Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Make Your Own

Today, I made my own thin mint cookies. They were easy, frugal, and delicious. Easy means I didn't have to spend alot of time on them. Frugal means I didn't spend alot of my family's resources on them. Delicious means....well, that just means I will have to spend alot of time working them off! The boys will enjoy them. It's so much more lovely to hand your child a homemade snack than to pull one out of a plastic package inside a cardboard box. And at 80 cookies per batch, they'll go a lot further....I hope!

My tip for the day. Try something new. Make something you haven't thought of having handmade before. It will be fun, it will save money, and you just might find you like your homemade version much better than what the stores offer.

Bonus....I only covered the top of the cookies, rather than completely dipping them (which I think is fine....tastes just as good, and maybe less messy for the boys to eat and saves a few extra calories), so I had left over melted chocolate. I knew I needed to think fast, or it would be wasted. I had some Snyders Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches on hand. I don't buy them often, because they aren't cheap for a smaller size bag, but Target sends me coupon booklets, and most times there is a coupon for Snyders in there, and Target has them on sale from time to time as well. The first place I found them though was Aldi. When I can get them there or on sale and with a coupon at Target I pick them up, because my family members all enjoy them. I took the mini sandwiches out of the bag, and topped them all with the left over melted chocolate. I have dipped them in chocolate before, so I knew this would be yummy. The only down side is, that they will disappear much quicker!

If these slim mints sound like something you'd like to make, here's the recipe, thanks to Jonni McCoy of Miserly Mom's. This recipe was in her cookbook Healthy Meals for Less. All my ingredients came from Aldis, except the peppermint which I already had on hand.

Slim Mint Chocolate Cookies
Makes 80
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Cooking Time: 10 minutes/sheet
18 oz. devil's food cake mix
3 T. butter, melted
1/2 c. flour
1 egg
1/4 c. water
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
6 T. butter
4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
(I cut the coating ingredients in half, because I only had 2 c. of chips. And I only coated the tops of the cookies, but still had left over melted chocolate. So, if you only want to coat the tops, halve the ingredients listed above.)
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dough ingredients. Mix by hand until a crumbly dough forms. Roll the dough into 4 logs about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. (I actually did this step last night while I was already in the kitchen whipping up supper. Then today, all I had to do was pull them out and bake them.)
Remove wrapping, and slice logs into 1/2 inch cookie rounds. Bake on a greased nonstick baking sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies form the baking sheet immediately after removing from the oven, and cool on a cooling rack.
Place the coating ingredients in a double boiler over medium heat, and melt, stirring frequently. Add a bit of water (1 T. at a time) if it thickens too much. (I don't have a double boiler, so I placed the ingredients in a bowl and used the "melt" setting on my microwave, stirred, added a little water, and repeated until it was just right.) Once melted, remove chocolate from the heat and dip cookies one at a time into the chocolate (or just coat the tops), then place on a cooling rack to dry. Placing the rack in the refrigerator will speed up cooling time. Once dry, store in an airtight container.

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