Vegan and Gluten-Free Thin Mints

This Gluten-Free Thin Mints recipe is perfection. A mint chocolate cookie covered in creamy mint chocolate. You’re going to love this holiday favourite!


People tend to shy away from desserts that are labelled as gluten-free and vegan, but I always say that’s a mistake. Some of my favourite desserts are ones that are allergy-friendly for everyone to be able to enjoy. 

These homemade thin mint cookies are no exception to that thought. Not only are they a favourite holiday dessert of mine, but they’ll also rival any other type of recipe for thin mint cookies there is. The vegan chocolate chips create a wonderful dark chocolate coating to coat a decadent mint chocolate cookie, you just can’t ‘go wrong. 

You’ll find that these vegan thin mints are simple to make and will be a true treat to your tastebuds. I think they’re incredibly delicious to enjoy as an after-dinner dessert and a way to freshen up your tastebuds, too. 

Ingredients And Substitutions

  • Vegetable shortening – helps to create a soft flaking cookies. It also is purely fat and no water so cookies don’t spread when baking which is important when a perfect shape is desired.
  • Coconut oil – And excellent vegan substitute for butter and also helps to loosen up chocolate making cookies easier to dip.
  • Coconut sugar – Can be swapped out 1:1 with brown sugar but is drier creating a slightly dryer cookie.
  • Maple syrup – Another easy way to add sweetness when making vegan desserts. 
  • Vanilla – Because what cookie doesn’t have vanilla in it?
  • Salt – Just a pinch of salt is all that is needed. 
  • Baking soda – Is the ingredient that gives the cookies a little rise helping to create a flakier texture.
  • Gluten-free 1:1 flour – An easy to use and versatile substitute to all-purpose flour.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – In my opinion, one of the biggest stars of the recipe! It is what gives these cookies their chocolate flavour.
  • Powdered sugar – A lighter sugar that absorbs moisture to create a drier flakier cookie.
  • Vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips – You can get these online or at any local grocery or health food store. If you are not vegan, regular semi-sweet chocolate is the substitute. 
  • Peppermint oil – Just a tiny bit of peppermint oil will really enhance that mint flavor. A little goes a long long way so don’t over do it!

How to Make The Gluten-Free Thin Mints

As you’ll soon see from the steps below, this recipe for thin mint cookies isn’t difficult to do at all. You can easily make a batch for yourself or share it with all your family and friends. The complete directions and ingredient measurements can be found below in the printable recipe card. 

Start by beating together the shortening, coconut oil, coconut sugar, and maple syrup in a large bowl. I use a hand mixer for this, but a stand mixer would be fine as well. Once the mixture is combined well, add in the vanilla and a tad bit of peppermint oil. Beat until combined well. The mix will be nice and creamy. 

Now that the wet ingredients are combined, it’s time to add in the dry ingredients. Put a large sieve over the top of the bowl and add in the salt, flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and icing sugar. Use a spoon and mix everything together. 

Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. It needs to chill for a half hour. (This is the point of the recipe that I use those 30 minutes to clean up my space in the kitchen and get ready for the next steps of the directions!)

Preheat the oven to 350º degrees. Take the bowl out of the fridge as it’s time to start making the Oreo thin mints. Start by lightly dusting a clean surface with flour and a light coating on your rolling pin as well.

Roll the cookie dough out to about a 1/4″ thickness. Use a small round cookie cutter about 2″ in diameter to cut a circle out in the dough. I usually use a champagne flute because the mouth of the glass is perfect!

Use a spatula to transfer the cut-out rounds to a parchment-lined baking sheet. They can be a little closer than usual because they don’t spread much if at all. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until dry to the touch. While they are baking, continue to roll and cut out the rest of the dough.

When the cookies are done baking transfer them to a cooling rack and repeat the process until all of the cookies are baked.

After the cookies are cool to the touch, it’s time to start making the chocolate coating. Put the chocolate chips, coconut oil, and peppermint oil into a microwave-safe measuring cup. Heat up in 30-second intervals, stirring between each time. Do this until the chocolate is melted and smooth. 

I use a fork to dip the cooled cookies into the chocolate, as this is the best way to get them coated completely. Once you dip the cookie into the chocolate mixture, gently tap the excess chocolate off so that a thin layer of the chocolate coating remains. 

Put the coated cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put the entire sheet in the fridge. It will take about 20 minutes for the chocolate coating to harden. 

How To Store Thin Mint Cookies

You have options when it comes to storage. No matter what, the cookies need to be stored in an airtight container or baggie and sealed well to keep the air out. 

I prefer to keep my gluten-free thin mints in the fridge so that they’re nice and chilled. This keeps the chocolate cold so they don’t melt in your fingers but also adds a nice snap when you bite into them. They can stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days.

You can also store these simple cookies in the freezer too for up to 3 months. They’re actually quite lovely to eat frozen as well and thaw out fairly quickly, too, in a short amount of time. 

Non-Vegan or Gluten-Free Variation

If you want to make this recipe for thin mint cookies without being gluten-free or non-vegan, just a few changes to your ingredient list are all you need to do. 

  • Flour – Instead of using gluten-free flour, you would use regular all-purpose flour in its place.
  • Chocolate chips – Swap out the vegan chocolate chips for regular semi-sweet chocolate chips or even dark chocolate or white chocolate options, too. 

Those two simple ingredients swaps are all you need to do. The recipe will still taste almost exactly the same but will not be able to be eaten by those who are vegan or who have a gluten intolerance. 

HOW IS PEPPERMINT OIL DIFFERENT THAN PEPPERMINT EXTRACT?

While they’re often thought of as the same, the two are very different in potency. Peppermint oil is going to have a much strong flavouring of mint because it’s not diluted at all. It’s just peppermint oil – that’s it. 

Peppermint extract, on the other hand, is made using peppermint oil extracted from peppermint leaves but is diluted and usually mixed with alcohol and or water.

How To Melt Chocolate Using a Double Boiler

If you don’t want to melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, you can use a double boiler instead. It’s a simple process to do and one that is quite common when making chocolate-covered candies and treats.

Start by adding a pot to the stove and put a small amount of water in the bottom of the pot. A few inches of water is just fine. 

Heat the water and have it come to a boil. Once the water is boiling, put your bowl full of chocolate chips over the top of the pan. (Make sure that you’re using a bowl that is safe to heat up and one that is big enough that it won’t fall into the pan but rather sit on the edges.)

The steam rising from the boiling water starts to heat the bottom of the bowl, then begins to melt the chocolate. You need to be standing there and stirring with a spatula so that the chocolate doesn’t burn. 

Once the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl (careful -it’s going to be hot!) and use as the recipe states. 

Thin Mints and The Girl Guide Story

  • The Girl Guides introduced the original thin mint in 1939. The name at that time for the cookies was “Cooky Mints.” 
  • This delicious cookie had many different names and name changes throughout the years, as many bakers made these cookies and named them other things. 
  • Starting in 1960, the Girl Guide mint cookies were wrapped in aluminum foil to keep them fresh, and by 1990, the Girl Guide foundation had narrowed down their bakers to just two – making it easier for quality control and consistency. 
  • Currently, each box of Girl Guide cookies contains 32 thin mint cookies – and it’s debatable that these cookies just might be their most popular flavor. 

More Vegan & Gluten-Free Treats

Gluten-free thin mints on a line baking sheet close up

Gluten-Free and Vegan Thin Mints

This Gluten-Free Thin Mints recipe is perfection. A mint chocolate cookie covered in creamy mint chocolate. You're going to love this holiday favourite!
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Course: Dessert, Treat
Cuisine: North American
Keyword: Chocolate Cookies, cookie recipes, Gluten free cookies, Gluten-Free Mint Thins, Holiday Cookie Recipes, Holiday Recipes, Mint Recipes, vegan cookies, Vegan Mint Thins
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 23 minutes
Calories: 144kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp peppermint oil
  • 1 3/4 cup gluten-free 1:1 flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Chocolate Coating

  • 3 cups semi-sweet or dark vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint oil

Instructions

  • In a large bowl beat the shortening, coconut oil, coconut oil and maple syrup with a hand mixer until smooth. Add vanilla and 1/2 tsp of peppermint oil and beat until combined.
  • Place a large sieve over the bowl and add in the flour, salt, baking soda, cocoa powder and icing sugar.  Mix with a spoon into the dry ingredients below.
  • Mix the wet and dry ingredients below until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let chill for a half hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll the dough to about a 1/4" thickness on a lightly floured surface. Use a cookie cutter or the top of a cup about 2" in diameter to cut circles out of the dough. Place the cut circles onto the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes or until the cookies are dry to the touch. Remove the cookies to a cooling rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • When cookies are cooled prepare the chocolate coating by placing the chocolate chips, coconut oil and remaining peppermint oil in a large microwave-safe measuring cup.  Microwave for 30-second intervals mixing each time and repeating until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • Use a fork to dip the cookies into the chocolate to coat completely. Gently tap off the excess chocolate so that a thin even coating remains. Transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined cookie sheet and then place the sheet into the fridge laying flat to allow for the chocolate coating to set and harden, about 20 minutes. 

Notes

Store in a tightly sealed container on the counter for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
All-purpose flour can be substituted for gluten-free flour 1:1.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 45mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g
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Please Note:The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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