Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Homemade Thin Mints

My marathon training continues as it seems to be getting easier to run these longer and longer distances. This weekend was my first "long run," with me logging six miles on a chilly Saturday morning. The training program that I am following gradually increases the weekday runs, from 2 miles to 5 miles, while the long Saturday runs increase by two miles each weekend.

During the week I like to use the treadmill. Especially since I run either very early in the morning (like my 5am, 4 miler yesterday) or late at night (I have a 5 mile run set for 9pm tonight). Right now it's dark outside at those times of day!  Though the best thing about running on the treadmill are speed intervals.

My usual running pace is between 8:30 and 9:30 per mile. I can run at this pace very comfortably and breathe normally. On the treadmill, I tend to get bored about a mile before I hit my goal distance. What do I do? I increase the speed until I'm breathing heavily and have to work hard to keep up with the belt. Yesterday I maxed out at 7:00 per mile.

Speed intervals not only help me bust out those last quarter miles in no time, but they also train my legs for the faster speed. After a week of speed intervals on the treadmill, I find my overall pace when running outside has improved!  Then I come back to the apartment and have a few post-run cookies!

One year ago: Spring Frittata & Basil Panna cotta with strawberry gelee
Two years ago: Buffalo Sponge Candy

Homemade Thin Mints
A Wilde Original

It's that time of year again, Girl Scout Cookie time!  Personally, I bought way too many boxes of cookies.  Two ladies at my office were selling for their daughters and I couldn't just buy one box from each.  I bought four.  Yeah, we have a lot of cookies here.  So why did I make my own Thin mints?  Because I'm a big old moo cow that loves cookies.

Depending on how warm it is in your house, you may need to add 1 tablespoon more of flour.  When you roll out the dough, it shouldn't be too sticky.  I like to place the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll it out.  It's much easier to handle when it's in plastic.

2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp peppermint
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package chocolate candy melts or good chocolate.

In a large bowl, beat together butter, powdered sugar and salt until smooth.  Add almond flour, vanilla and peppermint extracts and beat until combined.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the edges.  Add egg and egg yolk and combine.  Finally, add flour slowly until completely mixed.

Scrape batter out of the bowl and onto a large piece of plastic wrap.  Loosely wrap dough up and flatten to 1/2-inch thick.  Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

Lightly dust a surface and rolling pin with flour.  Remove chilled dough from the fridge and place on floured surface.  Roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness.  Stamp out 2-inch circles with a cookie or biscuit cutter.  Place dough circles on a baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F and bake cookies for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet on a wire rack.  Remove from the baking sheet and allow cookies to cool completely before dipping in chocolate.

Melt chocolate candy melts or temper chocolate.  Dip cookies in chocolate at set on parchment paper or a silpat  until the chocolate is set.  Chow down!
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