Local chefs tackle Girl Scout cookie challenge

March 20, 2012|By CHRIS COPLEY |
  • Nick's Airport Inn Executive Chef Francis Verdier, pictured below, and Sous Chef Scott Stouffer developed a chocolate-mint cheesecake.
Photos by Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Girl Scouts by Juliette Low in Savannah, Ga. In honor of the centennial, The Herald-Mail asked several local restaurants to develop recipes for adults using Girl Scout cookies, one of the most visible aspects of Girl Scouts. One of these recipes uses alcohol, which we recommend should not be shared with a Girl Scout.

Here we present four recipes from four chefs in the Hagerstown area. We asked for creativity, and these recipes explore unusual uses of cookies. Enjoy!

Chocolate-mint cheesecake

1 box Girl Scout Thin Mints cookies

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup butter, melted

2 1/2 pounds cream cheese

1 1/4 cups sugar

5 eggs

1 1/4 teaspoons lemon juice

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons creme de menthe

1 1/5 cup sour cream

Sugar to taste

Whipped cream or strawberry sauce, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan.

By hand, break 1 sleeve of Thin Mints into small pieces. With the other sleeve of Thin Mints, cut in half and set aside.

Mix the cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press crumb mixture into bottom of springform pan.

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in lemon juice, vanilla extract and creme de menthe. Mix in remaining crushed Thin Mint cookies. Pour filling into prepared crust.

Bake for 1 hour.

While cheesecake is baking, prepare topping by blending sour cream with sugar to taste. When cheesecake is done, spread topping on hot cheesecake and return to hot oven for 5 minutes.

Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 1 to 2 hours; this helps prevent cracking.

Chill in refrigerator. Before serving, garnish with halved Thin Mints cookies and, if using, strawberry syrup or whipped cream.

— Courtesy of Executive Chef Francis Verdier and Sous Chef Scott Stouffer, both of Nick's Airport Inn, north of Hagerstown.

Shortbread Strawberry Gelatin Dessert

2 cups Girl Scout Trefoils shortbread cookies, crushed to crumbs

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 sticks margarine, cut into small portions

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup sugar

8 ounces whipped topping, room temperature

6 ounce strawberry-flavored gelatin (see cook's note)

1 1/2 cups boiling water

24 ounces frozen sliced strawberries in syrup

1 cup crushed Trefoils, optional

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place two cups Trefoil crumbs in bottom of 13 1/2-inch-by-8 1/2-inch ovenproof baking dish. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar. Sprinkle margarine bits over cookie crumbs. Bake for 9 minutes.

While crust is baking, blend

cream cheese with 1 cup sugar until incorporated. Fold in whipped topping until incorporated.

Remove cookie crust from oven and cool. hen cool, spread cream cheese mixture on crust.

Mix gelatin with boiling water and stir to dissolve. Add frozen strawberry slices in syrup to gelatin and stir to combine. Pour mixture on top of cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until firm, about1 hour.

Before cutting to serve, sprinkle with 1 cup crushed Trefoils, if using.

Cook's note: Dave Leiter used Jell-O brand gelatin

—  Courtesy of Dave Leiter, owner of Leiters' Fine Catering Inc. of Williamsport.

Samoas popcorn

1 cup popcorn kernels

1 stick salted butter

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

1 box Girl Scout Samoas cookies, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips, optional

1 to 2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Pop popcorn in hot-air popper. Place in large mixing bowl.

In pot over medium heat, heat butter, brown sugar, salt and corn syrup to boiling. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in baking soda. Dizzle over popped corn and mix to coat evenly.

Transfer popcorn to waxed paper and sprinkle with coconut. Mix to coat evenly.

Transfer popcorn to large roasting pan and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Remove popcorn from oven and, while still hot, mix with chopped Samoas and, if using, mini chocolate chips. Return to oven for 3 minutes so cookies begin to melt.

Remove popcorn from roasting pan and spread on waxed paper to cool. Drizzle melted semisweet chocolate, if using.

Let popcorn set before storing in an airtight container.

— Courtesy of Jessica Leiter, baker with Leiters' Fine Catering Inc. of Williamsport.

Samoas frozen milkshake martini

1 ounce white chocolate liquor

1 ounce vodka

1 ounce rum

1 ounce caramel-flavored syrup

1/2 ounce coconut-flavored syrup

1/2 ounce white chocolate-flavored syrup

3 Girl Scout Samoas cookies, each on a skewer

1 cup ice

1 ounce chocolate syrup

Put liquors, syrups and ice into blender and blend thoroughly.

Drizzle three empty martini glasses with chocolate syrup. Pour liquor mixture in equal portions into glasses. Garnish with Samoa on a skewer.

Serves 3.

— Courtesy of John Walla, executive chef of Black Eyed Susan Restaurant & Catering of Halfway.

File photo

John Walla of Black Eyed Susan Restaurant & Catering of Halfway, created a chocolate-caramel-flavored Samoa martini using Girl Scouts Samoas cookies.

drink photo by Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

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