Thursday, December 22, 2011

Two-Ingredient Thin Mint Cookies {Last-Minute Homemade Gifts}

O... M... G...
These cookies are AMAZING!!! And, yes, there are only two ingredients. You can literally make a few dozen of these in less than 15 minutes and people will be raving about them! I wouldn't venture so far as to say that these are just like the ones that you can buy in March from little girls dressed in green and brown, but they are close enough (and WAY more affordable!) The flavor is there, but the texture is more delicate.

Now, I don't have a photo of them because, as it turns out, my husband and oldest found my stash and pigged out. No worries, though, you can see a photo HERE, on Vanessa of The Crafty Nest's Pinterest board, where I found this idea. I cannot find her original post on her blog, so I cannot link you directly.

So, here's what you're going to need:
  • A bag of Andes Mints (the original ones)
  • A box of Ritz crackers
That's it.

Now, you can find Andes Mint pieces in some stores. They cost a little more, but you don't have to unwrap a zillion of the mints and they melt faster since they're already broken into small bits. I bought one bag of each kind because I couldn't resist having some of the mint foils on hand for projects. (Hey, free green foil paper! I'm thinking St. Patrick's Day and springtime craft projects!) Also, I didn't try using an inexpensive store-brand cracker. I wanted these to taste just right and wasn't willing to risk it. I'm sure a cheaper box of crackers would work out just fine, though.

Here's what you do:

Over a double-boiler, melt the mints. I made sure to get them good and warm so the excess chocolate would run off easily. Just be careful that you don't over-do it and burn the chocolate - ick! You could probably use the microwave, but I don't care to melt large amounts of chocolate that way. It heats from the inside out and can sometimes get overheated and burn without even changing shape!

Make sure you pull out any broken and flaking crackers from the package (I crumble mine up and keep them in a jar for a quick topping for mac and cheese or other casseroles). Simply drop one cracker at a time into the melted mints, flip it over, then fish it out with a fork. With the coated cracker laying bottom side down, very gently tap the fork to let the excess chocolate drip off. Set the coated cracker on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper or parchment (I use parchment this time of year - less chance of sticking and you can reuse it many times for the same thing.)

You can leave the cookies as they are, or make them look pretty. Since I have my assistant chef helping me all of the time, it was decided that our cookies would be pretty. I gave him several small bowls with different cookie toppings in them: nonpareils, sprinkles (some of you call them jimmies?!), colored sugar, candy cane pieces, etc. As soon as I set a freshly-dipped cracker onto the baking sheet, his job was to decorate it with "just one little pinch" of whichever topping he chose, and sometimes a few of them!

When I finished with a tray, I put it into the refrigerator for about 5 minutes to let the chocolate set up. After I let them return to room temperature, I put 3 to 4 of the cookies, depending on how big Little Guy's pinches were, into a cupcake liner. We put three cupcake liners worth of cookies into a sandwich bag and tied it securely for giving to friends and family. You want to make sure that these are sealed pretty well or the minty flavor will sink into your other baked goods - not very yummy!

Now, I have to go melt some more mints. There are two guys in the doghouse right now who are going to be replacing the cookies they ate last night. See? These are so easy to make that I can actually have them do it on their own!


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I have to try this... next week, no more projects this week.

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