine – no big seeds or anything that many vegan/gf crackers have.

    • #
      shannon — September 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      i immediately thought a glutino cracker would work as a GF substitute.

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    Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit — July 30, 2012 at 7:08 am

    When I could eat those Girl Scout cookies I enjoyed them like it was my JOB. Great idea adding crackers to the middle, you’re so inventive with snacks and treats like this!

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    Amanda @ flecksofgreen — July 30, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Yum! I am a huge mint fan and I think more than one of these recipes could be detrimental to my waisteline!

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    Catalina @ Cake with Love — July 30, 2012 at 8:37 am

    This look just way too good and easy to make!! I may actually use some thin shortbread cookies, to add some buttery flavor!! :)

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 30, 2012 at 10:40 am

      Mmm – good idea. I wish I knew of some that were the same size as the Ritz, just to keep them really authentic looking!

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    Rachel — July 30, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Yum!! These look fantastic!

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    Anne@LoveMintChocolateChip — July 30, 2012 at 9:51 am

    AMAZING!! these looks to die for!

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    Jackie @ Daydreamer — July 30, 2012 at 10:00 am

    These look so easy and delicious, as do the Ritz-Cracker Stuffed Peanut Butter Cups! I just found your site and love how simple all of the recipes are. Your photography is also amazing! I will definitely be stopping back. :)

    • #
      Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 30, 2012 at 10:39 am

      thanks for the awesome compliments on everything – and hope to see you back! :)

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    JulieD — July 30, 2012 at 10:02 am

    wow, i love Thin Mints…these look amazing!!

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    Heathy — July 30, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I was drawn over after seeing the picture on pinterest. How genius to use ritz crackers Averie! Mmm the creme de menthe bars look delish tooo!!!

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    kris — July 30, 2012 at 10:52 am

    mmm i loveee thin mints! And these are the perfect idea! No need to wait an entire year for that girl scout to come knocking on the door :)

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    Ashley - baker by nature — July 30, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I can say with 100% certainty I’ll be making these very very soon!!

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