Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Girl Scout Cookie Recipes: A Trio of Tasty Treats

Girl Scout Cookie Recipes:  A Trio of Tasty Treats

I've been wanting to participate in the Girl Scout's of Western Washington cookie recipe contest for the last couple years, and this year the timing finally worked out for me! Instead of using the top three sellers:  Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tagalongs, I decided to see if I could come up with something delicious to do with the other three of our Super Six flavors:  Savannah Smiles, Trefoils and Do-si-dos.

After tossing around a few ideas, I decided to go with fairly simple classic recipe ideas that my Brownie troop could make, using the cookie crumbs from each flavor as a major ingredient in each recipe. I also wanted recipes that would be amazing as a trio of Christmas treats this year (I'll just have to freeze a bunch of boxes for December!) The top three recipes I came up with are Chocolate Do-si-dos Truffles, Savannah Smiles Lemon Bars, and Trefoils Campfire Bars.

And the verdict on favorites after taste-testing? Savannah Smiles Lemon Bars are the winner with kids and adult testers! The kid-favorite (likely for the sweetness) are the Trefoil Campfire Bars, and the runner-up for adults was the Do-Si-Do Truffles.

Savannah Smiles Lemon Bars

My first pan of these were pucker-up lemony and almost too lemony for me, which is really saying something! I toned it down a little by reducing the lemon extract - I used one teaspoon in the original... (although you could eliminate it, or replace completely with vanilla). Either way, Savannah Smiles make an amazing crust. I am going to replace my usual graham cracker crust with this version for Key Lime Pie too!

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F, and grease an 8x8-inch baking pan

1 box of Savannah Smiles cookies, pulsed in food processor to fine crumbs
1 Tbs. sugar
4 Tbs. melted butter

Mix crumbs, sugar and melted butter and press into bottom of pan. Bake at 375-degrees for about 6 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Mix filling while crust bakes, and reduce oven temperature to 350-degrees F when you remove crust.

Lemon Filling
2 large organic lemons (zest and juice of both, you should have between 1/2 and 2/3 cup of juice)
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. lemon extract
2 Tbs. heavy cream
2 Tbs. corn starch

Powdered sugar to serve

First, wash lemons in warm water (they yield more juice), then zest both lemons. Slice lemons in half and juice both, removing any seeds. Pour juice into bowl and whisk in eggs, sugar, lemon zest, and extracts until blended. Next, in a separate mixing cup, combine the cream and corn starch until smooth, then add to the rest of the filling mixture. Pour filling into warm crust and bake in a 350-degree F oven for about 25 minutes or until filling is mostly firm, only slightly jiggly when pan in shaken. Remove from oven, cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar, slice and enjoy!

Trefoils Campfire Bars
I made a pan of S'mores bars years ago for a barbecue that were a big hit, so I wanted to incorporate Trefoils cookies into the dough for these bars instead of graham crackers. Plus, I added whole wheat pastry flour and dark brown sugar for great flavor.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F and grease an 8x8-inch baking pan

1 sleeve Trefoils cookies, pulsed in food processor to fine crumbs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 7-oz. jar of Jet-Puffed marshmallow creme (I used about 1/2 of a 13 oz. jar...)

Your favorite s'mores chocolate - I used three 1.45 oz of Hershey's Special Dark chocolate, but you could use any variety. I go with dark to balance the sweetness.  

Pour cookie crumbs into mixer bowl, and add all other dough ingredients. Blend until combine into a soft dough. Divide dough in half, pressing one half into the bottom of a greased 8x8-inch baking pan. Next, gently spread 7 oz. of marshmallow cream onto dough. Then cover the marshmallow cream layer with chocolate. Last, flatten pieces of the remaining dough to cover the chocolate layer.

Bake at 350-degrees for about 30 minutes, or until golden (chocolate and/or marshmallow may be bubbling up/out of top - that's fine!) Cool slightly, slice and enjoy warm with your favorite camp songs or stories! Linger over the deliciousness!

Chocolate Do-si-dos Truffles
makes about 30 

These look like those delicious peanut butter balls that your grandma makes, but are quick and really delicious! Easy as 1, 2, 3...

1 box Do-si-dos sandwich cookies, pulsed in a food processor to fine crumbs
2 Tbs. heavy cream
3 Tbs. natural style creamy peanut butter
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1/8 tsp. salt
1 11.5-oz. bag of high-quality milk chocolate chips, melted

Pulse the cookies in a food processor to a fine crumb. I did one sleeve at a time since I have a smaller bowl on my machine. Pour crumbs into mixer and add cream, softened cream cheese, peanut butter and salt. Blend until a smooth ball forms.

Melt chocolate chips in microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each until smooth. Time varies by microwave. Scoop walnut-sized balls of peanut butter mixture and roll into ball, then dip into melted chocolate. Place onto waxed paper-lined plate and chill until chocolate is firm. Enjoy!

You can also try these as peanut butter cups in mini-muffin pans, or roll the balls in finely ground peanuts. My taste testers' favorite version were the traditional truffle-like chocolate-covered version.


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