Girl Scout Cookies are delicious just the way they are, but they can also be used as ingredients to make a wide variety of dishes — sweet, savory, even gluten free.
DAYTON, Ohio — One of the joys this time of year is Girl Scout Cookies. They’re delicious just the way they are, but they can also be used as ingredients to make a wide variety of dishes — sweet, savory, even gluten free. Here are some ideas:
This little cookie has to be the sentimental favorite among all Girl Scout Cookie varieties. Originally called Chocolate Mints, they’ve been around since 1951. Their svelte name came along in 1966. Four of these mint-chocolate wafers dipped in rich chocolate contain 160 calories, but watch out — they’re quite addictive. If you have any left, transform them into rich, creamy truffles.
THIN MINT-DUSTED PEPPERMINT-CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
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6 Thin Mints, finely crushed
10 round peppermint candies, finely crushed
2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
12 ounces semisweet dark chocolate
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1. In a medium-size bowl, mix cookie crumbs, crushed peppermints and pecans; mix well and set aside.
2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Add sweetened condensed milk, peppermint extract and cinnamon. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Add 1/3 cup of dry cookie mixture. Stir well and refrigerate for two hours.
3. After chocolate mixture is chilled, roll into small balls with your hands. Dip the chocolate balls in the remaining dry cookie mixture and refrigerate. Will last up to a week in the fridge.
— Connie Post
Here’s the most luscious, decadent cookie of them all: Vanilla cookies topped with a layer of peanut are dipped in rich chocolate to form Tagalongs, the most voluptuous of all Girl Scout Cookies. Two of these bad girls contain 140 calories. Reserve a few to make decadent chocolate cupcakes.
TAGALONG PEANUT BUTTER CUPCAKES WITH CRUNCHY-CREAMY FILLING
3 Tagalongs, finely chopped
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 chocolate fudge cake mix
1 tub chocolate icing
24 whole Tagalongs (optional)
Mix chopped Tagalongs and peanut butter in a bowl. Set aside. Make cake mix, following recipe. Line cupcake tin with paper cupcake liners. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of cake mix batter in each baking cup. Carefully drop a small amount of peanut butter filling, being careful to keep it in the center of the baking cup. Then spoon more batter on top (each baking cup will have about 1/3 cup of batter). Bake cupcakes as directed on cake mix box. Cool completely. Frost cupcakes with chocolate icing. Top each cupcake with a whole Tagalong (optional).
— Connie Post
Compared to some of the more photogenic Girl Scout Cookies, Savannah Smiles aren’t much to look at. In fact, they resemble small rocks. But don’t let their looks fool you. They are refreshingly delicious. Five Savannah Smiles contain 140 calories. As an ingredient, they make amazing, to-die-for blueberry-lemon bars.
SAVANNAH SMILES BLUEBERRY-LEMON BARS
8 Savannah Smiles cookies
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
grated lemon peel from ¼ lemon
½ cup lemon juice
2 cups fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. In a medium bowl, mix softened butter, 2 cups flour, ¼ cup Savannah Smiles crumbs and ½ cup mixed sugar. Press into bottom of ungreased 13×9-inch baking dish.
2. Bake 15-20 minutes or until the edges of the crust are just beginning to brown.
3. In a medium bowl, mix remaining 1½ cups sugar, eggs, lemon peel and lemon juice until thoroughly combined. Pour over crust. Carefully sprinkle blueberries on top of the mixture.
4. Bake 18-22 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Cool for about an hour. (The bars will firm up.) Sprinkle remaining Savannah Smiles crumbs on top. Refrigerate. Cut into squares.
— Connie Post, adapted from two Betty Crocker lemon bar recipes
Buttery shortbread cookies called Trefoils are shaped like the Girl Scout badge with three leaves representing the three-part promise: “To serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout law.” Trefoils joined the cookie lineup in 1979. The least pretentious of all the Girl Scout Cookies, Trefoils appeal to those who enjoy simple pleasures. Eight Trefoils contain 160 calories. If you want to indulge, however, use them to make a richer dessert.
VANILLA BUTTERMILK PUDDING WITH TREFOIL CRUST
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup Trefoil crumbs (15 cookies)
large cartoon of Cool Whip
1 large package (5.85 ounces) instant vanilla pudding
3 cups buttermilk
1 6-ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together butter, flour and Trefoil crumbs until the mixture approaches the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Press into an ungreased 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish. Cook until lightly brown, about 20 minutes. Cool completely.
2. Mix together vanilla instant pudding and buttermilk. Gently spread across the crust.
3. Spread Cool Whip on top of pudding. Sprinkle with cherries and refrigerate. To serve, scoop with a large spoon.
— Connie Post
Hardcore butter lovers will claim Do-Si-Dos are the best of all Girl Scout Cookie varieties. A flavorful peanut butter is the glue that holds together two oatmeal cookies. Three Do-Si-Dos contain 160 calories. Reserve some to make a spicy and savory Thai dish and maybe you won’t feel so guilty about the calories.
PAD THAI WITH BAKED CHICKEN AND SPICY DO-SI-DO PEANUT SAUCE
Spicy Do-Si-Do peanut sauce
3 Do-Si-Do cookies, crushed
½ cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons tamari sauce
1/8 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon fruit preserves
2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
½ cup water
In a medium-size bowl, mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
8 Do-Si-Dos, crushed
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
½ teaspoon garlic powder
12 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
3 boneless chicken breasts
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium-size bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Pour mixture into a gallon-size plastic baggie. Place chicken breasts, one at a time, in baggie and coat thoroughly. Place chicken breasts in a greased baking dish and bake 20-25 minutes, or until juices are clear or a meat thermometer reads 160-170 degrees.
2. Allow chicken breasts to rest while you make the Pad Thai.
4-6 ounces rice noodles
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
¼ large white onion, coarsely chopped
large handful of snow peas
2 tablespoons tamari
1. Place rice noodles in a medium-size bowl. Pour very hot water over them. Let set for five minutes. Heat wok on medium-high heat. Add coconut oil. Add garlic and ginger and cook for about one minute. Add vegetables and cook about two minutes, stirring constantly to keep vegetables from sticking or burning. Add tamari. Add ½ cup of peanut sauce and mix well. Drain rice noodles and add them to the wok. Stir until thoroughly combined and remove from heat.
2. To serve, place Pad Thai on a plate. Add thin slices of chicken breast on top. Spoon peanut sauce over chicken slices.
— Connie Post
For coconut-chocolate lovers, Samoas are an absolute dream come true. They’re chewy caramel cookies mixed with flaked coconut and striped with chocolate. Two Samoas contain 140 calories. Use them as an ingredient to make Samoas Super Brownies.
SAMOAS SUPER BROWNIE
1 package dark chocolate brownies
7 Samoas, chopped into bits
1 tub Duncan Hines Frosting Creamy Salty Caramel
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
3 more Samoas, chopped into bits
Prepare brownie mix as directed of the package, but adding in the chopped Samoas. Cook brownies as directed. Cool completely. Spread icing, then sprinkle coconut along with the rest of the chopped Samoas on top. Cut into squares.
— Connie Post, Kamron Taylor and Vivienne Machi
Toffee-tastic cookies are available in only select Girl Scout Cookie markets. These large cookies are buttery and embedded with bits of toffee. Made with rice flour, they’re crunchy and gluten free. Two Toffee-tastic cookies contain 140 calories. Reserve three of them for making a batch of tasty, gluten-free waffles.
GLUTEN-FREE WAFFLES WITH TOFFEE-TASTIC COOKIES
2¼ cups spelt flour
¼ cup Toffee-Tastics crumbs (from three cookies)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup water
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat waffle iron.
1. Mix flour, cookie crumbs, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-size bowl. Set aside.
2. In a medium-size bowl, mix buttermilk, water, eggs and vinegar. Add butter. Mix well. Fold in half of the dry mixture. Mix well. Add the rest of the dry mixture. Mix well.
3. Drop about 2/3 cup of batter onto heated waffle iron and cook until brown. Serve with syrup and berries.
A newcomer in 2015, Rah-Rah Raisins are thick oatmeal cookies with raisins and Greek yogurt nuggets. Two cookies contain 120 calories. Use them to make a bread pudding in a jar — add to your packed lunch for a delicious dessert or take as a snack for hiking.
RAH-RAH RAISINS BREAD PUDDING IN A JAR
8 Rah-Rah Raisins Girl Scout Cookies (1 cup, divided into ¾ cup and ¼ cup)
12 slices white bread, torn into small pieces
1 apple, cored, peeled and diced
1/3 cup walnut pieces
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
½ stick butter, melted
2 eggs, hand beaten with a fork
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Place the pieces of bread and ¾ cup of the Rah-Rah Raisins crumbs in a large bowl. Add diced apple, walnuts and cranberries, and mix by hand. Then add milk and heavy cream until combined. Add brown sugar, melted butter, 2 eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well. Chill the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. Spray nonstick cooking spray inside seven 8-ounce canning jars. Spoon the bread pudding mixture into the jars. Don’t overfill because the pudding will expand a bit as it cooks.
3. Mix the 2 tablespoons of melted butter with the remaining ¼ cup Rah-Rah Raisins crumbs. Place a small spoonful of this mixture on top of each jar and spread it across the top.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill a cooking pan with ½ inch boiling water. Place the canning jars in the pan, making sure they don’t touch one another. Bake for 25 minutes.
5. After they’ve thoroughly cooled, place lids on the jars and refrigerate.
— Connie Post