Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Girl Scout Cookies....Can They Get Any Better?

What does Mid-February mean to you?  Valentine’s Day?  Lent?  Anticipation of spring?  For me it means one thing, and one thing only….and all the little girls in my neighborhood know it.  Girl Scout cookies.  I live for Girl Scout cookie season.  I have never turned down a girl scout.  You know on my door pushing cookies, and I will probably be your best customer.  I have already had my favorite little Girl Scout, Baylee, deliver a second round to me.

Please don’t send your Girl Scout to my house though.  I already am stacked to the ceiling with boxes of delicious cookie goodness.  Thin Mints, Samoa’s, Trefoils, Tagalongs….you name it.  I’ll eat it.  In fact, I have so many boxes of cookies that I had to come up with creative ways to eat them.  We have already eaten so many that we need a change of pace.  And don’t think I haven’t thought of freezing them because my freezer is full too.

By “creative ways”, I don’t mean standing on your head while eating them, or maybe eating them while jumping….I mean that I have added cookies to different recipes, and man….I came up with some good ones.

I’ll start with my favorite cookie….the Tagalong, or the “Peanut Butter Patty”.  I made the most amazing Dark Chocolate Tagalong Brownies.  They are too die for.  I started my crushing up a whole box of cookies.  Ok, well a whole bag minus the one that I ate.  Ok, Ok…the two that I ate.  Oh for crying out loud…it was three.  Anyway, I put the cookies in a zipper bag and crushed them with the flat bottom of a frying pan.  Not to smithereens, just chunks.

Next, I made a brownie batter with butter, sugar, eggs, flour, dark chocolate cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and espresso powder.  This is my “go to” brownie recipe.  Once that was blended, I stirred in my cookie chunks.  I spread this into a greased 9x13x2 baking pan.

Now for the best part.  I heated up about a cup of peanut butter in a sauce pan.  I find that peanut butter is so much easier to work with when it is warm.  Once it was warm, I poured it over the top of the brownies.  Then, I swirled the peanut butter into the brownie batter with a butter knife.  So pretty! 

These bake for about a half an hour.  When they are cooled, you can dig in.  These brownies are rich and chocolaty, with the best kick of peanut butter….and crunch from the cookies!  The cookies are the best addition to these brownies.  These are seriously sinful.

My next trick, I mean treat, and Tropical Crispy Rice Treats.  I use a new Girl Scout Cookie for these.  Have you tried the Mango Crèmes?  They are a vanilla and coconut cookie with a mango filling.  They taste like summer.  Or Hawaii.  Or a pina colada.  They are crazy good.

I put two sleeves of cookies into a zipper bag for this recipe.  Same as the Tagalongs, I crushed them up.  Again, not crumbs, more of a chunk.  I also use key lime flavored marshmallows, diced dried pineapple, butter and crispy rice cereal.  I found my key lime marshmallows at Wal-Mart.  It really is amazing how many different flavors of marshmallows you can find these days!

I melted the butter with the whole bag of marshmallows, plus a bit of a second bag.  One bag just wasn’t enough!  Once it was smooth, I stirred in my cookie chunks, dried pineapple and crispy rice cereal.  This mess got pressed into a greased 9x13x2 pan.  Here is a hint…..get your hand slightly wet to help you press the treats into the pan.  Otherwise the stickiness will overwhelm you and your kitchen. 

These just have to sit for about 30 minutes, then they are good to go.  My kids went bananas over these.  Which is only fitting because bananas are tropical.  But seriously, these taste like the most delicious tropical treat you will ever taste.  And they are such a welcome change from plain rice crispy treats!

Ok, my final cookie that got transformed into something else is the Trefoil, which really is just a shortbread cookie.  I like shortbread, but the rest of my family isn’t too thrilled by them.  They think they are boring.  Clearly my palate is superior to theirs.  You sensed the sarcasm in that, right?

I transformed these simple cookies by layering them with peanut butter, caramel, then another cookie, making a sandwich.  The whole thing got dipped in melted dark chocolate that I melted in my slow cooker.  That way it stays warm while I’m a dippin’.  Then, I let the chocolate harden.  You know what these are like?  A Twix bar……probably my favorite candy bar ever.  This really takes the simple Trefoil to a whole new level.  A level that I like.


Do you have a million boxes of Girl Scout cookies too?  You should try one of these recipes.  You might think that there is no possible way for Girl Scout Cookies to taste any better……I once thought that too.  I was wrong.  So wrong……

Dark Chocolate Tagalong Brownies

1 box Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties)

1 cup melted butter or vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon espresso powder

1 cup flour

2/3 cup dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s)

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place cookies in zippered plastic bag.  Crush cookies with a rolling pin or the bottom of a frying pan.  Crush cookies into chunks.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, stir together sugar, vanilla and melted butter or oil until smooth.  Stir in eggs and espresso powder.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Slowly stir dry ingredients into wet until combined.  Stir in cookie chunks.

Pour batter into a greased 9x13x2 baking pan.  Smooth batter out so that it is even.

In a small sauce pan, heat peanut butter over low heat until it is pourable.  Pour peanut butter over batter.  Using a butter knife, swirl peanut butter into batter. 

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool before cutting.

Makes about 36 brownies.


Tropical Crispy Rice Treats

1 box Mango Crème Cookies

3 tablespoons butter

10 ounces Key Lime Marshmallows (Campfire)

3 cups Crispy Rice Cereal

1 cup diced dried pineapple (I used Wal-Mart brand)

Place cookies into a zippered plastic bag.  Crush cookies with a rolling pin or the bottom of a frying pan.  Crush cookies into chunks.  Set aside.

In a sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in marshmallows.  Melt marshmallows into butter, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together crushed cookies, crispy rice cereal and dried pineapple.  Pour melted butter and marshmallow mixture into mixing bowl.  Stir together quickly until completely blended.

Press mixture into a greased 9x13x2 pan.  Let sit for about 30 minutes before cutting.

Makes about 36 squares.


Trefoil “Candy Bars”

1 sleeve Trefoil cookies (1/2 a box)

½ cup plus 2 teaspoons creamy peanut butter

6 teaspoons caramel dessert sauce

2  12 ounce bags semi-sweet chocolate chips

Melt chocolate chips in slow cooker set to low. 

Lay 10 cookies out on a large piece of foil or waxed paper.  Spread peanut butter on each cookie, about 1 teaspoon each.  Top peanut butter with caramel, equally dividing caramel on each cookie.  Place another cookie on top forming a sandwich.  Dip each sandwich in melted chocolate covering completely.  Place dipped sandwich on foil and let harden, about one hour.

Makes 10 sandwiches.

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