Baking with Troop Beverly Hills

The movie: Troop Beverly Hills

The recipe: Thin Mint Brownies (inspired by Smitten Kitchen and Baking Bites)

The story: I remember watching Troop Beverly Hills when I was little, and for some reason my sister and I just loved the movie. The movie, from 1989, was kind of out-dated for our Girl Scouts experiences, and it definitely wasn’t relatable. Looking back on it, I’m sure a lot of the humor in the movie went right over our heads, but we still loved to reference it. In the film, the “Wilderness Girls” put in lots of effort to effectively sell their cookies to Beverly Hills residents.

As Girl Scout cookie season is wrapping up, I somehow managed to have an unopened box of Thin Mints, which were just begging to be used in a recipe. After searching through Pinterest and all of my favorite blogs, I just couldn’t seem to find a recipe that I wanted. Instead, I combined the crust from Baking Bites and Smitten Kitchen’s brownie recipe to get a brownie bar with a Thin Mint crust.

To really amp up the mint flavor, I threw a few chopped Andes mints into the brownie batter and sprinkled the reserved Thin Mints on top. The most time-consuming part of the recipe was reducing the cookies to crumbs without the help of a food processor, as I don’t have one here at school. Luckily I did have a gallon-sized bag and a large measuring cup to get the job done.

I was a little concerned the crust was too crumbly, but as the buttered cooled in the pan, it held together nicely. When they came out of the oven, the crust just blended right in with the brownie, in both taste and appearance. With the Andes mints and Thin Mint crust, the mint flavor is obvious but not too strong. A few years ago I made chocolate cookies with a heavy-handed amount peppermint extract, which my siblings dubbed “toothpaste cookies.” Luckily, that was not the case with these brownies.Ready to go in the oven!

The brownie had a great texture and tons of flavor, especially for containing cocoa and not unsweetened chocolate like most brownie recipes. My Thin Mint experiment worked out really well, and I will definitely be turning to this brownie recipe again in the future! Overall, this recipe was a success.

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Ingredients

1 box Thin Mints (32 cookies), divided

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, cold

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

5 Andes Mints, chopped

Directions

Reduce 24 cookies to crumbs, either with a food processor or by hand. Add two tablespoons of melted butter to the crumbs and combine until butter is equally distributed.

Press crust mixture into a foil-lined and greased 8×8 pan and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the remaining butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is combined and hot. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. The mixture should be fairly gritty.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer. Stir in the Andes mints. Spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, which for me was around 35-40 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. (I waited overnight to cut mine, just to be sure they would cut cleanly.)

Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

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