I had actually never heard of the Thanks-A-Lot cookie before this year – a shortbread cookie embossed with ‘thank you’ in five languages and backed with a thin layer of chocolate. After toying around for a while, I came up with this allergen and vegan recipe – you’ll have to let me know if it is, indeed, a clone. In any case, it’s very yummy, kind of like a more sturdy version of the famous Milano cookie. This recipe is scaled to make about 3 boxes worth.
1 recipe Girl Scout Shortbread Cookie base
10oz semi sweet chocolate chips (we recommend Enjoy Life allergy free)
1-4 tbsp dairy free margarine (we recommend Earth Balance soy free, you may also use butter)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the Girl Scout Shortbread Base dough as per directions. Divide the dough into three equal portions.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Using a 3 inch cutter, cut the dough into circles. Repeat with remaining portions of dough.
For best results, each circle should weigh between 10 and 12 g, so you should get three sets of 16 or 17 cookies, for a total of 50 cookies.
Decorate the cookie surface if desired, to say thank you in various languages:
Use the lid of a canning jar or the bottom of a spice jar to create a raised edge: press the lid or jar down firmly but lightly in the center of each cookie.
Once rims have been created, use a straight edge to draw messages in the cookies – you may want to experiment to get the letters thicker or thinner as you desire.
Place the cookies, word-side up, on parchment paper prepared sheets (you may also just use non stick cookie sheets). Bake for about 8-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack completely before proceeding with the next step.
In a double boiler (or a bowl set in a pan of water) over low heat, melt the chocolate, stirring constantly, until smooth and flowing. Depending on the type of chocolate you use (particularly with dairy free chocolate), you may need to add a little bit of dairy free margarine (or butter) to the melted chips – you want the chocolate to flow easily when warmed to about 89 degrees, but still able to set when at room temperature.
Test the chocolate by raising the whisk out of the pan. The chocolate should cling to the tines, but extra chocolate should easily drop/drip off of the surface. If your chocolate seems thick and does not flow off of your whisk when raised from the surface, slowly whisk in the dairy free margarine until it is easy to stir the mixture. It should be the consistency of heavy cream. Keep warm.
When all cookies are cooled, begin to coat the cookies in chocolate. To do this, dip the bottom of the cooled cookies into the melted chocolate, pressing the bottom half of the cookie surface into the chocolate.
Carefully lift the cookie out of the chocolate and tilt slightly to allow excess chocolate to run off. Invert the cookies (words side down) and set on a rack or cookie sheet to dry – the chocolate should settle and smooth out to a thickness of about 1/8 inch.
Allow to cool completely before placing in a container. You may speed this up by using a fridge or freezer to help set the chocolate.